The employment and career situation of women, age 40 and older, who have received services from a rural displaced homemaker program Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/z890rx323

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  • 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 homemaker program. 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 desirable occupation. 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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