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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Educational brokering and the University of British Columbia Women’s Resources Centre : a client reaction… Ettel Fournier, Rose Marie 1981

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EDUCATIONAL BROKERING AND THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA WOMEN'S RESOURCES CENTRE - A CLIENT REACTION STUDY B.Sc.N, University Of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1963 A THESIS SUEMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department Of Adult Education We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1 9 8 1 by :OSE MARIE ETTEL FOURNIER MASTER OF ARTS i n © Rose Marie E t t e l Fournier, 1981 In presenting th is thes is in p a r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary shal l make it f ree ly ava i l ab le for reference and study. I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th is thes is for scho la r ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h is representat ives . It is understood that copying or pub l ica t ion of th is thes is for f inanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my wri t ten permission. Department of Graduate Studies The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date O c t o b e r 1Q81 ABSTRACT The focus of t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n was on c l i e n t s ' r e a c t i o n s to the Drop-In E d u c a t i o n a l B r o k e r i n g s e r v i c e s of the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Women's Resources Centre. In order to assess the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of the Centre i n meeting c l i e n t s ' needs, a.combination of q u a l i t a t i v e and q u a n t i t a t i v e methodology was employed. A q u e s t i o n n a i r e was developed and t e s t e d , and mailed to 215 people who had r e c e i v e d brokering s e r v i c e s between January and June of 1980. S i x t y - s i x q u e s t i o n n a i r e s were returned, f o r a response rate of 30%. In a d d i t i o n , 27 of the respondents were p e r s o n a l l y i n t e r v i e w e d two to f i v e months a f t e r completing the q u e s t i o n n a i r e . The study went beyond i n q u i r i n g about s a t i s f a c t i o n s with s e r v i c e to examine r e s u l t s of c l i e n t s ' a s s o c i a t i o n s with the Centre, i n c l u d i n g a c t i o n s taken, a f f e c t i v e outcomes, and l i f e s t y l e changes. The f i r s t stage of the s t a t i s t i c a l a n a l y s i s r e s u l t e d i n frequency t a b l e s . Comments on the open-ended qu e s t i o n s were analyzed f o r content as were the 27 i n t e r v i e w p r o t o c o l s . These f i n d i n g s as w e l l as the i n t e r v i e w e r ' s p e r c e p t i o n s and judgements supplement the s t a t i s t i c a l a n a l y s i s / D e t a i l e d f i n d i n g s about c l i e n t s ' c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , reasons f o r seeking out the s e r v i c e , r a t i n g s of s a t i s f a c t i o n and h e l p f u l n e s s , needs, problems and outcomes are r e p o r t e d and d i s c u s s e d . R e l a t i o n s h i p s among c l i e n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , p e r c e p t i o n s of s e r v i c e and outcomes are r e p o r t e d and a f o r m u l a t i o n about c l i e n t empowerment and achievement of access to l e a r n i n g / e d u c a t i o n a l , c a r e e r / v o c a t i o n a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s i s presented. The e d u c a t i o n a l b r o k e r i n g approach, as p r a c t i c e d by the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia was judged to be an e f f e c t i v e , worthwhile and appropriate way to meet the Centre's goals at t h i s time in i t ' s continuing development. Refinements in the d e f i n i t i o n s of the phenomenon of readiness for learning, c l i e n t empowerment and the educational brokering process resulted from insights gained by analyzing the q u a l i t a t i v e and quantitative findings. The hypothesis which emerged from t h i s investigation i s : Educational Brokering services, offered in a supportive atmosphere and within the context of l i f e planning can f a c i l i t a t e access for individuals to . the career/vocational and educational/learning networks in the community. This i s dependent upon two factors: • ( 1.) The individual c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which the c l i e n t brings to the experience; and, (2) Strategies of the service which enhance the c l i e n t ' s contribution. Furthermore, a t h i r d factor, the external aspects of the c l i e n t ' s situation and the influence of society as a whole, play a mediating r o l e . A model of access depicting the interactions of these three factors within the context of the s o c i a l milieu i s presented. The study confirms the observations of other investigations that adults learning needs have more instrumental and contingent rather than i n t r i n s i c value and, that the counselling component is a c r u c i a l aspect of the brokering service. Implications of the findings of t h i s study for adult education and the educational brokering approach are presented. F i n a l recommendations for further investigation are included. The study demonstrates a methodology for investigating a service-oriented approach to adult education in a f i e l d s e tting. It also provides information and insights about adult learning and i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p to career and l i f e s t y l e needs. iv CONTENTS Abstract ' . . . i i L i s t Of Tables .vi L i s t Of Figures . v i i Acknowledgements v i i i CHAPTER I - THE PROBLEM • 1 Statement Of Problem 4 Focus Of The Study 7 Purpose Of The Study 10 Significance Of The Study 11 CHAPTER II - REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE 13 Educational Brokering 13 Women And Access 23. Summary • • • • 30 CHAPTER I I I - METHODOLOGY , . . 31 Overview Of The Evaluation Rationale And Strategy 31 Design Of The Study 40 Instrument Development 44 The Analytic Approach 47. CHAPTER IV - RESULTS - PART I THE Women's Resources Centre - ONE MODEL OF EDUCATIONAL BROKERING 49 The Clients 50 Discussion And Recommendations 59 Reasons For V i s i t i n g 61 Discussion And Recommendations .66 Readiness •• • •• 6 ^ A Women's Centre 69 Effectiveness Of Services In Meeting C l i e n t s ' Needs .... 73 Satis f a c t i o n With The Drop-In Service 74 Overall Satisfaction 76 Reactions To Goals 77 Specific Needs For Information And Assistance .... 85 Connecting Needs To Resources 88 Discussion And Recommendations 108 A c c e s s i b i l i t y 109 Interaction With The Staff 111 Information And Referral 116 Connecting Needs To Resources 123 Impacts Of Association • 128 Outcomes: Actions, Plans, General Improvements ...128 Affective Outcomes 131 Problems 132 Connecting Outcomes To The Association With The Centre 136 The Larger Context Of The Women's Lives 138 Clients' Endorsement Of The Centre 150 The Last Word - Doorknobbers .- ...151 Discussion And Recommendations .153 Affective Outcomes 155 The Group Services 157 Personal Networking 160 Women's Issues 160 Financial Information And Assistance 162 The L i f e Planning Focus 163 V CHAPTER V - RESULTS - PART II EDUCATIONAL BROKERING AND ADULT LEARNING 170 Stage II A n a l y s i s - 63 Cases 170 Stage II A n a l y s i s - 27 Cases 183 D i s c u s s i o n 194 CHAPTER VI - CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS, LIMITATIONS, FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS 197 Conclusio n s .. 199 I m p l i c a t i o n s 204 L i m i t a t i o n s 205 F i n a l Recommendations ...206 C o n t r i b u t i o n Of The Study ...209 B i b l i o g r a p h y 212 Appendix A Phase I Qu e s t i o n n a i r e 218 Appendix B Phase II Interview Schedule 225 Appendix C C l i e n t s ' Reasons For V i s i t i n g . , 235 Appendix D S a t i s f a c t i o n s And D i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s 241 Appendix E Reactions To Goals 244 Appendix F The Context Of The Women's L i v e s ... 248 v i LIST OF TABLES 1. Summary Of Educational Learning Needs Perceived by Learners And Providers 25 2. Barriers To Education/Learning Perceived By Women .... 27 3. Biodemographic Characteristics Of Respondents ........ 54 4. Occupations Of Respondents 54 5. Income Levels Of Respondents 55 6. A Comparison Of Global Judgements Of Wellbeing ...... . 56 7. Cli e n t s ' S a t i s f a ction With "Drop-in" Services 75 8. Reactions To Goals 79 9. Meeting Needs For Information And Assistance , 86 10. Results Attributed To Cl i e n t s ' Association with The Women's Resources Centre 128 11. Affective Outcomes 132 12. Problems In Moving Ahead With Plans ..133 13. Intercorrelations Between Ratings Of Sa t i s f a c t i o n And Helpfulness, Outcomes, Number Of Problems And Feelings About L i f e As A Whole 173 14. Correlations Among Ratings Of Helpfulness Of Services and Approaches And Their Correlations With Outcomes And Overall Satisfaction 184 15. Crosstabulations Between Networking E f f e c t s , "In-Transition" State And Number Of Results 190 v i i LIST OF FIGURES 1. S t a t i s t i c a l l y S i g n i f i c a n t Relationships Between Ratings Of Service, Outcomes And Clients' Characteristics 171 2. S t a t i s t i c a l l y S i g n i f i c a n t Relationships Between Ratings Of Service, Outcomes And Clients' Characteristics. 185 3. Interacting Aspects Of Access 201 v i i i Acknowledgements "We are midwives to each other." Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy The women who completed questionnaires spoke for themselves and their s i l e n t s i s t e r s . Those who participated in personal interviews taught me about the "counselling of equals". We learned from each other. Their names have been changed to insure their privacy but their statements are their own. The administrative staff of the Women's Resources Centre, Anne Ironside and Ruth S i g a l , offered support, encouragement and ideas. The volunteer-associates welcomed me, accepted my comings and goings and shared their insights. The members of my thesis committee provided ongoing support and guidance and promoted my se l f - d i r e c t e d learning. Previous work by Dr. William Toombs pointed out the p o s s i b l i t i e s and influenced the di r e c t i o n of thi s study. His continuing interest and assistance was invaluable. This project was a collaborative e f f o r t among us a l l . 1 CHAPTER I THE PROBLEM The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Women's Resources Centre i s engaged in an educational endeavor which represents one of the major educational innovations of the past decade. This d i r e c t i o n is based on an expanded concept of the purpose of learning. No longer is education seen as only a s o c i a l i z a t i o n process of childhood. Learning i s now seen to be one means by which individuals come to understand, decide and act. on changes in the surrounding world as well as changes in the l i f e space of each person. (Toombs & Croyle, 1977, p. 1 ) During the late s i x t i e s and seventies there was a renewed interest in the goal of l i f e l o n g learning and l i f e l o n g education throughout the world (Lowe, 1975). Defining the phenomenon of learning beyond school was a major task during the early seventies and constituted the f i r s t stage in coming to terms with t h i s formulation of how learning and l i f e i n teract. A second stage, i d e n t i f y i n g and s t i p u l a t i n g learning needs of adults is s t i l l with us. The t h i r d stage, development of systems at a l l levels to s a t i s f y these needs and interests i s the current focus and that of the future. During each of these stages, adult educators have been active in several ways. For example, considerable attention has been focused on examining p a r t i c i p a t i o n (and non-participation) in adult education and adult learning. Recently, that focus has been sharpened and, the task of f a c i l i t a t i n g equitable access to 2 opportunities has become a p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant one. The concensus seems to be that there i s a need to link adult learners to appropriate learning resources. The educational brokering approach, u t i l i z e d by the Women's Resources Centre, i s an important element in the li n k i n g process and i s becoming a widespread approach. Referring to the information and advisement service which was the focus of his c l i e n t - r e a c t i o n study, Toombs notes: The Lifelong Learning Centre i s at the forefront of ef f o r t s that aim at developing ways to id e n t i f y , c l a r i f y , inform, and support the learning decisions of adult l i f e whether they be connected .with further education or with a career modification. (Toombs and Croyle, 1977, p.4) Pri n c i p l e s and practices which emerge from these endeavors w i l l be valuable in shaping public policy and personal under-standing. This w i l l , in turn, provide guidance and support to organizations that provide educational services for adult learners. Women, as a group of adult learners, represent a unique challenge. Because of their child-bearing and chil d - r e a r i n g role and because of h i s t o r i c a l attitudes towards their p a r t i c i p a t i o n in society, women are confronted with barriers to the educational and vocational systems (Ottawa, 1970). Changes in society today including a s h i f t in women's expectations about their l i v e s , decreased births and labour shortages as the economy expands, a l l have implications for educators. Women's access programs and services are needed to overcome the effects of women's i s o l a t i o n and lack of information about educational opportunities. According to Diana Ironside of the 3 O n t a r i o I n s t i t u t e f o r Studie s i n Education, When UBC's Centre f o r Continuing Education f i r s t began to take an i n t e r e s t i n p r o v i d i n g s p e c i a l resources f o r women l e a r n e r s , i t s s t a f f d i d not recognize the profound i n f l u e n c e that women's programs would l i k e l y have on a d u l t education i t s e l f i n the l a t e 70's and 80's. Such an i n f l u e n c e i s recognized now by l e a d i n g Canadian a d u l t education t h e o r i s t s and p r a c t i t i o n e r s . ( I r o n s i d e , 1980, p. 1) Thi s study focuses on women and t h e i r needs, f a c t o r s which a f f e c t t h e i r access to the l e a r n i n g or e d u c a t i o n a l and care e r or v o c a t i o n a l networks i n our s o c i e t y and, on the approach u t i l i z e d to f a c i l i t a t e t h i s access by the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Women's Resources Centre. In doing so, i t s purpose i s to provide i n f o r m a t i o n about the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of the s e r v i c e , from the p o i n t of view of the women who use i t , and some i n s i g h t s i n t o how t h e i r a s s o c i a t i o n with the Centre a f f e c t e d t h e i r l i v e s . F i n d i n g s and i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r f u t u r e p l a n n i n g are presented. T h i s study i s part of an ongoing process of e v a l u a t i o n of the Centre f o r purposes of d e c i s i o n making and funding. At the out s e t , i t should be s t a t e d that although the focus i s on the needs and i n t e r e s t s of women, t h i s does not dis c o u n t the needs of other disadvantaged groups i n our s o c i e t y nor does i t imply that men, as a group, are not a l s o disadvantaged i n other ways. Even though the s i t u a t i o n f o r women i s unique and s o l u t i o n s and s e r v i c e s need to be t a i l o r e d to t h e i r needs, the model on which the Women's Resources Centre operates, i n c l u d i n g e d u c a t i o n a