Among the much-debated changes in American family patterns today, one of the most perplexing is the fast-growing number of families in which only one parent is present, as a result of divorce, unwed parenthood, or less frequently, death. In the overwhelming majority of such families, the mother is the remaining parent. A national Task Force on Jewish Family Policy (American Jewish Committee, 1979) has found that community after community considers the single-parent family and its integration into communal life the most critical of current issues.
In this report, Waxman examines some of the social, psychological and economic needs and difficulties faced by members of single-parent families. For the most part, he addresses the problems of parents - especially mothers, since they head a large majority of such families. He also recommends specific approaches the community might take in response.