1993 Finalist
Thirteen County Service Delivery Area, MO
Innovations in American Government Awar
Innovations in American Government Awards

Single Parents Probing Inner Resources, or Project SPIRALS, is a program for single parents that provides them with opportunities for growth and development as adults, parents, job trainees and employees. SPIRALS helps its participants rebuild their own lives, as well as build a better future for their children. SPIRALS works towards its objectives by helping program participants assess personal and career needs. SPIRALS staff than work with beneficiaries to set goals, achieved by flexible, long range, and individualized plan, that leads program participants along a path towards employment and self-sufficiency.

SPIRALS's comprehensive programming includes one on one counseling, peer group sessions, and on-site classes at the Adult Education Center. At the Center, participants achieve basic instruction on topics ranging from life management, pre-employment skill development, personal growth, and parenting. This coursework is then followed by off-site classes at vocational technical schools or colleges with a sustained support system.

SPIRALS also has developed a long-term program component in which participants undergo two years of close contact during initial employment and, in the following years, are provided with support as needed, ranging from employment counseling to child care. Long term support insures that skills and personal advances made during the program's educational phase are sustained, even in the face of life's challenges.

SPIRALS cites the fact that its participants are becoming more self-sufficient and self-directed as its single greatest achievement. This assertion is reinforced by figures of personal and educational progress. Between 1991 and 1993, 95 percent of participants achieved varying levels of computer proficiency, 90 percent remained pregnancy-free, and 100 percent of participants enrolled in either General Education Degree or vocational programming.