l b r o k e r i n g and peer c o u n s e l l i n g , may be a p p r o p r i a t e f o r other endeavors as w e l l . The f i n d i n g s r e p o r t e d here and t h e i r i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r s e r v i c e are r e l e v a n t to other s i m i l a r types of s e t t i n g s and a broad range of needs. T h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of how a women's access 4 c e n t r e operates to a s s i s t c l i e n t s to gain more c o n t r o l over the d i r e c t i o n of t h e i r l i v e s , the r e a c t i o n s of the c l i e n t s to t h i s s e r v i c e and the i m p l i c a t i o n s d e r i v e d , w i l l be of i n t e r e s t to a l l those concerned with implementing the concept of l i f e l o n g l e a r n i n g i n our s o c i e t y . The approach which i s examined and the f a c t o r s which i n f l u e n c e i t s e f f e c t i v e n e s s i n a s s i s t i n g people to r e a l i z e t h e i r p o t e n t i a l , whatever t h e i r a s p i r a t i o n s and d i r e c t i o n s might be, can c o n t r i b u t e towards a b e t t e r understanding of the r o l e of these s e r v i c e s i n a d u l t l e a r n i n g and development. Statement of Problem Adult education has become an e l i t i s t endeavour. I t has been found that the "have-nots", the low income, e d u c a t i o n a l l y disadvantaged, m a r g i n a l l y employed p o p u l a t i o n s , are not the p r i n c i p a l p a r t i c i p a n t s i n c o n t i n u i n g education and t r a i n i n g or c l i e n t s of community support systems f o r l i f e s t r u c t u r e and caree r t r a n s i t i o n s ( P a l t r i d g e and Regan, 1978). B a r r i e r s to p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a d u l t education have come to be seen as c o n s i s t i n g of a v a r i e t y of i n t e r a c t i n g i n t e r n a l and e x t e r n a l f a c t o r s (McClosky, 1968). E f f o r t s to e x p l a i n these b a r r i e r s have i n c l u d e d a focus on the i n t e r a c t i o n betweeen pe r s o n a l needs and s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e ( M i l l e r , 1967), p a r t i c i p a n t / i n s t i t u t i o n incongruence (Boshier, 1973), and c o s t (Benson and Hodgkinson, 1979). Demands f o r the d i s m a n t l i n g of b a r r i e r s impeding access to education have been made by those l i k e I l l i c h (1970) and F r e i r e (1972) who seek to discourage the s o c i a l apathy which i n h i b i t s p a r t i c i p a t i o n . E d u c a t i o n a l 5 entitlement has been promoted by UNESCO (Faure, 1972) and OECD (1975). Educational Brokering i s an approach being increasingly u t i l i z e d to connect potential adult learners to appropriate learning resources. Some, l i k e P a t r i c i a Cross (1978), f e e l that brokering services and educational information centres constitute a missing link which w i l l help close the gaps between potential learners and learning opportunities and between the educational "haves" and "have nots". Jacobson (1978) surveyed 350 centers which provide educational and career guidance for adults and found that at least a t h i r d of the c l i e n t s were long-term unemployed, a far greater p a r t i c i p a t i o n by the "have nots" than Paltridge.reported. Whether the task i s to attrac t a higher proportion of the educationally disadvantaged, remove barriers to p a r t i c i p a t i o n in adult education or, f a c i l i t a t e adult learning in general, the emergence of a c t i v i t i e s representing the t h i r d stage r e f l e c t s increasing responsiveness to adult learning needs and interests (Cross, 1978). A host of "would-be" self directed learners are requesting assistance in their e f f o r t s (Gordon and Peters, 1974; Tough, 1978; Peterson and H e f f e r l i n , 1975). The need seems to be for more and better information on educational opportunities and a wider range of counselling services than i s now usually provided (Cross and Zusman, 1978). The emergence of brokering services represents a response to these needs as well. According to Cross, "One aspect of ' the l i n k i n g function i s already being performed by a service which i s becoming increasingly e f f e c t i v e and widespread - that of educational brokering" (1979, p.13). 6 Educatonal brokering, which involves the c o l l e c t i o n of information about adult learning opportunities and i t s e f f e c t i v e dissemination through counselling, r e f e r r a l and advocacy services, has been described by Heffernan, Macy, and Vickers (1976) and has implications for ameliorating the embarassing p a r t i c i p a t i o n problem in adult education. This point . i s emphasized by Cross. My personal conviction ... i s that brokering services and Education Information Centers constitute our greatest hope for shaping the learning society to serve the needs of a democratic society. They are, in fact, the missing link that w i l l help close the gaps between the educational "haves" and "have nots". (1979, p. 11) Par t i c i p a t i o n in educational opportunities by women during the l a s t few years has increased dramatically. Between 1969 and 1975 the number of women p a r t i c i p a t i n g in learning a c t i v i t i e s increased 45%, compared to an 18% increase for men (Boaz,l978). By 1978, women constituted 54% of the non-vocational students in B r i t i s h Columbia colleges and i n s t i t u t e s (Zimmerman and Trew, 1979). An increase in the number of part time women learners who tend to be older than t r a d i t i o n a l f u l l time students has been noted. For those interested in encouraging more equitable p a r t i c i p a t i o n by women in educational opportunities and the career/employment networks in our society, these trends are encouraging. A closer look at these s t a t i s t i c s however, shows that these women belong to the same e l i t e group of 20 to 40 year old, white, highly educated, upper middle class group which educational i n s t i t u t i o n s have been serving. Even though women represent the largest increase in p a r t i c i p a t i o n in adult 7 education by a minority group (Cross, 1979), th i s phenomenon has involved primarily white women with college degrees and family incomes of $25,000 a year and over, reinforcing the picture of adult education as e l i t i s t and becoming more so. Access to learning opportunites for other women i s s t i l l needed. According to Zimmerman and Trew, ...the increase in women's pa r t i c i p a t i o n does not necessarily mean that their heeds are being met, or that s u f f i c i e n t access to post-secondary i n s t i t u t i o n s i s available to women who are potential learners. (1979, p.15) In examining the barriers i n h i b i t i n g women from continuing their educaton W i l l i s concluded that, ...while there has been a great p r o l i f e r a t i o n of educational programs geared to women, there has been v i r t u a l l y no change in the provision of educational services necessary in order for a woman to access learning, in the f i r s t place. (1977, p.4) The concept of educational brokering represents a fresh and exciting approach to the old problem of f a c i l i t a t i n g access to learning and career opportunities for men and women in a variety of walks of l i f e . Because brokering services have potential for meeting these needs, an examination of their emerging forms and the e f f e c t s of their services i s of importance for the f i e l d of adult education and i t s increased understanding of adult learning. Focus of the Study The focus of thi s study i s the interface between a women's resources centre and the concept of educational brokering. Because both are in f l e d g l i n g states of development, the interplay between them can have implications for the future of 8 each. According to P a t r i c i a Cross, one of the three general functions of an educational brokering operation i s : F a c i l i t a t i n g access for underserved groups and advocacy for the special needs of adult learners because they are adults. (Cross, 1978, p.11) The phrase, because they are adults refers to the fact that the educational system has been youth-oriented, and for the most part, inappropriate to the needs of those who have adult s o c i a l roles. S i m i l a r l y , the overall function of a women's access centre may be described as: F a c i l i t a t i n g access to educational or learning and vocational or career opportunities, a process that includes assessment, advisement and advocacy for the special needs of women learners because they are women. The f i r s t and foremost purpose of a women's access centre i s to address the special and unique needs of thi s disadvantaged group. The way in which the Women's Resources Centre presently operates i s based on thi s emerging educational paradigm which emphasizes self-directedness. The services are intended to f a c i l i t a t e the linking of women to appropriate learning resources. Since i t was established in 1972, when i t was located on the t h i r d floor of the Vancouver Public Library, the Women's Resources Centre has grown and changed. From i t s f l e d g l i n g role as a community place for women "to think about their l i v e s " , the Centre has evolved to i t s present form. It now consists of an i educational brokering service, offered within the context of life - p l a n n i n g and supplemented by a variety of other individual and group programs and services. This natural maturation process was nurtured by people who continually allowed the 9 Centre's s e r v i c e s to change and be r e d i r e c t e d i n response to community needs. T h i s e v o l u t i o n , the present philosophy, s e r v i c e s , programs, f a c i l i t i e s , s t a f f i n g , c l i e n t s , and p o s s i b l e f u t u r e d i r e c t i o n s , have been thoroughly d e s c r i b e d . A recent report of a study i n which the Women's Resources Centre was one of four models f o r c o u n s e l l i n g s e r v i c e s i n three c o u n t r i e s under i n v e s t i g a t i o n s t a t e s : The uniqueness of the c e n t r e . . . d e r i v e s from the major emphasis i t p l a c e s on small group self-development programs and one-to-one l i f e p l a n n i n g i n t e r v i e w s and the major r o l e played i n the r e c e p t i o n , i n f o r m a t i o n -g i v i n g , r e f e r r a l and v o c a t i o n a l planning f u n c t i o n by the volunteer a s s o c i a t e s . The Women's Resources Centre e x i s t s to h e l p women change t h e i r l i v e s . I t f u n c t i o n s as an independent program, able to r e f e r c l i e n t s to any agencies or e d u c a t i o n a l programs that appear to meet c l i e n t s ' needs without any pressure to r e f e r to UBC, i t s parent body or to act as a recruitment device to a t t r a c t students into. UBC programs. While WRC does not e x h i b i t a f e m i n i s t o r i e n t a t i o n p a r t i c u l a r l y , nor " l a y on" i t s c l i e n t s a f e m i n i s t ideaology, i t s philosophy and s e r v i c e s are based f i r m l y on f e m i n i s t p r i n c i p l e s ; h o p e f u l l y the s t a f f and vo l u n t e e r s demonstrate these p r i n c i p l e s i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n with each other and with c l i e n t s . The c e n t r e t r i e s to av o i d a c r i s i s i n t e r v e n t i o n image; i t promotes education as the means of changing women's l i v e s , using l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s , i n f o r m a t i o n , l i f e p l a n n i n g , v o c a t i o n a l c o u n s e l l i n g and advocacy, a l l as s t r a t e g i e s of change. ( I r o n s i d e , 1980, p. 6) Th i s study i s intended to r e f l e c t c l i e n t s ' r e a c t i o n s to the cu r r e n t focus d e s c r i b e d above. However, change and complexity always outrun our powers of d e s c r i p t i o n and even as these f i n d i n g s are presented, the s e r v i c e s of the c e n t r e continue to evolve d a i l y . In t h i s study the focus i s on the core b r o k e r i n g s e r v i c e s of the c e n t r e , o f f e r e d by the dr o p - i n s e r v i c e r a t h e r than on the 10 program component. This service i s described as follows: The drop-in centre focuses on information-giving and as s i s t i n g c l i e n t s to begin to identif y their l i f e and career objectives and to select needed resources or learning opportunities in the community. Since most adults f e e l , i n i t i a l l y at least, that their need i s for information to help them select suitable opportunities rather than in depth psychological counselling, the emphasis in the drop-in i s on welcoming c l i e n t s . Selected and trained volunteers greet new c l i e n t s and perform as peer counsellors and brokers, helping women to ide n t i f y their needs and use the information f i l e s and vocational planning materials. Aware of many learning and t r a i n i n g opportunities in the community, the volunteer many help a c l i e n t match her needs with available resources or she may refer a c l i e n t to the l i f e planning service, the vocational planning centre, or to an educational program or workshop in the centre or elsewhere. (Ironside, 1980, p. 7) Clie n t s ' reactions to this service, including s a t i s f a c t i o n with information and assistance received, and impacts resulting from association with the Women's Resources Centre are the basis of the results described and discussed. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study i s to assess the effectiveness of the educational brokering services of the University of B r i t i s h Columbia Women's Resources Centre in providing access for women to educational or learning and vocational or career opportunities. S p e c i f i c a l l y , the following questions were explored: 1. Who were the cli e n t s ? 2. What were their reasons for seeking out the service? 3. How e f f e c t i v e have the services been in meeting their needs? and, 4. What impacts did the c l i e n t s a t t r i b u t e to the i r association 11 with the services? The f i r s t major purpose of the study was to demonstrate how a brokering service may be evaluated by conducting a c l i e n t -reaction study of thi s p a r t i c u l a r Centre. The second major purpose of thi s project was to search for features and cha r a c t e r i s t i c s of thi s operation which may provide guidance to other similar types of services. Significance of the Study In addition to providing p r a c t i c a l information and recommendations for the operation of the Women's Resources Centre, the significance of thi s study can be seen in terms of i t s potential contribution to the growing body of knowledge rel a t i n g to the practice of educatonal brokering. Since t h i s i s a comparitively new approach, there i s a need for "in-depth analyses of the operations and impacts of 'learning f a c i l i t a t i o n services' l i k e educational brokering programs" (NCEB , Mar/Apr 1979). Hopefully, this study w i l l contribute to an increased understanding of the relationship between the concept of educational brokering and the services of women's access centres. Furthermore, by focusing attention on t h i s approach as a p r a c t i c a l and ef f e c t i v e way of f a c i l i t a t i n g access for women in this p a r t i c u a l setting, the study may encourage others to investigate i t s potential for addressing the problems of providing equal opportunity for p a r t i c i p a t i o n in l i f e l o n g learning for a variety of adults. Canadian adult educators, l i k e their American and European counterparts, may be encouraged 12 to view the p a r t i c i p a t i o n problem in terms of access and seriously consider implementing the concept of educational brokering. It may very well be "...the single most important link in addressing the joint concerns of equal opportunity and the e f f e c t i v e u t i l i z a t i o n of learning resources" (Cross, 1979, p.13) . 