|Developed by Brenda
Procter and Wilma Schuh, Consumer and Family Economics Specialist,
University of Missouri Extension
Relationship to Building
Meeting job demands can be
difficult for any employee, especially when no one is at home during the
day to meet the demands of a family. Recently enacted welfare reform
legislation sets time limits on benefits and requires many adults—primarily
women—to enter or reenter the job market.
Many of those leaving welfare also are
dealing with serious issues such as current or recent domestic abuse, lack
of affordable housing and transportation, and low wages with no benefits.
Researchers have identified skills that can contribute to employee success
in any job. Strong families work on developing such skills to
maintain employment or advance in an increasingly changeable and diverse
Brief program description
The Balancing Responsibilities
session of Building Strong Families addresses strategies for personal and
family adjustments when the balance between work and family demands
shifts, as it often does. This session places more focus
on the demands of the workplace itself and offers strategies for meeting
them. It offers information and ideas for participants to better deal with
paid employment, regardless of the particular job they hold. This program
includes exercises for participants to explore their own strengths and
skills and identify how they transfer to a work situation. Participants
explore beliefs about working and receive researched-based information
about what employers and employees really want. Hands-on activities allow
participants to practice or discuss workplace skills.
The majority of American families,
including nearly 20 percent of those in poverty, have at least one full-time,
year-round wage earner. Women have become increasingly active in the labor
force over the last three decades, whether they are providing for their
families as a sole wage earner or as one of two or more family wage
earners. The changeability and increasingly technical nature of employment
make it important that all workers develop certain core skills that can
transfer from workplace to workplace. The typical worker will hold many
different jobs in a lifetime.
Researchers have identified key “workplace
competencies” and “foundation skills” that contribute to success in
any workplace. The SCANS Report for America 2000 (June 1991) was written
by the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS). The
report examines the demands of the workplace and discusses the workplace
competencies and foundation skills required for effective job performance.
The report identifies five major categories
of workplace competencies (see below). In addition, SCANS identifies
certain foundation skills (see below).
organizes, plans, and allocates resources
and uses information
with a variety of technologies
of Foundation Skills
writes, performs arithmetic and mathematical operations, listens,
creatively, makes decisions, solves problems, visualizes, knows how
to learn, and reasons effectively.
responsibility, self-esteem, sociability, self-management, integrity
Goals and objectives
- To identify personal beliefs about
- To identify competencies and skills that
- To identify personal strengths that can
contribute to employment success;
- To translate personal strengths into
skills that can be used on a resume or job application;
- To practice interviewing.
Working families with children