|Abstract or Summary
- The literature defines a displaced homemaker as a
woman who has worked primarily without remuneration to
care for the home and family (U.S. Congress, 1977).
Federally funded displaced homemaker programs are
provided to help these women move from dependency to
self-sufficiency (Displaced Homemakers Network, 1986).
The purpose of this study is to examine the
employment and career situation of women, age 40 and
older, who have received services from a rural displaced
Qualitative research by unstructured interviewing was
the primary method used for gathering data. An ecological
framework, proposed by Bronfenbrenner, 1979, was used as
a guide for interpreting and describing the findings. The sample consists of 18 women, age 40 and older, who had
participated in the Southwestern Oregon Community College
(SWOCC) Displaced Homemaker Program in Coos Bay, Oregon.
The findings indicated that the majority of women
interviewed never expected to be working for pay. Most
women exiting the program are employed at part-time
minimum wage jobs without benefits and little chance for
advancement. A mentorship program is needed to help
women advance from a minimum wage job to a more
The program at SWOCC is understaffed. Formation of a
volunteer group of past program participants could help
meet the need for assistance. Academic advisors outside
the program are not aware of the background and
capabilities of the displaced homemaker. Greater
importance should be placed on advising these entering
students in their selection of college courses.
Age, location, and health care are critical barriers to
their personal and professional development. Once the
women leave the program they are suddenly cut off from a
support system. A follow-up system should be developed to
provide a support system. Further recommendations and a
model for a follow-up system for SWOCC is presented.
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