13 CHAPTER II REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE The review of l i t e r a t u r e w i l l be considered under two major headings: educational brokering, and women's needs for access programs and services. The l i t e r a t u r e pertaining to evaluation of educational brokering w i l l be considered in Chapter I I I . Educational Brokering The concept of educational brokering has been making an impact in the United States over the past few years. The concluding statement in the f i n a l report on l i f e l o n g learning submitted to Congress by the Assistant- Secretary for Education of Health, Education, and Welfare (1977), e n t i t l e d "Individuals, Learning Opportunities and Public Policy: A Lifelong Learning Perspective", states, Because these services have potential for being learner-oriented and for servicing the needs of people of a l l ages, such 'brokering' services are p a r t i c u l a r l y encouraging for l i f e l o n g learning.... This i s an excellent example of an area which, without taking on a massive funding role, judicious support from the Federal government, with e f f e c t i v e dissemination to the community, could have a s i g n i f i c a n t impact na t i o n a l l y . Specific references to the brokering approach are made in this report in re l a t i o n to various c l i e n t groups and their needs. These included women, the aging, low income groups and minorites. The National Center for Educational Brokering B u l l e t i n (February, 1979) discussed the spread of the brokering idea and reported that of 302 organizations i d e n t i f i e d at that time, 131 were non-profit independent agencies supported by diverse 1 4 federal, state and/or private funding. Thirty of these were women's centers, designed s p e c i f i c a l l y for women returning to school or to the labour market. The educational information centre or brokering concept i s not purely a North American phenomenon. The f i r s t Annual Report of the Educational Guidance Gentre for Adults (Nov. 1978) in Ha t f i e l d , Hertfordshire, England, describes the beginnings and operation of a service similar to that of educational brokering. It i s also geared to the learning needs of adults within the context of their l i f e s ituations. The report states: The need for improved access to continuing education was recognized by the government sponsored Russell Report (Adult Education, A Plan for Development, 1973) and the Venables Report (The Open University Committee on Continuing Education, 1976). The Russell Report emphasised the value of an 'adequate information, service' which should contain three elements: - access to information on educational and c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s ; - ready contact with existing counselling services; - provision of an opportunity for the individual to c l a r i f y choices for himself through discussion with an adult education counsellor. (p.1) The services described closely resemble those emerging in North America. Defining Educational Brokering This comparatively new approach involves the c o l l e c t i o n of information about adult learning opportunities and i t s e f f e c t i v e dissemination through the counselling, r e f e r r a l , and advocacy programs of educational brokering services (Cross, 1 9 7 9 ) . A broker i s defined by Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary ( 1 9 7 7 ) as, "one who acts as an intermediary". The term educational brokering was coined by Heffernan, Macy, and Vickers ( 1 9 7 6 ) . They described the functions of the educational broker as: 15 - h e l p i n g c l i e n t d e f i n e g o a l s t h r o u g h s e l f - a s s e s s m e n t , v a l u e c l a r i f i c a t i o n , o c c u p a t i o n a l e x p l o r a t i o n , and l o n g - t e r m p l a n n i n g ; - h e l p i n g c l i e n t s e t o b j e c t i v e s f o r f u r t h e r e d u c a t i o n , t h r o u g h making d e c i s i o n s about needed competencies and/or c r e d e n t i a l s ; - h e l p i n g c l i e n t t o s e l e c t a p p r o p r i a t e l e a r n i n g e x p e r i e n c e s based on complete i n f o r m a t i o n about a l l a v a i l a b l e l e a r n i n g r e s o u r c e s ; - h e l p i n g c l i e n t g a i n a c c e s s t o a p p r o p r i a t e l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s t h r o u g h f a c i l i t a t i n g a d m i s s i o n , f i n a n c i a l a i d , r e c o g n i t i o n f o r p r i o r l e a r n i n g , and so on. ( C r o s s , 1978. p.10) These f u n c t i o n s have been s u p p o r t e d and expanded by v a r i o u s study groups making reacommendations t o s t a t e , and f e d e r a l a g e n c i e s about the a c c e s s of a d u l t s t o l e a r n i n g r e s o u r c e s . C r o s s (1978) c o l l e c t e d 44 s e t s of recommendations and developed a c l a s s i f i c a t i o n scheme. The major headings are as f o l l o w s : I . I n f o r m a t i o n A. C r e a t i o n of a d a t a bank of l e a r n i n g r e s o u r c e s B. D i s s e m i n a t i o n t o h e l p people l o c a t e a p p r o p r i a t e l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s C. A d v e r t i s i n g and p r o m o t i o n a l e f f o r t s t o a t t r a c t l e a r n e r s t o e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s I I . C o u n s e l l i n g S e r v i c e s A. C r e a t i o n of comprehensive c o u n s e l l i n g s e r a v i c e s B. Making c o u n s e l l i n g s e r v i c e s e a s i l y a c c e s s i b l e t o a d u l t s C. Development of mechanisms and/or c o u n s e l l i n g s e r v i c e s t o match l e a r n e r needs w i t h l e a r n i n g r e s o u r c e s D. Development of c o u n s e l l o r t r a i n i n g programs I I I . P r o v i s i o n of Support S e r v i c e s IV. A c c e s s and Advocay A. Improving a c c e s s f o r everyone B . S p e c i a l r e c r u i t m e n t e f f o r t s f o r u n d e r s e r v e d groups C. Advocacy f o r a c c e s s t o e d u c a t o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s D. C r e a t i n g more f l e x i b l e a d m i s s i o n s c r i t e r i a and p r o c e d u r e s V. F i n a n c i a l A i d A. E s t a b l i s h i n g e q u i t y i n f e e s B. E v a l u a t i n g p r e v i o u s l e a r n i n g f o r c r e d i t C. P r o v i d i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r c r e d i t - b y - e x a m i n a t i o n 1 6 There seems t o be some c o n s i s t e n c y i n the way i n which p r a c t i t i o n e r s and p l a n n e r s a r e c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g the l i n k i n g p r o c e s s and t h r e e g e n e r a l f u n c t i o n s have been i d e n t i f i e d : 1 . F a c i l i t a t i n g a c c e s s t o the a p p r o p r i a t e l e a r n i n g r e s o u r c e s , a p r o c e s s t h a t i n c l u d e s a c c e s s f o r u n d e r s e r v e d groups and advocacy f o r the s p e c i a l needs of a d u l t l e a r n e r s because they a r e a d u l t s . 2. P r o v i d i n g i n f o r m a t i o n t o a d u l t l e a r n e r s about a v a i l a b l e l e a r n i n g r e s o u r c e s and about themselves and t h e i r s t r e n g t h s and weaknesses. 3 . P r o v i d i n g c o u n s e l l i n g and r e f e r r a l s e r v i c e s d e s i g n e d t o a s s i s t l e a r n e r s i n p l a n n i n g and match l e a r n e r needs t o a p p r o p r i a t e l e a r n i n g r e s o u r c e s . ( C r o s s , 1 9 7 8 , p. 11) I m p l i c a t i o n s of E d u c a t i o n a l B r o k e r i n g The advantages of employing e d u c a t i o n a l b r o k e r i n g s e r v i c e s a r e c i t e d by C r o s s ( 1 9 7 9 ) a s : .V. A p p r o p r i a t e l y l o c a t e d , e d u c a t i o n a l b r o k e r i n g s e r v i c e s b e n e f i t the l e s s advantaged -segments of s o c i e t y somewhat more than today's r e l a t i v e l y advantaged a d u l t s , who o b v i o u s l y a l r e a d y know about e x i s t i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s . Thus b r o k e r i n g s e r v i c e s b e g i n t o a d d r e s s the c u r r e n t i n e q u i t i e s i n a d u l t e d u c a t i o n . 2. I n f o r m a t i o n and r e f e r r a l c e n t e r s h e l p c o l l e g e s and o t h e r e d u c a t i o n a l p r o v i d e r s u t i l i z e t h e i r r e s o u r c e s more f u l l y , w h i l e g e t t i n g a c r o s s the message t h a t the l e a r n i n g s o c i e t y c o n s i s t s of a r i c h v a r i e t y of l e a r n i n g o p t i o n s p r o v i d e d by s c h o o l s and c o l l e g e s , i n d u s t r y and u n i o n s , c h u r c h e s and YMCA's, the m i l i t a r y and the media, and anyone e l s e who has knowledge t o s h a r e . 3 . Well-managed comprehensive i n f o r m a t i o n systems of a v a i l a b l e e d u c a t o n a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s h e l p s t a t e and community p l a n n e r s p r o v i d e f o r the needs of a d u l t l e a r n e r s , w h i l e r e d u c i n g o v e r l a p and waste. (p.12) Re s e a r c h on E d u c a t i o n a l B r o k e r i n g P r i o r t o 1 9 7 4 , few s t u d i e s had been made of the needs f o r , o p e r a t i o n s o f , and impacts of b r o k e r i n g - t y p e s e r v i c e s . The e a r l i e s t major s e t of d e s i g n and a c t i v i t i e s r e p o r t s were tho s e g e n e r a t e d i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the N a t i o n a l I n s t i t u t e of E d u c a t i o n 17 - sponsored Career Education Project in Providence, completed in 1975, and the follow-up studies' by Arbeiter, Aslanian, et a l (1976). The f i r s t substantial agency self-study was completed at the Regional Learning Service (RLS) in Syracuse, in 1977. Clien t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , use of services, s a t i s f a c t i o n s , decisions made and counselling impacts of the f i r s t three years of RSL operations were the p r i n c i p a l focus. Early in 1978, a doctoral diss e r t a t i o n focused on educational brokering. Helen L. Harkness in texas, surveyed 135 programs in the NCEB Directory of Educational Information  and Counseling Services. This work examined organizational development variables and problems encountered by new agencies. Three issues emerged as central to program success: f l e x i b i l i t y and responsiveness in service, maintaining c l a r i t y of purpose while meeting diverse needs, and securing stable and dependable funding. Other studies done during t h i s period were either other forms of agency self-study eg. the Regional Counseling Center of South-eastern Connecticut, or outside evaluators' reports of federal projects, l i k e the Educational Opportunities Center Studies and yearly reports, or the evaluation study of the Alabama Open Learning Program (AOLP). Begining in about 1976 however, a number of independent researchers began to examine brokering-type operations in a more systematic way, either via case-study formats or through large-scale surveys of the f i e l d , with an eye toward evaluation and analysis rather than simple description. According to an analysis of over 30 state studies of l i f e l o n g learning,the patterns of needs and p a r t i c i p a t i o n were quite consistent from 18 study to study (Cross, 1978). Cross pointed out that i t was time to move on from descriptive studies - demographic variables, learning interests, barriers, resources available -to in-depth analyses of the operations and impacts of learning f a c i l i t a t i o n services l i k e educational brokering programs. The following four examples represent attempts to meet the need for greater depth in the study of brokering-type operations. The MAUT-Bayesian Project (Murphy, Piotroski and P i n t r i c h , 1978) The two purposes of this project were to test the multi-at t r i b u t e U t i l i t y Inventory and to develop the appropriate Bayesian s t a t i s t i c a l analysis. Data was c o l l e c t e d from f i v e educational brokerage centres funded by FIPSE on agency goals, alternative means for achieving goals, goal achievement c r i t e r i a and their related measures. The evaluation strategy was to involve as many persons as possible connected with the agency decision-making at di f f e r e n t levels in order to correlate actual planning and evaluation processes. The MAUT-Bayesian strategy was found to be ef f e c t i v e in helping staff c l a r i f y goals and specify measures of performance. It provided a means for ongoing assessments of agency a c t i v i t i e s . Substantive findings of the project indicated that there was strong agreement on agency goals and that goal attainment, measured by site-common and s i t e - s p e c i f i c measures was high. Although the means of attaining goals were varied, the f u l f i l l m e n t of the ov e r a l l array of FIPSE goals of brokering was quite good. The most important goals expressed were: Providing services based on individuals' needs (educational, occupational, personal) rather than on i n s t i t u t i o n s ' needs; Enables individuals to take advantage of the entire range of post-secondary education and . career options in a serious way 19 throughout l i f e ; Providing comprehensive information about options and provides r e f e r r a l services; Provides c l i e n t advocacy; Fosters increased access to work and jobs, recreational a c t i v i t i e s . The f i n a l report also includes an exhaustive l i s t i n g of s p e c i f i c performance measures and measures and techniques for assessment of agency goal achievement. The Mid-Career Change Project (Paltridge and Regan, 1978) This project surveyed over 1000 students in mid-career t r a n s i t i o n who were involved in educational or training programs in seven f i e l d s i t e s - three r u r a l , three large urban and, one medium sized c i t y . Characteristics of persons in t r a n s i t i o n and the kinds of support services which they u t i l i z e d were the focus of the study. Career changers were found to be highly motivated and goal oriented. Most were working towards careers which would be more personally and professionally f u l f i l l i n g , better* paying and more secure. Over 40% were in the $20,000 or above income l e v e l , 74% were married; most were employed, occupationally mobile and o p t i m i s t i c . Thus, the "have-nots" -the low income, educationally disadvantaged, marginally-employed populations - were not the p r i n c i p a l participants in continuing education and training or c l i e n t s of the community support services for l i f e - s t r u c t u r e and career t r a n s i t i o n s . Four d i s t i n c t l y d i f f e r e n t forms of community organizations for providing career-change support services were found. They were: 1. Lay c i t i z e n councils who sought to develop counselling and information support services and to expand educational opportunities for adults; 2. Consortia of postsecondary i n s t i t u t i o n s which established cooperative educational programs and support services to a s s i s t mid-career changers; 3. Community service organizations which served as brokers between individuals and educational resources; 20 and, 4 . I n s t i t u t i o n a l l y - s p o n s o r e d e d u c a t i o n a l brokers which pro v i d e d career c o u n s e l l i n g and in f o r m a t i o n on community-wide e d u c a t i o n a l or t r a i n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s . The formats u t i l i z e d by these d i f f e r e n t s e r v i c e s i n c l u d e d : telephone, walk-in agencies, l i b r a r i e s , and programmed l e a r n i n g . Students were found to be best informed of career goals i n communities where " n e u t r a l or independent career c o u n s e l l i n g s e r v i c e s were a v a i l a b l e . Most, of the community-based support s e r v i c e s had f i n a n c i a l problems. None e x i s t e d s o l e l y on l o c a l l y - g e n e r a t e d income, c l i e n t fees or surcharges; most had to request p u b l i c support, p r i m a r i l y s t a t e tax funds. The s i n g l e f a c t o r which marked the s u r v i v a l c a p a c i t y of an agency was i t s a b i l i t y to gain p u b l i c funding support. Adult Career Advocates T r a i n i n g Program (Jacobson,1978) T h i s p r o j e c t surveyed 350 Centres which provide e d u c a t i o n a l and c a r e e r guidance f o r a d u l t s . The prime focus i n c l u d e d d e s c r i p t i o n of c l i e n t s and needs, l o c a l e s , s e r v i c e s , o r g a n i z a t i o n s , s t a f f i n g and funding, and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of s u c c e s s f u l or exemplary p r a c t i c e s . The f i n d i n g s on c l i e n t s were s i m i l a r to those of P a l t r i d g e . The t y p i c a l c l i e n t was a white woman under 45, most were i n t e r e s t e d i n employment-related i n f o r m a t i o n ; d i f f e r e n t income groups were served by d i f f e r e n t kinds of agencies (those earning under $5,000 were served by f e d e r a l agencies and school d i s t r i c t s , those earning between $5,000 and $10,000 were served by s o c i a l s e r v i c e agencies, community c o l l e g e s , c o n s o r t i a and l i b r a r i e s ; those earning over $10,000 use l i b r a r i e s , s e l f - h e l p or p r o f i t - m a k i n g a g e n c i e s . 