There are additional services to support single parents, who face special challenges when it comes to juggling childraising, organizing daily life, and working. For example, single parents enjoy public benefits such as parental pay, maintenance advances, and various tax regulations. More information you can find at the Website "Familienportal" from the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.
Financial support for single parents
You can find specific information on financial assistance for single parents below. More general information on financing your studies, you can find on our homepage.
Child benefit and supplementary child allowance for single parents
If parents do not live together, the child benefit is paid out in full to the parent in whose household the child resides. The child benefit, however, affects the amount of child support paid by the parent obligated to pay cash maintenance.
Single parents may also benefit from the supplementary child allowance, the information you can find on our homepage.
Parental pay for single parents
As a rule, the same conditions apply to single mothers and fathers as to two-parent households. However, single parents may use the two extra months of parental leave normally allocated to a partner, meaning a single parent may receive a full 14 months of parental pay. To do so, the child must live exlusively with the single parent responsible for its care or that parent must have sole custody.
As a rule, children have a right to financial support when parents separate or do not live together. If payments are not made in the case of young children, a part of the allocated child support can be temporarily covered by the state in the form of a maintenance advance (max. 72 months or until completion of a child's 12th year).
Madame Courage—a project to support pregnant students and single mothers who are studying
Madame Courage helps single mothers lead independent lives with their children and gain qualifications for leadership postions.
To support single mothers and pregnant students, the Sozialdienst katholischer Frauen e.V. Hamburg Altona (Catholic women's association, SkF) and the ZONTA-Club Hamburg Hafen e.V. initiated the Madame Courage project, which is further supported by the Family Office at Universität Hamburg.
The project aims to provide financial and moral support to single mothers and pregnant students in the final phase of their studies. Support is non-denominational!
The first step: finishing a degree
Shortly before finishing a degree, many single mothers or pregnant students experience a crisis. Juggling childcare duties and exams can adversely affect the duration of studies or a student's final results. The situation can become dire if:
- BAföG can no longer be paid;
- claims to child support cannot be effectively enforced; or
- no further claims to state benefits or support can be made.
It is nearly impossible in this situation, so shortly before exams, to reconcile academic, family, and work obligations. This too often leads students to drop out of their studies and risk lower income, welfare dependency, and, ultimately, poverty in old age.
Previously, single parents in this situation had no place to turn in Hamburg. This is why the Zonta-Club Hamburg Hafen and the SkF Hamburg-Altona e.V. joined forces with Universität Hamburg to realize Madame Courage.
The benefits of Madame Courage
Support does not end when students obtain their degree. We also support recipients as they gain a professional foothold by providing contacts for internships and mentoring services.
For more information and application requirements, see the Madame Courage Website (in German only).
- Familien-Wegweiser Alleinerziehend (family guide for single parents, in German only)
- Information published by Studierendenwerk Hamburg (in German only)