When senior reporter Naomi Schalit began her nine months of research for our series on Maine’s single parents in poverty, one of her first stops was Isabel Sawhill’s office at the Brookings Institution. You’ll find many quotes from Sawhill in Schalit’s five-part series; here is the complete interview transcript.
Single Parents in Poverty
The story behind the story: Why single parents in poverty opened up
I have been a reporter for 34 years and this was the hardest story I have ever written. People didn’t want to talk to me. They didn’t want to give me “fodder for woman-blaming.”
500% rise in single parenthood fueling family poverty in Maine
A nine-month investigation reveals that the inability to lower the poverty rate in Maine is due in part to a change in the makeup of the state’s families.
One wrong guy and an ‘endless struggle’ for a single mom
Part 2: The story of one single mother speaks to the struggles shared by many single parents in Maine. “Every week’s the same,” she said. “I’m always broke. The electric, internet, diapers, toiletries, food when we run out of my food card…”
Chaos in the classroom: Too many kids not ready and able to learn
Veteran teachers and school officials are on the front lines of the crisis of the growth of children coming from poor families, many with just one parent at home. Their experiences show the impact of the changing face of the Maine family.
‘I’m supposed to provide for my family — where am I?’ The story of the childless fathers
The story of the fathers who are rarely there. Interviews with men at the Maine State Prison who have one or more children with women to whom they are not married.
Removing the obstacles to school and work helps struggling single mothers escape the trap they’re in
Is there a solution to the single-parent crisis? Not an easy one, say the experts and the people who try to help single mothers and their children. But they are trying.
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