21 Jacobson also found that at least a t h i r d of the c l i e n t s were long-term unemployed, a far greater p a r t i c i p a t i o n by the "have-nots" than Paltridge found. Public funds were received by 57% of the agencies. This was supplemented by private support and participant fees. Charges per c l i e n t were small; 58% did not charge at a l l ; 70% charged less than $5. Staff were found to be highly educated. Seventy percent of full-time s t a f f , 58% of part-time staff and 35% of volunteers had degrees beyond the B.A. Most had some prior counselling or human service work experience and were engaged in some form of inservice t r a i n i n g . Staff size and part-time/full-time composition varied widely. Eleven centres had no fu l l - t i m e r s , one had 54, most ( 8 1 % ) had six or le s s . Seventy-two centres had no part-timers, one had 100, and 37 reported having seven or less. Three problems areas were consistently c i t e d - funding, marketing and evalutation. It was f e l t that multi-funding sources must be coordinated i f centres are to provide services at no or low cost. An i n a b i l i t y to reach target populations and the use of ef f e c t i v e marketing s k i l l s to do so was seen as an essential a c t i v i t y . The d i f f i c u l t i e s of i n s t i t u t i n g e f f e c t i v e ongoing evaluation procedures was frequently c i t e d and the need for followup evaluation was emphasized. The Client Reaction Analysis (Toombs, 1977) was a study of the Lifelong Learning Center at the Public Library in Reading, Pennsylvania which provides information and counselling services to over 3000 persons a year. The study goes beyond demographic and descriptive variables to questions about c l i e n t s ' 22 s a t i s f a c t i o n with the services provided by two f u l l - t i m e professional staff (a l i b r a r i a n and a counsellor) and about actions taken as a result of their contact. Respondents reported high degrees of s a t i s f a c t i o n with the a c c e s s i b i l i t y of services, quality of information and rated their interaction with the s t a f f the most p o s i t i v e l y . A common cha r a c t e r i s t i c o f " c l i e n t s was found to be a "readiness" to take some kind of action and t h i s was thought to be related to job d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n and/or general discomfort with their l i f e s i tuations. Clients expressed appreciation for the time spent in counselling and the helpfulness of individual attention in their development of l i f e and work plans. Even in the short six-week follow-up period of Toombs' study, outcomes for c l i e n t s were noticeable. Of 155 respondents, 101 had taken some d e f i n i t e action that was in some way related to their association with the Lifelong Learning Center. S p e c i f i c changes mentioned were enrollment in educational programs, a new job, job upgrading, continuing search for job or college information and actual application to college as well as broadening l i f e i n t e r e s t s . Toombs' observations indicated that "Information about education and careers i s useful and i t s value i s multiplied by a counseling setting in which the user finds understanding, support and guidance for decisions that lead to action" (Toombs, 1977, p. 43). These four studies have been described in d e t a i l because they represent research methods currently being u t i l i z e d and provide findings about the effectiveness of the educational brokering approach. These have implications for the evaluation 23 of the services of the Women's Resources Centre and i t s impact on c l i e n t s , including the role of f a c i l i t a t i n g access for women to the educatonal/learning and career/vocational networks in our society. The evaluation strategy u t i l i z e d in thi s study i s based on such considerations and is described in Chapter I I I . Women and Access The l i t e r a t u r e pertaining to p a r t i c i p a t i o n in adult education, l i f e l o n g learning, s e l f - d i r e c t e d learning, and educational, brokering provides some insight into the learning needs of adults today and ideas about how these can be better met. Specific needs of women have also been alluded to. Because of their l i f e circumstances which may include c h i l d -bearing and child - r e a r i n g , women tend to be outside the educational and vocational systems as they are now constituted. Women encounter special problems in moving between family, student and work l i f e . L iterature discussing these d i f f i c u l t i e s and e f f o r t s aimed at ameliorating them w i l l be reviewed. The women's movement has been instrumental in pointing out instances of discriminatin against women and in increasing public awareness of society's past f a i l u r e s in meeting the needs of t h i s group. The Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada (1968) held special hearings throughout Canada and i n i t i a t e d forty special studies. The resulting report set forth four p r i n c i p l e s : Women should be free to choose whether or not to take employment outside t h e i r homes ... The care of children i s a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to be shared by the mother, the father and society.... 24 S o c i e t y has a r e s p o n s i b l i t y f o r women because of pregnancy and c h i l d b i r t h , and s p e c i a l treatment r e l a t e d to maternity w i l l always be necessary... In c e r t a i n areas women w i l l f o r an i n t e r i m p e r i o d r e q u i r e s p e c i a l treatment to overcome the adverse e f f e c t s of d i s c r i m i n a t o r y p r a c t i c e s . (p. x i i ) In a d d i t i o n , recommendation 83 was s p e c i f i c a l l y d i r e c t e d to ad u l t educators: We recommend that the pr o v i n c e s and t e r r i t o r i e s and a l l post-secondary e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s develop programmes to meet the s p e c i a l needs for c o n t i n u i n g education of women with f a m i l y r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . (p. 406) The changing r o l e of women has alre a d y had a dramatic impact on e d u c a t i o n a l i n t e r e s t and p a r t i c i p a t i o n . In the Uni t e d S t a t e s , between 1969 and 1975, the number of women l e a r n e r s i n c r e a s e d 45%, compared to an 18% i n c r e a s e f o r men (Boaz, 1978). Between a t h i r d and a h a l f of a l l American c o l l e g e s and u n i v e r s i t i e s o f f e r programs f o r n o n - t r a d i t i o n a l students, many of whom are women (Ruyle and Geirselman, 1974). As po i n t e d out e a r l i e r , the trend l o c a l l y i s s i m i l a r (Zimmerman and Trew, 1979). The l i m i t e d l i t e r a t u r e a v a i l a b l e p e r t a i n i n g to the e d u c a t i o n a l needs of women, e s p e c i a l l y the problems a s s o c i a t e d with l e a r n e r s r e t u r n i n g to sc h o o l , i n d i c a t e s that many of these needs are s t i l l unmet. A survey of programers a c r o s s Canada about t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n s of b a r r i e r s which women faced was conducted by W i l l i s i n 1977. The re t u r n s from B r i t i s h Columbia mentioned the f o l l o w i n g d i f f i c u l t i e s : 1. Lack of r e - t r a i n i n g and r e - e n t r y programs 2. Lack of l i f e • s k i l l s , value c l a r i f i c a t i o n and confidence b u i l d i n g courses 3. Lack of adequate c o u n s e l l i n g , c a r e e r guidance and ca r e e r 25 planning s e r v i c e s 4. Lack of f l e x i b l e hours f o r programs, i . e . part-time programs i n the day 5. Lack of adequate b a b y s i t t i n g and c h i l d care, or f i n a n c i a l help for same 6. Lack of f i n a n c i a l help for part-time students, and women on family b e n e f i t s 7. Lack of adequate information or co - o r d i n a t i o n of information, e s p e c i a l l y on education, women's employment, l e g i s l a t i o n a v a i l a b i l i t y of support s e r v i c e s 8. Lack of adequate career c o u n s e l l i n g i n p u b l i c school e s p e c i a l l y i n the area of n o n - t r a d i t i o n a l careers Several of these perceived b a r r i e r s (2,3,6,7) could be d i r e c t l y addressed by a brokering type of s e r v i c e and others (1,4,5) could be addressed i n d i r e c t l y by the advocacy, r o l e of a women's access centre. A d d i t i o n a l f i n d i n g s about perceptions of goals, needs and b a r r i e r s by lea r n e r s and pr o v i d e r s r e s u l t i n g from s i x other s t u d i e s which focused on d i s t i n c t sub-populations are summarized in Table 1 and 2. Although respondents c i t e d a v a r i e t y of goals and educational needs, b a r r i e r s commonly r e l a t e d to lack of support s e r v i c e s , f l e x i b i l i t y i n i n s t i t u t i o n a l o f f e r i n g s , lack of information and c o u n s e l l i n g and low self-esteem. These are shown i n Table 2. The r e l a t i o n s h p between s e l f -esteem, sex - r o l e o r i e n t a t i o n , and perceived spouse support f o r a return to school was explored by Rice (1969). She studied 60 mature women seeking c o n t i n u i n g education c o u n s e l l i n g , a d m i n i s t e r i n g measures of self-esteem, sex-role o r i e n t a t i o n and spouse support for a return to shool or work. Women who were low on self-esteem or n o n - t r a d i t i o n a l i n sex r o l e o r i e n t a t i o n p r o j e c t e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y greater instrumental spouse support upon 26 T a b l e 1 Summary of E d u c a t i o n a l / L e a r n i n g Needs P e r c e i v e d by L e a r n e r s and P r o v i d e r s E d u c a t i o n a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s and programs 1. Academic 1 2. C r e d i t and n o n - c r e d i t 1 3. P e r s o n a l development, s e l f - f u l f i l l m e n t , s e l f - i d e n t i t y s e l f -e s t e e m 1 , 2 , 3 , " , 5 4. Career and v o c a t i o n a l u p g r a d i n g 2 , 6 5. P r o f e s s i o n a l development 1 6. P r e p a r a t i o n f o r employment 6, c a r e e r c h a n g e 2 , and j o b r e - e n t r y 1 . 3 7. Study s k i l l s 2 , 3 , 6 Informat i o n 1. T r a i n i n g and r e t r a i n i n g programs" 2. Support s e r v i c e s 2 3. F i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e 2 , 3 , 6 C o u n s e l l i n g 1. L i f e , c a r e e r and e d u c a t i o n a l 6 2. Lack of c o n f i d e n c e and r o l e and f a m i l y c o n f l i c t s 5  Other 9 1. L i f e and c a r e e r p l a n n i n g 6 2. A c h i e v i n g independence 6 3. Involvement o u t s i d e the home 5 4. V o l u n t e e r work 5 5. A d m i s s i o n t o n o n - t r a d i t i o n a l o c c u p a t i o n a l c o u r s e s " 1 Community women not p r e s e n t l y p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n p o s t - s e c o n d a r y i n s t i t u t i o n s ( K r a k a u e r , 1976) 2 Mature urban s t u d e n t s ( S t e e l e , 1974) 3 R u r a l women w i t h l i m i t e d means ( R i c h a r d , 1976) " S o l e support mothers (Vander V o e t , 1978) 5 Women l e a r n e r s p r e s e n t l y a t t e n d i n g p o s t - s e c o n d a r y i n s t i t u t i o n s (Ladan and Crooks, 1974) 6 Women l e a r n e r s ' p e r c e i v e d b a r r i e r s (Brandenberg, 1974) t h e i r r e t u r n t o s c h o o l than d i d women who were h i g h on s e l f -esteem or t r a d i t i o n a l i n sex r o l e o r i e n t a t i o n . S e l f - e s t e e m and sex r o l e o r i e n t a t i o n were u n r e l a t e d however, t o the a c t u a l i n s t r u m e n t a l spouse s u p p o r t t h a t the s u b j e c t s r e p o r t e d r e c e i v i n g . T h i s study f o c u s e d a t t e n t i o n on t h e f a c t t h a t Table 2 Barriers to Education/Learning Perceived by Women .27 Lack of 1. Adequate c h i l d care 1 , 2 , 3," 2. Adequate, sensitive and l o c a l l y available c o u n s e l l i n g 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 6 3. F l e x i b i l i t y in locations of courses 2, time tabling, programing, 1, 2, 6 i n s t i t u t i o n a l p o l i c i e s 2 4. Part-time opportunities for study 1 5,. Financial assistance ( p a r t i c u l a r l y for one-parent f a m i l i e s ) 2 , 3 , 6 6„ Time 3 7., Transportation 2 8.. Study s k i l l s 2 , 3 , 6 9.. Spouse and Family Support 6 1 0 .. Self-esteem 3 6 Other 1. Anxiety about learning 3 1 Community women not presently p a r t i c i p a t i n g in post-secondary i n s t i t u t i o n s (Krakauer, 1976) 2 Mature urban students (Steele, 1974) 3 Rural women with limited means (Richard, 1976) fl Sole support mothers (Vander Voet, 1978) 5 Women learners presently attending post-secondary i n s t i t u t i o n s (Ladan and Crooks, 1975) 6 Women learners' perceived barriers (Brandenberg, 1974) d i s p o s i t i o n a l and s i t u a t i o n a l as well as i n s t i t u t i o n a l barriers can powerfully affect a return to school. Understanding these problems and their interaction can aid counsellors and others dealing with the many women now returning to college campuses and/or using women's access services. A variety of special programs and services in u n i v e r s i t i e s and colleges and the community have been developed to smooth the t r a n s i t i o n of women from home to work and to school (Astin, 1976; Thorn, Ironside, and Hendry, 1975; Zimmerman and Trew, 1979). The success of these types of programs has also been documented (Long, 1978; Conry et a l , 1978). However, the demographic data from these studies points out that, in general, 28 the same e l i t e group of well-educated, economically and s o c i a l l y advantaged middle aged group i s being served. The current development of Women's Access Centres in B r i t i s h Columbia represents a trend towards meeting women's needs in a manner which takes into consideration the barriers they perceive. Moreover, the of f e r i n g of educational brokering services at these centres has the potential to cut across socio-economic and educational differences to a l l e v i a t e b a r r i e r s . That i s , such an approach has the potential to attract a wider cross-section of the population than either women's access programs or other adult education programs do. Women's access programs and services many be defined as "... those progrms and