The present study examined perceptions of those involved in a local program designed to increase economic self-sufficiency among women with refugee status. The study was a qualitative investigation of both directors' and participants' perceptions of the program, its goals, and the challenges and successes of the program. The goals of the study were to give the participants a voice about how they experienced the program, and provide insight that may be useful to the program directors and other similar programs. Over 14 months, we collected documents created by the program directors and conducted interviews with program directors and participants in the program. Major findings of the data validated the importance of program, with the participants expressing appreciation for the social and economic benefits of the program. However, the program faced several financial, infrastructure and communication challenges. Directors expressed concern that the program was not as effective in serving the refugee community as anticipated and that participants were not taking ownership of the program. After analyzing the data, I explored possible reasons that might explain for the programs' challenges and identified assumptions of the program directors and government that negatively affected the effectiveness of the program. I conclude by recommending that service directors do a better job of understanding, consulting and including the participants of their program in the decision-making processes. I also recommend that service providers start small in their programs, as well as advocate for more governmental resources and support.
|Commitee:||Schmit, Kim, Solorzano, Armando|
|School:||The University of Utah|
|Department:||Family and Consumer Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- Utah|
|Source:||MAI 49/06M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social work, Public policy|
|Keywords:||Community-Based Research, Economic, Program development, Refugee resettlement, Self-sufficiency, Women|
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