Margaret Acreman founded SPAN in September of 1987, based on her own experience as a single parent and her work in crisis intervention in the service community. She recognized that there were many gaps in available services and little awareness of the issues facing single parent families. Margaret undertook the daunting task of trying to provide both necessary ongoing supports for single parents and advocating on their behalf in the public sector.
With a small group of dedicated volunteers, Margaret worked to make her vision a reality. SPAN was incorporated in October of 1989 and received charitable status in January 1991. Margaret’s objectives were to help parents help their children, to provide long term peer support and a sense of connectedness, recognizing the unique issues particular to single parenting, and also to raise public awareness of the challenges faced by the single parent family.
Photo taken July 2010
The organization has grown and expanded over the years and the demands on the services we provide are growing steadily. As of 2017, there are some 24,000 single parent families in the province. Pressures on the family unit are increasing in today’s world, and the single parent, as sole earner and parent, with no partner to share these stresses, is under almost unbearable strain. The sad result can be a dysfunctional household, with health problems, inadequate parenting, financial crises, children acting out and failing in school…… however, it has been our experience that the right supports, at the right time, can stop this downward slide. The sense of community and the very real supports offered by the Single Parent Association are essential for the health of this fast-growing segment of our society.