services which enable women to adapt to the changing role of women in Canadian society and prepare them for t heir new r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s " (Ironside, 1979, p.1). The objectives of such programs and services are to teach women to: - locate the learning resources that w i l l help them achieve their goals (educational brokering), plan their l i v e s , eg. c l a r i f y l i f e goals, learn to problem solve the combining of family roles with work, student l i f e or community r e s p o n s i b i l i t e s , and; - u t i l i z e existing educational f a c i l i t i e s to best advantage. That i s , "Women's access programs are-concerned with providing educational information and counselling to a l l e v i a t e the s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n of women and integrate them into society" (Ironside, 1979 p.1). Women's access Centres l i k e the University of B r i t i s h Columbia Women's Resources Centre are becoming an e f f e c t i v e vehicle for providing some of these neeeded services. The use of educational brokering in the core drop-in service of the 29 C e n t r e i s a t i m e l y i n n o v a t i v e w a y o f i n c r e a s i n g a c c e s s f o r c l i e n t s t o t h e e d u c a t i o n a l a n d c a r e e r n e t w o r k s o f o u r s o c i e t y . T h i s a p p r o a c h i s i n t e n d e d t o a d d r e s s t h e o b s t a c l e s b y o f f e r i n g a d v o c a c y , a d v i s e m e n t , a n d r e f e r r a l s e r v i c e s a n d m o s t i m p o r t a n t l y , t o d o s o b y h e l p i n g women b e c o m e p a r t i c i p a n t s i n a p r o c e s s o f s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n i n g r a t h e r t h a n m e r e l y b e i n g p a s s i v e r e c i p i e n t s o f a s e r v i c e . T h e s i g n i f i c a n t a s p e c t o f t h i s a p p r o a c h i s t h a t i t r e p r e s e n t s a n e a r l i e r l i n k i n t h e c h a i n w h i c h c a n c o n n e c t n e e d s t o r e s o u r c e s t h a n a p r o g r a m d o e s . F o r t h o s e w h o a r e u n c l e a r a b o u t t h e i r g o a l s o r o p t i o n s , i t o f f e r s a s t a r t i n g p o i n t , w i t h o u t w h i c h t h e y may h a v e d i f f i c u l t y m a k i n g p r o g r e s s t o w a r d s g o a l s o r e v e n i n i t i a t i n g a p p r o p r i a t e g o a l s . I n s u m m a r i z i n g t h e l i t e r a t u r e r e l a t i n g t o w o m e n a n d a c c e s s , i t b e c o m e s a p p a r e n t t h a t b e c a u s e o f t h e c h a n g e s i n s o c i e t y a n d i n w o m e n ' s e x p e c t a t o n s a b o u t t h e i r l i v e s , w o m e n h a v e b e c o m e t h e new c l i e n t g r o u p f o r e d u c a t o r s . H o w e v e r , b e c a u s e t h e y e n c o u n t e r s p e c i a l p r o b l e m s , " . . . w o m e n n e e d s e r v i c e s t o a s s i s t t h e m t o l o c a t e a n d u t i l i z e e d u c a t i o n a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s a n d w o r k o u t w a y s t o r a i s e c h i l d r e n w h i l e b e i n g a s t u d e n t o r w o r k e r " ( I r o n s i d e , 1 9 7 9 , p . 2 ) . A n a c t i o n - o r i e n t e d s e l f h e l p a p p r o a c h , b a s e d o n u p -t o - d a t e c o n c e p t s o n t h e p s y c h o l o g y o f w o m e n i s n e e d e d . E d u c a t i o n a l b r o k e r i n g p r o v i d e s t h e p r a c t i c a l g u i d e l i n e s f o r s u c h a n a p p r o a c h . 30 Summary The l i t e r a t u r e indicates that adult education i s an e l i t i s t endeavour and is becoming more so. Attempts to influence p a r t i c i p a t i o n rates have not been instrumental in changing this picture to any great degree. The increasing r e a l i z a t i o n that p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s a multi-variate phenomenon and the u t i l i z a t i o n of approaches such as educational brokering and the provision of community information services are seen as valuable l i n k s in the chain of l i f e l o n g learning and in connecting adult learners to appropriate learning resources. The increasing p a r t i c i p a t i o n rate for women i s a r e f l e c t i o n of their changing role in society. The r e a l i t y of t h i s trend i s that i t represents an increasing d i s p a r i t y between advantaged and disadvantaged women. Many barriers to true access for women to the educational and vocational networks in our society s t i l l e x i s t . Women's access centres o f f e r programs and services intended to a l l e v i a t e these b a r r i e r s and educational brokering is playing a s i g n i f i c a n t role in the . evolution of these services. Research and evaluation of the brokering approach and i t s impacts and effectiveness i s in the beginning stages. However, preliminary findings indicate that i t i s becoming an increasingly e f f e c t i v e way to f a c i l i t a t e access for a broad cross-section of the population to a variety of learning and vocational opportunities. This examination of the services of the Women's Resources Centre was based on c l i e n t s ' perceptions and impacts. Chapter III describes the evaluation strategy which was chosen and the philosophy and considerations on which i t was based. 31 CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY Overview of the Evaluation Rationale and Strategy The strategy of thi s evaluation was based on several considerations. These included: the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of ef f e c t i v e evaluation and the research mode on which i t i s based; the methods and c r i t e r i a currently being used to evaluate educational brokering; and, the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and evaluation needs of the University of B r i t i s h Columbia Women's Resources Centre. Each w i l l be discussed in turn by re f e r r i n g to related l i t e r a t u r e . Evaluation and Research William Toombs makes some useful d i s t i n c t i o n s between reporting, evaluation and research and their d i f f e r e n t audiences, purposes and procedures. Reporting i s part of an on-going accountability or monitoring function; evaluation e n t a i l s assessments, judgements and benchmark data, and research explores areas of uncertainty or conceptualizations for new i n i t i a t i v e s . (NCEB B u l l e t i n , Mar/Apr 1979) This investigation and the discussion of the findings, contains elements of each of these three factors. Previously, Michael Scriven expressed strong views about the differences between "straight" research and evaluation research. He pointed out that, ...the basic d i s t i n c t i o n seems to be that evaluation research must produce as a conclusion exactly the kind of statement that s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s have for years been taught i s i l l e g i t i m a t e ; a judgement of value', worth, or merit. (Scriven, 1972, p.2) He goes on to say, "That i s the great s c i e n t i f i c and philosophical significance of evaluation research" (p.2). Based 32 on th i s view which i s also shared by others eg. Fathy, 1 9 8 0 , t h i s study makes judgements about the effectiveness of the service under consideration. Inductions about possible relationships between adults' learning needs and the concept and practice of educational brokering are also made. The user's perceptions of the effectiveness of the service and their self-reports about the impacts which they attribute to their association with the Centre constitute the basis for these judgements and inductions. This focus, on c l i e n t perceptions i s based on the view that while there may be some d i s p a r i t y between the perceived situation and the v e r i d i c a l one, for the c l i e n t , his or her perception i s the r e a l i t y (Stern, 1 9 7 0 ) . This h e u r i s t i c mode of research i s grounded in the experiencing person's consciousness. Consequently, the survey instruments and methodology were designed to obtain information from c l i e n t s in an unbiased way by o f f e r i n g a variety of opportunities for c l i e n t s to respond. The information and insights gained resulted from a combination of se l f reports and interviewer judgments. This design was chosen for two reasons. F i r s t , because of the exploratory nature of the investigation and since c r u c i a l variables r e l a t i n g to the educational brokering approach and i t s e f f e c t s are s t i l l in the early stages of development, the use of a purely psychometric approach would have been premature. Secondly, It has been pointed out that when interventions which may af f e c t the complex rela t i o n s h i p between cognition, emotion and behaviour are investigated, the u t i l i z a t i o n of self-report measures are most appropriate (Epstein, in press, p.7). 33 Evaluation of Educational Brokering Services The focus of the Women's Resources Centre i s educational rather than therapeutic. Since the centre defines i t s e l f as an educational brokering service, the choice of an appropriate research design was influenced by the kinds of assessment a c t i v i t i e s which are being conducted by other brokering operations eg. Toombs, 1977. Since the brokering phenomenon i s a r e l a t i v e l y recent approach, few guidelines exist for the evaluation of such services. Because they are comprised of many diffe r e n t but interrelated a c t i v i t i e s including information-giving, counselling, assessment and advocacy, whose effects are not e a s i l y measured by t r a d i t i o n a l evaluation designs, the investigative approach needed to be multiform and d i f f e r e n t i a t e d . The e f f e c t s of t h i s type of service may have d i f f e r e n t outcomes - economic, s o c i a l , and personal and operate at several d i f f e r e n t levels - the i n d i v i d u a l , the family, and the community. While i t is u n r e a l i s t i c to attempt to measure a l l of the brokering functions independently, i t i s also f r u i t l e s s to use " f u z z i l y humanistic" goal statements as c r i t e r i a . "Teaching people 'how to learn' i s simply not enough to go on" (NCEB B u l l e t i n , Spring 1977). Also, the impacts of brokering are d i f f i c u l t to isolate since people are being influenced concurrently by many other factors. Further, the e f f e c t s produced by brokering services are not always simple, overt or obvious, as has been pointed out elsewhere, Career changes or enrollment in degree programs - much less the heavier 'taking control over one's l i f e ' decisions - do not happen overnight. The more meaningful performance indicators cannot always be 34 hard data. (NCEB B u l l e t i n , Spring 1977) In the past, three approaches to the task have been employed. Needs a n a l y s i s has been most popular i n recent years. The s e r v i c e s of an o r g a n i z a t i o n are assessed by how w e l l i t s a c t i v i t i e s serve the needs of a p a r t i c u l a r group. Needs are determined by survey, interview or inferences drawn from demographic inf o r m a t i o n . These studi e s have been popular and as Cross (1979) has pointed out, the point of redundancy has been reached. A second approach, which has been employed here, i s a focus on c l i e n t s ' s a t i s f a c t i o n with s e r v i c e s and a c t i o n s taken as a r e s u l t of that s e r v i c e . According to Toombs, who has shown le a d e r s h i p i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n , D i f f i c u l t though they are to c o n s t r u c t , these s t u d i e s provide i n v a l u a b l e feedback for c o n f i r m a t i o n and planning. The most e f f e c t i v e s t u d i e s i n t h i s c l a s s are l o n g i t u d i n a l , i n d i v i d u a l , case designs which are both expensive to conduct and d i f f i c u l t to analyze. (Toombs, 1980, p. 2) A t h i r d and more recent development i s a focus on the o r g a n i z a t i o n i t s e l f (Toombs, 1980). The o r g a n i z a t i o n a l e f f e c t i v e n e s s of an operation i s examined i n terms of s t r u c t u r e , p o l i c y and process. While t h i s was not w i t h i n the scope of the present study, i t may be the next l o g i c a l step i n examining the s e r v i c e s of the Women's Resources Centre. In s p i t e of the f a c t that there are n e i t h e r simple nor s i n g l e outcome i n d i c a t o r s , three c a t e g o r i e s of c r i t e r i a have been i d e n t i f i e d and are c u r r e n t l y being u t i l i z e d i n e v a l u a t i o n studies by brokerages to convey to c l i e n t s and other audiences 35 the nature of t h e i r o p e r a t i o n s . These a r e : 1. B a s i c Data - t y p i c a l demographic breakdowns to provide data about c l i e n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s f o r comparison purposes and breakdowns r e l a t e d to needs c a t e g o r i e s 2. Cost Data - r e l a t e d to time spent on v a r i o u s b r o k e r i n g a c t i v i t i e s 3. Q u a l i t a t i v e Data - d e f i n e d i n terms of c r i t e r i a r e l a t e d to the core b r o k e r i n g f u n c t i o n s i n c l u d i n g i n f o r m a t i o n - g i v i n g , r e f e r r a l , c o u n s e l l i n g , assessment and advocacy. In a d d i t i o n , the agency's impact can be judged i n terms of the marketplace; that i s , value and c r e d i b i l i t y as seen by the consumers of b r o k e r i n g agencies' products - b u s i n e s s e s , schools and agencies. T h i s impact as w e l l as the c o n s i d e r a t i o n of cost data (category 2) i s o u t s i d e the scope of t h i s study which focuses on c l i e n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , r e a c t i o n s and r e s u l t s ( c a t e g o r i e s 1 and 3). In doing so, the study responded to Cross's c h a l l e n g e to move beyond the demographic and d e s c r i p t i v e v a r i a b l e s t o assess c l i e n t s ' s a t i s f a c t i o n s with the s e r v i c e s and a c t i o n s taken as a r e s u l t . Toombs (1977) p o i n t e d out that c l i e n t s r e c e i v i n g s e r v i c e s at the L i f e l o n g Learning Centre i n Reading, Pa., e x h i b i t e d a re a d i n e s s towards making changes i n t h e i r l i v e s . T h i s a p p a r e n t l y r e s u l t e d from a v a r i e t y of f a c t o r s such as recent h e a l t h problems, changes i n f a m i l y s t r u c t u r e or employment s i t u a t i o n , or d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with some aspect of t h e i r l i f e s t y l e . I t seems that the r e c o g n i t i o n and u t i l i z a t i o n of the c l i e n t s ' r e a d i n e s s or teachable moment accounted f o r "...some d e f i n i t e a c t i o n that was i n some way r e l a t e d t o the a s s o c i a t i o n with the c e n t e r " (p.34) i n 101 of the 155 respondents. 