Developed by Jan Clark,
Associate Program Leader and Associate State Specialist,
Human Development and Family Studies,
University of Missouri Extension

Relationship to Building Strong Families
One of the major social changes during the past 30 years has been the dramatic increase in the number of women who are employed outside the home. Yet many businesses and community support systems lag behind this trend. Much of the responsibility for keeping things in balance has been left to the family members themselves.

If a family is to remain strong, there needs to be adequate time available for the members to nurture, support and enjoy each other. This module looks at ways that family members can make the necessary adjustments to improve the quality of their lives and strengthen their family relationships.

Brief program description
Difficulties in balancing work, family, community and other responsibilities affect most Americans. Family members frequently feel rushed and exhausted. This module examines the causes and consequences of imbalance. Solutions are presented that can help family members achieve a greater sense of balance. Through various activities, individuals will better understand the importance of setting priorities, clear communications, delegation, negotiation and advocacy. Participants will set personal goals for themselves at the conclusion of the session.

Research findings
Numerous national studies indicate that many family members have difficulties managing their work, family and community responsibilities. It appears the spillover effect from work to family is greater than the spillover effect from family to work. Working women are particularly affected by balancing issues because they still handle the majority of child care and household responsibilities, even when they are employed outside the home. When they add community and civic responsibilities, balancing becomes even more difficult.

However, most employed women enjoy their jobs and their families and are certainly financially better off. In addition, employed women usually have higher self-esteem and are less prone to suffer from depression than full-time homemakers. Various major employers have established policies that create a more “family friendly” work environment. Family-friendly policies also benefit the companies, because employees are more productive and loyal, there is less absenteeism and morale is higher. Family friendly policies can range from flexible schedules to elder care support. They can range from no-cost to high-cost. Many ideas are included in Handout #3 on “Options for Employers: Family-Oriented Programs and Policies.”

Goals and objectives

  • To identify contributing causes for a lack of balance in managing work, family and community responsibilities;
  • To discuss solutions for creating a balance in work, family and community responsibilities;
  • To identify steps for developing personal and family goals that will help achieve a greater balance in work and family;
  • To identify strategies for development of family-oriented work policies in the work place.

Target audience
Working families with children

If you have any questions or need information, contact:

Kathy Dothage
Building Strong Families Program Coordinator
University of Missouri Extension
1205 University Avenue, Ste. 400
Columbia, MO 65211

Copyright © 2017 Published by University of Missouri

Last updated: 05/16/2017
Copyright  ADA Equal Opportunity

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