By Carol Cavazos, CBS 11 News

PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – Take a look around and count the number of children you know who are being raised in single parent households.

A new study from an international research group says it’s one out of every four
and that no country has more kids raised in single parent households than the United States.

A North Texas church is one of the many looking to meet their needs.

Eric Guillot leads a group of single dads every Wednesday.  “When we started this ministry at Prestonwood, just in these two counties alone, Collin and Dallas, the divorce rate was astronomical,” Guillot said.

According to US Census 2000 figures,  the number of single fathers in Dallas/Fort Worth is more than 65,000.  The number of single mothers is more than 240,000.

Guillot called it ‘sad.’ “We know what it does, the financial devestation, the lonlieness aspect of it, just everything that comes, comes with it. It’s tough,” Guillot said.

Experts say the single parent phenomenon has been growing for decades with more an acceptance of it in our culture.

Shelly McCart, a single mother who also attends Prestonwood Baptist church said,
“Unfortunately our society has taken relationships and just think they can be thrown away.  They don’t work for them anymore.”

Single Parent groups like those at Prestonwood Baptist hope to help parents and their children.

Reed Harp is 11 years old. “I do wish I had two parents but if I didn’t then I never would’ve met this group,” she said.

Experts say other factors contributing to the increase in single parent households include changing gender roles and high incarceration rates.

Churches throughout the metroplex offer classes and meeting groups geared toward the single parent.

And internet websites like provide helpful articles for all parents.