36 These f i n d i n g s gave c r e d i b i l i t y to the i n t e n t i o n of t h i s study to assess outcomes r e s u l t i n g from the u t i l i z a t i o n of the s e r v i c e s of the Women's Resources Centre. Whether the readiness f a c t o r was a s i g n i f i c a n t element i n the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of the s e r v i c e s has i m p l i c a t o n s f o r p r a c t i c e . Toombs p o i n t s out that readiness might be a c o n d i t i o n worth a s s e s s i n g d u r i n g the e a r l y i n t e r v i e w s e s s i o n s . Followup with those who present high readiness might encourage more e f f e c t i v e use of l i m i t e d time and resources. The very nature of e d u c a t i o n a l b r o k e r i n g , r e q u i r e s that assessments of t h i s s e r v i c e u t i l i z e a wide v a r i e t y of p e r s p e c t i v e s . Since the e f f e c t i v e n s s of the s e r v i c e s i s l a r g e l y dependent upon the success of the i n t e r a c t i o n between the c l i e n t and the p r o v i d e r , a simple c a u s e - e f f e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p between v a r i a b l e s cannot be e s t a b l i s h e d . Rather, the o v e r a l l e f f e c t of the s e r v i c e , i n c l u d i n g the i n t e r a c t i v e e f f e c t s between the u t i l i t y of the i n f o r m a t i o n , the q u a l i t y of the i n t e r a c t i o n with s t a f f , and the a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s of r e f e r r a l must be c o n s i d e r e d . Attempts to i n c o r p o r a t e such a w h o l i s t i c or t r a n s a c t i o n a l p o s i t i o n i n s c i e n t i f i c a c t i v i t i e s are not new. Lewin (1936) and Stern (1970) p o i n t e d out the need to address whole s i t u a t i o n s -the s t a t e of both person and environment. Murray (1938) attempted to i n c o r p o r a t e t h i s approach i n h i s need/press model. Boshier (1978) p o i n t e d out that the weakness of M i l l e r ' s f o r c e f i e l d (1967) was i t s i n a b i l i t y to convert the theory i n t o r e s e a r c h o p e r a t i o n s . To assess the w h o l i s t i c e f f e c t of the L i f e l o n g Learning Centers' s e r v i c e s Toombsand Cr o y l e (1977) and Toombs (1978) asked respondents to submit g l o b a l judgements about two s u b j e c t s 37 the experience with the Centre, "The way i t a l l turned out", and how they f e l t about " l i f e as a whole". Using a seven point scale developed by Withey and Andrews (1975) for a national study of s o c i a l indicators, Toombs made comparisions and found that there were twice as many responses in the "mostly d i s s a t i s f i e d " category among the Lifelong Learning Center c l i e n t s as there are in the population at large. From th i s data he suggested that people who come to the Center may have s p e c i f i c needs for information and recommendations for action but they also carry with them feelings of discomfort and d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n about their l i f e s i t u a t i o n . This may explain why such a high value was attached to the quality of the interaction, the concern and nurturing attitudes, exhibited by the counsellors and sensed by the c l i e n t s . Since these considerations are germaine to the nature of the Women's Resources Centre and i t s operations, t h i s study followed Toombs' leadership and incorporated similar global measures. Another important aspect of thi s study, as with Toombs' work, i s the delayed follow-up period. The c l i e n t - r e a c t i o n studies of the Lifelong Learning Centres in Reading (Toombs & Croyle, 1977), and Philadelphia (Toombs, 1978) incorporated a six week follow up period. This study of the educational brokering services of the Women's Resources Centre i s also based on c l i e n t reactions and the follow-up period was approximately three months for the questionnaire and f i v e months for the interviews. Several features of Toombs' studies are incorporated in t h i s study (with permission). However, i t has been adapted to the unique aspects of the Women's Resources 38 Centre and includes additional features which explore further questions of par t i c u l a r interest to the sta f f of the centre. Evaluating the Women's Resources Centre The focus of this study was on the drop-in core services of the Women's Resources Centre. This brokering service i s staffed by a pool of selected and trained volunteer associates. Operating as peer counsellors, the volunteers' function i s to assess c l i e n t s ' needs with them. For those who come to the Centre for purposes of exploration, an educational brokering interview i s conducted. This counselling role i s translated into "self-help" and women who have more serious problems are referred to professional s t a f f . In his report of the evaluation of the Lifelong Learning Centres, Toombs (1977), noted that. The central and most valuable asset of the Center as perceived by the sample of c l i e n t s i s the interpersonal exchange with the s t a f f . The pos i t i v e q u a l i t i e s of thi s encounter for c l i e n t decision making, for the shared humanity and concern i t transmitted to c l i e n t s , and for the attention to individual interests perceived by the c l i e n t s - these are re f l e c t e d in every measure of reaction whether ratings, comments, or interviews. (p. 1) Thus, the role of the volunteer in the delivery of services and c l i e n t s ' perceptions of the effectiveness of that role were c r u c i a l emements to consider in planning t h i s evaluation. The Centre's overal l purpose, the promotion of s e l f -directed learning, was also a central consideration in planning the study. According to Knowles, (1975, p. 18) In i t s broadest meaning, ' s e l f - d i r e c t e d learning' describes a process in which individuals take the i n i t a t i v e , with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, i d e n t i f y i n g human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate 39 learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes. He goes on to say that s e l f - d i r e c t e d learning, rather than going on in i s o l a t i o n , usually takes place in association with various kinds of helpers, such as teachers, tutors, mentors, resource people, and peers. According to Patrica Cross (1978, p. 43), ...the goals of the learning society i s to make adults stronger, better-informed, more s e l f - d i r e c t e d learners; i t i s not to make learners increasingly dependent on others to t e l l them what, when, where, and how to learn. Educators have a v i t a l role to play in t h i s e f f o r t . Research indicates that adult learners do want and need help. In p a r t i c u l a r , they need help in planning and u t i l i z i n g learning a c i t i v i t i e s that w i l l help them to reach t h e i r goals. The mission of educational brokering and the central goal of the Women's Resources Centre is to f a c i l i t a t e this connection, termed the 'missing l i n k ' by Cross. An important aspect- of t h i s study was to assess how well this goal was being met. Another way of defining the goals of the Women's Resources Centre and the focus of the evaluation was to consider the Centres' mandate in terms of access. Even though the Centre i s a f f i l i a t e d with an educational i n s t i t u t i o n , i t i s community-based and attempts to operate by f a c i l i t a t i n g access for c l i e n t s to a broad range of vocational/career as well as educational/learning opportunities in the community. S p e c i f i c a l l y , the core educational brokering services, including the brokering interview, are intended to increase c l i e n t s ' access to learning/educational and career/vocational networks. For purposes of th i s study, t h i s can be seen as res u l t i n g in the c l i e n t having: increased self-esteem, self-confidence leading to personal empowerment, - a tentative action plan or knowing her next step, and, the necessary information or the knowledge of where 40 to f i n d i t , in order to move ahead with her plans. How well these aims were realized, . whether the c l i e n t s saw themselves as participants in a process of s e l f - d i r e c t e d learning or merely as passive recipients of a service, and how the various aspects of the service, including interaction with the s t a f f , were central considerations in planning the study. More s p e c i f i c aspects of the design w i l l be detailed next. Design of the Study A variety of options for design and approach have been employed in evaluating educational brokering operations. Arbeiter (1976) designed his study of the Career Education Project in Rhode Island around the idea of a "demand" for counselling a r i s i n g from a population "in transiton". The Regional Learning Services of Central New York State study concentrated on educational needs, interests, and outcomes (Kordalewski, 1977). Gooler (1977) recommended that quali t y , access, relevancy to needs and expectations, and impact be considered when non-traditional programs are examined. The design of t h i s evaluation study r e l i e d heavily on Toombs' studies of c l i e n t reactions (1977 and 1978). This study and those of Toombs, both u t i l i z e d the i d e n t i f i e d educational brokering indicators, focused on c l i e n t reactions and impacts, and included measures of global effects and allowed for subjective c l i e n t response. In t a i l o r i n g the design to the p a r t i c u l a r needs of the Women's Resources Centre, consideration was given to findings of previous investigations that pertained to the aspects under 41 consideration in thi s study. For example, a recent evaluation of the overall operation of the Centre (Conry et a l , 1978) pointed out : that the Centre appeared to be serving well-educated, middle and upper-middle class women and asked the question, "Does the Centre wish to broaden i t s scope so as in fact to serve a l l classes of women" (p.iv)? The answer, according to the staff of the Centre, i s "yes" and there i s presently an increased emphsis on strengthening the core brokering function in order to att r a c t a wider cross-section of the population. To monitor th i s the Centre i n s t i t u t e d a procedure for routine recording of c l i e n t s ' biodemographic data. The Conry evaluation also found that the Centre ...presents a unique viable program which currently meets the needs of a pa r t i c u l a r group of women. The programs and services offered by the Women's Resources Centre are healthy and managed by capable and . committed individuals. (p. iv) The drop-in (brokering) function was included by requesting that a l l women who v i s i t e d the Centre over a twelve day period, complete a questionnaire. Questions centered around demographic information, awareness of Centre, reasons for v i s i t , whether or not the desired information or advice was obtained, feeling of being welcome, whether c l i e n t would v i s i t again and suggestions for improvement. The present study was intended to build on Conry's assessment of the drop-in services by focusing on those c l i e n t s who had participated in a brokering interview. The study was planned and carried out in three phases. Phase I was i n i t i a t e d in January 1980 and consisted of recording names, addresses and other basic information about c l i e n t s who participated in a "brokering interview". Volunteer-associates were asked to u t i l i z e an already ex i s t i n g data sheet to c o l l e c t 42 t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n . During t h i s phase, the procedure became more r o u t i n e than was the normal p r a c t i c e because of the requirements of the study. However, even though there were approximately 300 drop- i n s per month at the Centre dur i n g January through June, a t o t a l of only 215 data sheets were completed over the s i x month p e r i o d . T h i s d i s c r e p a n c y was due to s e v e r a l f a c t o r s . Some drop- i n s d i d not p a r t i c i p a t e i n a bro k e r i n g i n t e r v i e w , coming f o r s p e c i f i c i n f o r m a t i o n or f o r other reasons such as noon hour events which were not r e l e v a n t to the study. The nature of the s e r v i c e , p a r t i c u l a r l y the is s u e of c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y , and the r e l u c t a n c e of the vo l u n t e e r a s s o c i a t e s to ask a c l i e n t who was upset to provide such a d d i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n a l s o a f f e c t e d the completion of these. F i n a l l y , i t was o f t e n very busy at the Centre and vol u n t e e r a s s o c i a t e s f o r g o t , or chose not to take the-time t o complete the data sheets. Phase II was i n i t i a t e d i n March 1980 and i n v o l v e d m a i l i n g a q u e s t i o n n a i r e to a l l of the c l i e n t s on whom a data sheet had been completed. A t o t a l of 215 q u e s t i o n n a i r e s were mailed to c l i e n t s approximately two to three months a f t e r t h e i r v i s i t to the Centre. Reminder cards were mailed to those who had not returned t h e i r q u e s t i o n n a i r e s w i t h i n a month. The r e t u r n r a t e was 30%, (66), an adequate but somewhat d i s a p p o i n t i n g response. Phase III i n v o l v e d p e r s o n a l i n t e r v i e w s with those who i n d i c a t e d t h e i r w i l l i n g n e s s to p a r t i c i p a t e by n o t i n g t h i s on the retur n e d q u e s t i o n n a i r e . The researc h e r p e r s o n a l l y i n t e r v i e w e d 27 women du r i n g June, J u l y , August and September, 1980, approximately two to f i v e months a f t e r t h e i r i n i t i a l v i s i t to the Centre. Interviews u s u a l l y took p l a c e i n the homes of the women. Three c l i e n t s p r e f e r r e d to meet the i n t e r v i e w e r at the 43 Centre and two other interviews took place at community locations of mutual convenience. Interviews generally lasted from 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. The way in which the interviews were conducted has relevance for interpretation of the findings. According to Zweig (1965), The art of interviewing is a branch of a larger art, the art of conversation. An interview is a special kind of conversation. It is f u l l y u t i l i t a r i a n , purposeful, functional, directed and channelled, with roles c l e a r l y divided between two or more persons . . . i t can be ca r r i e d on in a completely mechanical way; i t can be made a mere appliance, and i t s practitioners sheer robots or recording machines. But the act of interviewing does not need to sink to the l e v e l of mechanicalness. It can be a graceful and joyf u l act, enjoyed by the two sides and suffered by neither. What i s more, my contention i s that unless i t becomes such an act, i t w i l l only f a i l in i t s main function. One cannot conduct an interview by bombarding one's victim with a barrage of questions, which i s only tiresome and t i r i n g for both sides. The only way is to make an interview an enjoyable s o c i a l act, both for the interviewer and the respondent, a two-way t r a f f i c , so that the respondent feels not a 'victim' but a true partner, a true conversationalist, (p.265) Consequently, the approach used in thi s study was to allow the c l i e n t to set the tone of the interview, proceding according to her lead. The purpose in doing so was to gain opinions and perceptions which may not have been e l i c i t e d by the prepared questions. The schedule and the other instruments were used as tools to stimulate and sometimes guide discussion and were usually completed in the process. At other times, responses were recorded immediately after the interview was completed. As the interviews progressed, the researcher gained insight and understanding of c l i e n t s ' needs and issues which affected 44 whether or not plans were able to be put into e f f e c t . This reinforced the appropriateness of the approach and the encounters became two-way exchanges where the interviewer often reinforced a plan, c l a r i f i e d an idea or legitimized a concern. This b i - d i r e c t i o n a i i t y of influence has been described by Michael Snow of Kansas University (McCoy, 1977) as the "counselling of equals" and termed "bouleutics", derived from the Greek term for a senate of peers. Many of the formulations presented in t h i s study resulted from t h i s mode of interaction and, the way in which counsellors (or researchers, in this case), learn from their c l i e n t s was a germaine consideration in conducting the interviews. It should also be kept in mind when findings are analyzed. Instrument Development The Questionnaire (Appendix A) A questionnaire was designed to c o l l e c t information about several aspects of the c l i e n t s ' association with the centre. Part I asked about c l i e n t s ' reasons for v i s i t i n g the Centre and the helpfulness of the services in providing needed information and assistance. Satisfactions with the services were questioned in terms of a c c e s s i b i l i t y of the Centre, interaction with the s t a f f and, usefulness of the information provided. One global question about "The way i t a l l turned out", was included to provide information about the o v e r a l l s a t i s f a c t i o n l e v e l of the experience. Part I also allowed for open-ended comments regarding p a r t i c u l a r s a t i s f a c t i o n s and d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s . 4 5 Part II sought information r e l a t i n g to actions, further plans and general improvements which may have resulted from the association with the Centre. Opportunity was provided for additional items to be added and for elaboration. In addition, possible barriers to achievement of results were presented and respondents were asked to indicate whether or not these affected th e i r progress in moving ahead with t h e i r plans. Part III asked whether c l i e n t s had encouraged others to use the services of the Centre and provided an opportunity for additional comments and recommendations as well as to indicate th e i r willingness to par t i c i p a t e in a personal interview. Part IV requested some background information and the f i n a l question asked how c l i e n t s f e l t about " L i f e as a Whole". This question was included in order to compare responses with those on Toombs' studies as well as those of an American national sample. Additional insights regarding s a t i s f a c t i o n s and needs were also gained from the responses to t h i s question. P i l o t Testing The f i n a l version of the questionnaire resulted from changes made after p i l o t testing with 33 volunteer-associates. The i n i t i a l version proved to be too long and involved and consequently, several sections were removed and administered during the personal interviews. Placement of other items was changed and some questions were shortened. The resulting instrument incorporated ideas and suggestions for content and format from a variety of sources including staff of the Centre, previous studies and consultants in research and evaluation 4 6 design. The Interview Schedule (Appendix B) Survey data was supplemented by in-depth interviews, in order to gain more understanding of such questions as why a person expressed interest in taking steps but f a i l e d to .follow through. This approach i s being increasingly suggested in the l i t e r a t u r e pertaining to evaluation of non-traditional programs and services (Cross & Zusman, 1977). In addition, phase III interviews were also used to pick up unanticipated side e f f e c t s , both pos i t i v e and negative, which might have been quite unrelated to the goals of the service. It was hoped that these would provide additional evaluative insights into the operation. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , the interviews were designed to f a c i l i t a t e two purposes:. 1. The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of networking e f f e c t s , or the sources which dire c t women to the centre and the pathways which lead to community learning resources. I information about the successes or f a i l u r e s of previous and subsequent contacts in meeting a c l i e n t ' s needs could enhance understanding of how the service works. 2. The exploration of how the experience f i t t e d into the larger framework of the woman's l i f e . The "readiness" phenomenon, other l i f e experiences related to the contact with the Centre, expectations of further association with the Centre and the issue of "disposable" income were explored. The interview schedule was adapted from that used by Toombs. Additional instruments, rating goals of the Centre, a f f e c t i v e outcomes and readiness for s e l f - d i r e c t e d learning 1 were also 47 administered to the 27 c l i e n t s interviewed. The Analytic Approach Data from the questionnaire, interview schedule and the other instruments administered was summarized in frequency tables. The quantitative findings reported in Chapter IV are based on thi s f i r s t stage of analysis. Comments on the open-ended questions were analyzed for content and grouped for discussion under appropriate c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s . The 27 interview protocols were . content analyzed and. key phrases introduced to i l l u s t r a t e p a r t i c u l a r points under each of the variables. I l l u s t r a t i o n s of s p e c i f i c cases are also presented to further elaborate on and supplement these findings. The information gained from the interviews, including the instruments administered rating helpfulness of the services and approaches, a f f e c t i v e outcomes, readiness for s e l f -directed learning and the mapping of networking e f f e c t s , i s reported in a descriptive manner. The purpose of these q u a l i t a t i v e aspects i s to supplement the hard data with the interviewer's perceptions and judgements. The stages of the brokering process formulated and presented in Chapter IV incorporate many of these these aspects. A second stage of analysis involved a search for relationships between various subgroups of the sample as well as 1 The Readiness for Self-Directed Learning Scale developed in Flo r i d a by Lucy M. Guglielmino, Ed.D. was employed with her permission. Although the complete instrument contains 58 items, the version employed here contained only 39. Since inter-item correlations proved to be high, scores reported may be considered to be representative of those which would have resulted from the administration of the entire set of items. 48 some of . the variables. Pearson correlations, breakdowns and crosstabulations were run on a l l of the rated items using biodemographic variables and feelings about "L i f e as a Whole" as the control (dependent) variables. Relationships between such aspects as needs and problems i d e n t i f i e d were also sought. In addition, scores on the Readiness for Self-Directed Learning Scale and judgements about networking effects and t r a n s i t i o n state for the 27 c l i e n t s interviewed were included in the search. Values of Pearson, Chi Square, Fisher's exact test and T Values were examined. Values in the range of p=.05 were taken as clues to differences and associations and are reported in a descriptive manner. F i n a l l y , in analyzing the data, making judgements about the merits of the service, and formulating recommendations,the unique context in which these services operate was taken into consideration. The fact that the Women's Resources Centre i s a low budget operation, run by volunteers was important to consider when the results were compared with those of Toombs' studies which relected the s a t i s f a c t i o n s and impacts resulting from services provided by paid professionals. 49 CHAPTER IV RESULTS " PART I THE WOMEN'S RESOURCES CENTRE ONE MODEL OF EDUCATIONAL BROKERING The findings of t h i s study are presented in two parts. The f i r s t purpose of the project was to examine the services of the Women's Resources Centre in order to discover how one model of educational brokering operates. The results of thi s investigation, including accompanying discussion and recommendations are presented within the context of four general questions: 1 . Who were the c l i e n t s ? 2 . What were the c l i e n t s ' reasons for seeking out the service? 3. How ef f e c t i v e have the services been in meeting the c l i e n t s ' needs? and, 4. What impacts and results are attributed to the c l i e n t s ' association with the Centre? The information and insights gained in each of these areas are used to amplify and q u a l i f y subsequent findings. In other words, the results discussed in r e l a t i o n to each question b u i l d on those of the previous issues. In addition, p a r t i c u l a r features of the service are described as the findings pertaining to each of them are discussed. Observations are t i e d into those gained from other investigations of similar services and adult education l i t e r a t u r e whenever possible. Implications and recommendations for service are suggested. The results and discussion are based on responses to the questionnaire as well as information gained through the personal interviews. Selected quotes from c l i e n t s and summaries of open-50 ended responses are included to augment the s t a t i s t i c a l analysis. These are also intended to i l l u s t r a t e some of the important responses which, although not necessarily expressed often, are nevertheless highly s i g n i f i c a n t as an encapsulation of a wider r e a l i t y a f f e c t i n g many c l i e n t s . Additional categorization of open-ended responses, p r o f i l e s of c l i e n t s and descriptions of related issues and ideas are presented in the appendices. Chapter V provides additional findings resulting from inquiries about the ways in which learning and l i f e interact and how the brokering process can f a c i l i t a t e access to learning or educational and career or vocational opportunities. The C l i e n t s The c l i e n t s who participated in thi s study represent a sel f - s e l e c t e d sample of women who v i s i t e d the Centre during the six month period between January and June, 1980. 1 Questionnaires were mailed to those drop-ins who had participated in an educational brokering interview with a volunteer-associate and on whom a data sheet was completed 1 Respondents do not represent a true cross section of the women who v i s i t e d the Centre for several reasons. F i r s t , the actual completion of the data sheet, although seen as routine record-keeping by the administration of the centre, often did not take place. In some cases, the volunteer-associates' concerns for the c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y and s e n s i t i v i t y of their interaction with the c l i e n t resulted in thi s task being perceived as in t e r f e r i n g with service. Also, during busy times or i f a c l i e n t was distraught, the forms were neglected. Consequently, the 215 data sheets which were completed during the six month period represented the t o t a l number of c l i e n t s on whom basic information, necessary for mailing was avai l a b l e . Although these factors do not • impair the v a l i d i t y of individual answers, they point to a note of caution regarding generalization to the c l i e n t s of the Women's Resources Centre who are not represented. 51 (n=2l5). This interview generally lasted a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes and consisted of three components: 1. E l i c i t i n g appropriate information about the c l i e n t ' s needs and purpose in v i s i t i n g the centre, 2. Exploring the c l i e n t ' s situation with her and outlining possible options, and; 3. providing related community information and/or contacts. Questionnaires were mailed to a l l 215 c l i e n t s . Since the recorded information often consisted of only the name, address and phone number of the c l i e n t s , no comparison of the biodemographic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , needs and interests of these 66 respondents could be made. (63 were included in the s t a t i s t i c a l a n a l y s i s ) . Although t h i s response rate (30%) was somewhat disappointing, i t i s adequate for t h i s type of mailing. In order to make the best possible use of the data co l l e c t e d , findings are presented in a descriptive, interpretive manner, emphasizing the contribution of the personal interviews in supplementing and explaining the results of the s t a t i s t i c a l analysis. Since over half (54%) of the respondents expressed interest in p a r t i c i p a t i n g in a personal interview, i t seems that the association with the Centre was of some consequence to this portion of the sample. Information gained from the 27 c l i e n t s actually interviewed enhances understanding of 'the responses to the questionnaire and how the Centre served these pa r t i c u l a r c l i e n t s . In order to understand the findings about the c l i e n t s ' reasons for v i s i t i n g the Centre, their s a t i s f a c t i o n s with the service they received, and the outcomes of their association with the Centre, i t i s necessary to f i r s t examine the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the respondents. Tables 3,4 and 5 present an 52 overview of these. However, some additional interpretation may be useful. Age The ages of those who returned questionnaires ranged from 19 to 67. The mean age was 35.5. The fact that 72% were between 19 and 40 t i e s in with the reasons for v i s i t i n g the Centre which w i l l be discussed l a t e r . Marital Status The higher proportion of c l i e n t s in the unmarried categories (61%) also t i e s in with the high percentage of those seeking vocational guidance. Geographical Location Proximity to the Centre seems to be important. Seventy percent of the sample resided withirv the c i t y of Vancouver, while only 30% came from other areas of Greater Vancouver. Educat ion The c l i e n t s p a r t i c i p a t i n g in t h i s study were highly educated. Sixty-seven percent had at least one year of college or university. Four or more years of college was reported by 28% and 14% had done post graduate work. This i s not surprising considering that previous educational attainment i s the single most predictable factor in r e l a t i o n to interest and p a r t i c i p a t i o n in further learning (Cross & Zusman, 1977). Number of Children The fact that 67% of the sample had no children and of those who did, no c h i l d was younger than three years of age, also explains the high l e v e l of interest in vocational/career issues. In addition, 8 of the 21 women who do have children 53 Table 3 Biodemographic C h a r a c t e r i s i t i c s of Responsdents (N=63) Characteristic N Age 20 19-25 12 26-30 13 21 31-35 1 1 18 36-40 9 14 41-50 9 14 51-67 8 13 missing (not stated) 1 * 63 100 Marital Status single (never married) 21 34 married 19 31 separated/divorced 14 23 widowed 3 4 common law . • 5 8 not stated 1 63 100 Geographical Location 70 Vancouver 44 North Vancouver 3 5 West Vancouer 6 9 Burnaby 5 8 Richmond 3 5 other 2 3 63 1 00 Education grade 8 or less - — grade 9, 10, or 11 2 3 grade 12 graduation 9 14 one year post secondary 5 10 two years post secondary 3 5 three years post-secondary 1 1 (trade or technical) one to three years college 16 25 four or more years college 18 28 Post Graduate University 9 14 63 100 Number of Children none 42 67 one 5 8 two 8 12 three 5 8 four 2 3 f ive 1 2 63 100 * Percentages in t h i s and subsequent tables have been adjusted to r e f l e c t only v a l i d responses to the question. 54 reported that they are the sole support of their children, necessitating them to be g a i n f u l l y employed. Occupation Table 4 shows the current occupational status of the respondents. Over half were employed either f u l l time or part Table 4 Occupations of Respondents (N=63) Current Status Employment paid 36 59 f u l l time 20 56 part time 16 44 unpaid 25 41 not stated _2 63 100 Occupations of Paid Employed c i e r ical~7of f ice 11 33 service (eg. waitress) 8 25 technical/professional 6 16 supervisory/administrative 4 11 sales clerk 3 5 so c i a l service 2 5 business/self-employed _2 5 36 100 Other unemployed (seeking employment) 16 53 student 7 23 volunteer 7 23 homemaker 5 17 other 1 3 no response 33 69 119" * Totals are greater than 100% since multiple responses were allowed. time. Of the 25 who were not in paid employment, 16 were ac t i v e l y seeking paid employment. Only 20 (32%) reported their current status as other than paid employment or seeking 55 employment. These are very approximate figures since some categories overlap with each other. Of the 36 who were in paid employment, over half (58%) held jobs in the c l e r i c a l or service categories. Another 5% were sales c l e r k s . In spite of the high educational l e v e l reported (67% had a least one year of college), only 37% held jobs in the technical/professional, supervisory, s o c i a l service or s e l f -employed categories. Table 5 shows family and personal income ranges. A family Income Table 5 Income Levels of Respondents (N=63) Income n % Family 8 33 33 7 1 5 4 Less than $5,000 $5,001 - $15,000 $15,001 - $25,000 $25,001 - $35,000 $35,001 - $50,000 Over $50,000 2 9 9 2 4 Not in family setting Not stated 33 _3 63 1 00 Personal Less than $5,000 $5,001 - $15,000 $15,001 - $25,000 Not stated 21 27 1 0 3 _2 63 36 47 17 No personal income 100 income ranging from less than $5,000 to over $50,000 annually, was reported by 27 respondents (43%). Twenty-four of these 56 women also reported having some personal income. Another 34 (54%), reported personal income only, indicating that they were self-supporting. The personal income range was a smaller one than that for family income (less than $5,000 to $25,000). Only two women in this sample reported having no personal income at a l l and another three did not respond to the income question. L i f e as a Whole The question of whether those who seek adult counselling are motivated to do so in some measure by . feelings of d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with their l i v e s , has been previously posed (Toombs, 1977). Table 6 provides a comparison between the responses to this question by those in Toombs' two studies, a national sample (Andrews and Withey, 1976), and the c l i e n t s of the Women's Resources Centre. The higher percentages of Table 6 A Comparision of Global Judgements of Wellbeing Feelings about L i f e National Philadelphia Reading Vancouver as a Whole Sample L.L.C. L.L.C. W.R.C. 1. delighted 13 7 6 3 2. pleased 33 23 24 18 3. mostly s a t i s f i e d 34 35 37 25 4. mixed 13 23 23 43 5. mostly d i s s a t i s f i e d 3 7 8 10 6. unhappy 2 2 2 1 7. t e r r i b l e 2 3 — — 100 1 00 100 100 mean 2.7 3.2 3.1 3.4 sample size unknown 162 1 55 63 responses in the "mostly s a t i s f i e d " and "mixed" categories in the counselling Centres' samples, compared with higher percentages of responses in the "delighted" and "pleased" 57 categories of the national sample seems to indicate that those who came to the Centres were less s a t i s f i e d with their l i v e s than the general population. The especially high response to the "mixed" category (41%) by the women in thi s study may be related to the fact that many were in t r a n s i t i o n periods and that their v i s i t to the Centre was related to a change in the pattern of their l i v e s . This w i l l be further discussed in the next section dealing with reasons for v i s i t i n g the Centre. Additional Findings The answers on the questionnaire provided a general description of respondents. Personal interviews with 27 of these c l i e n t s resulted in an elaboration and c l a r i f i c a t i o n of many of the responses. In spite of the apparent s i m i l a r i t i e s among the c l i e n t s , a wide range of l i f e s t y l e s and perso n a l i t i e s was encountered. While one interview took place in a luxurious B r i t i s h Properties home, another was conducted in a modest, sparsely-furnished east-end apartment. Some interviews ref l e c t e d the moods of the c l i e n t s ' previous responses to the question about "L i f e as a Whole" while others did not. Several explained that they had since moved from that position. Three or four of the middle aged women d i f f e r e d markedly in their expectations of and reactions to the services of the centre, even though they shared similar demographic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s (age, widowed, se l f supporting, l i v i n g alone, having grown children). Their diverse backgrounds, experiences •and interests made for a variety of current concerns, each very d i f f e r e n t from that of the others. S i m i l a r l y , young women in their 20's, earning f a i r l y low sa l a r i e s and l i v i n g on their own, 58 had quite individual expectations of the Centre. In almost every case, when the information which had been gained from the Questionnaire was examined in l i g h t of the personal encounter, an expanded perspective of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the c l i e n t was gained. As a result, i t became consistently clear that needs for information and assistance as well as reactions to services received, related more to a c l i e n t ' s p a r t i c u l a r situation than to c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which she may have in common with cohorts. 59 Discussion and Reconunendations In summarizing data related to question 1, i t i s necessary to point out that t h i s study could not assess the centre's role in providing equal access for a l l women in the community to the services and the resulting learning opportunities. One can only speculate about those not represented in this sample. Because we have no information about the non-respondents or about those who did not complete data sheets to begin with, i t i s not possible to make judgements about the cross-section of the population who u t i l i z e the services of the centre. This is unfortunate since one of the latent functions of the brokering approach i s to. attract the undereducated and those in the lower socio-economic segments of the population. For example, one wonders whether there r e a l l y are no v i s i t s from mothers of young children or women with less than a grade eight education. In order for the Centre's experience to add to our knowledge about brokering operations and who they serve, t h i s type of information i s required. Therefore, the following recommendation i s offered. Recommendation 1 In order for the Women's Resources Centre to assess whether or not i t is serving a broad cross-section of women in Vancouver, routine procedures to record such basic data as age, education, occupation and income, should be i n s t i t u t e d . This needs to be done in a way which w i l l not threaten c l i e n t s ' needs for c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y and which w i l l not interfere with service nor undermine the rapport which volunteer-associates seek to establish with c l i e n t s . Implementation of thi s procedure would also enable the Centre to provide some type 60 of f o l l o w up s e r v i c e f o r s e l e c t e d c l i e n t s . Demographic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s can be u s e f u l i n a s s e s s i n g whether or not a program or s e r v i c e i s a t t r a c t i n g c e r t a i n segments of the p o p u l a t i o n . However, t h e i r p r a c t i c a l . u t i l i t y f o r p l a n n i n g and e v a l u a t i o n has been questioned. I t has been p o i n t e d out that demographic v a r i a b l e s are not uniquely d e s c r i p t i v e of needs and i n t e r e s t s nor reasons f o r seeking out a s e r v i c e or program (Cross & Zusman, 1977). Th e r e f o r e , i n d i s c u s s i n g the f i n d i n g s of t h i s study, the focus w i l l be on i d e n t i f y i n g commonalities of need, i n t e r e s t or problem area w i t h i n the c l i e n t group. It i s tempting to f a l l i n t o the t r a p of d e s c r i b i n g the t y p i c a l c l i e n t i n t h i s sample as a s i n g l e woman between the ages of 20 and 40, c h i l d l e s s , l i v i n g , i n the C i t y of Vancouver, ear n i n g l e s s than $15,000 a year, and employed i n a c l e r i c a l p o s i t i o n with which she i s d i s s a t i s f i e d because of her high e d u c a t i o n a l l e v e l . In a d d i t i o n , i t might be added t h a t she has mixed f e e l i n g s about her l i f e as a whole. Although many of the women i n t h i s sample share these f e a t u r e s , very l i t t l e c o u l d be gained from g e n e r a l i z i n g to such an extent. In f a c t , responses to the second major q u e s t i o n , about c l i e n t s ' reasons f o r seeking out the s e r v i c e s of the Centre, which are examined next, show a wide d i v e r s i t y of need not suggested by these common f e a t u r e s . 61 Clients' Reasons for V i s i t i n g In discussing and presenting findings related to c l i e n t s ' needs,interests and expectations (of the Women's Resources Centre), both individual c l i e n t c h a r a c t e r i s i t i c s and demographic commonalities across c l i e n t s are considered. General reasons for seeking out the services are reported in three categories: career/vocational, educational and l i f e s t y l e interests. C l i e n t s ' statements describing individual needs within these categories are also included. A l l responses to t h i s question are categorized and presented in appendix C. Career/Vocational Guidance A majority of c l i e n t s came to the Centre for vocational or career guidance. Interest in thi s area was expressed by 49 of the 63 respondents (78%). Some wanted help in choosing a career path. Some requested an assessment of their interests and aptitudes. Others wanted information about the Job market and about requirements and q u a l i f i c a t i o n s for different occupations. General reasons such as "Looking for help in choosing a career", were t y p i c a l . Assistance in securing employment was requested by some who hoped the Centre could provide them with s p e c i f i c leads. Others wanted help with building up their self-confidence in order to re-enter the work force after an absence of several years. Many expressed d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with their present occupations and lack of career d i r e c t i o n , seeking guidance in making a change. One c l i e n t ' s need was, "To discuss career plans, how to get into another f i e l d as I didn't enjoy being a secretary after 10+ years and f e l t limited as far as advancement opportunities were 62 concerned." Some expressed s p e c i f i c needs for information, others wanted to explore p o s i b i l i t i e s . Educational Information and Guidance A need for educational guidance was expressed by 10 of the 63 respondents (16%). Even though this was a much smaller proportion of c l i e n t s than those interested in career related assistance, i t represented the second largest s p e c i f i c category, many of the needs expressed in the previous category were related to further education or t r a i n i n g . Information about educational q u a l i f i c a t i o n s for various jobs was a common request., The a v a i l a b i l i t y of tr a i n i n g programs and personal s u i t a b i l i t y for certain f i e l d s needed exploration by both those wishing to begin on a career path as well as those seeking to make a change. Other interests in t h i s category were s p e c i f i c a l l y learning-centered. these related to career interests only i n d i r e c t l y . For example, "Looking for information regarding psychological testing, aptitude test, etc. to help me make a decison about my major for my • university degree", was one c l i e n t ' s reason for coming to the centre. Personal and l i f e s t y l e Guidance This category included a variety of responses ranging from a need for assistance in dealing with personal problems or emotional di s t r e s s to a request for l i f e s t y l e evaluation. A t o t a l of 24 (39%) of the responses f e l l into t h i s category. (Because some of the reasons f e l l into more than one category and some respondents gave more than one reason, the t o t a l of the responses i s more than 100%). The needs in t h i s category were less straightforward and 63 more general. For example, one c l i e n t said she needed "to speak with somebody able to help me c l a r i f y my p r i o r i t i e s in l i f e , and cope with them in an ordered and reasonable way." Also, she f e l t "very depressed and l o s t " . Some needs in t h i s area overlapped with those in the other two categories. One woman was looking for work or volunteer involvement because she "Could not stand retirement". Another c l i e n t ' s statement was, "I f e l t a need to change some facets of my l i f e and did not know what options (on career and personal l e v e l s ) , were available in Vancouver for women."This statement r e f l e c t s the motivation of a variety of c l i e n t s for v i s i t i n g the centre, especially those who were new to the c i t y . Further information about the l e v e l of interest in each of these three categories i s provided in the next section (Table 7 indicates s p e c i f i c needs for information and assistance in each area). It was not surprising that 82%, 22 of the 27 women, indicated they were in t r a n s i t i o n in some aspect of their l i v e s . Responses of 63 c l i e n t s to the question about l i f e as a whole also indicated that c l i e n t s . coming to counselling and information centres tend to be less s a t i s f i e d with t h e i r l i v e s than the general population. Table 6 showed that the c l i e n t s of the Women's Resources Centre and the two Lifelong Learning Centres reported feeling "mixed" or " d i s s a t i s f i e d " more often than those in the national sample. Several common issues seemed to underly the previously reported needs and reasons for v i s i t i n g the Centre. In describing how the motivation for their v i s i t was related to "a change in the pattern of t h e i r l i v e s " , these c l i e n t s raised many 64 of the current issues with which their contemporaries are struggling. The changing role of women in our society today and the growing awareness of how t h i s phenomenon can and does touch their individual l i v e s , emerged as a s i g n i f i c a n t factor in their search for dir e c t i o n s . For some, i t influenced how they were dealing with l i f e s t a g e t r a n s i t i o n s - achieving independence, handling midlife t r a n s i t i o n and career change and facing retirement and old age. Many referred to their personal relationships, and in pa r t i c u l a r , the men in their l i v e s . The nature of these relationships, the expectations they present and the ways in which the women are redefining their roles, were most d e f i n i t e l y a part of their process of exploration. Whether c l i e n t s ' needs and reasons for v i s i t i n g the Centre were related to career, educatonal or personal issues, or whether or not they were in t r a n s i t i o n , one common theme tended to emerge. The single, most frequently mentioned reason for choosing to seek assistance or information from the Women's Resources Centre in l i e u of u t i l i z i n g other resources, related to the fact that i t was a Women's Centre. Cl i e n t s f e l t that, because they were women, their concerns, needs and interests, whatever they might be, would be accepted, respected and dealt with in a r e a l i s t i c manner. They would be understood, and would not have to do a l o t of explaining manner. They would be understood, and would not have to do a lo t of explaining about the d i f f i c u l t i e s they were experiencing. The following comments 65 i l l u s t r a t e these expectations: I did not have to do a lo t of explaining why I f e l t 'put down' by the male 'manpower' counsellor when he suggested I brush up on my typing s k i l l s . I told him I did not intend to discount my professional experience and was not prepared to s e t t l e for a c l e r i c a l job. I was able to share this in the group and we had a good laugh. When I'm in a new c i t y , I go to a Women's Centre. It helps me fin d out about resources and you always know you ' l l be welcome, and people w i l l be fri e n d l y , just because you're a woman. I went to the Women's Centre at the University of Hawaii - my husband couldn't understand why I wanted to do that. The pressures of my job were getting me down. I was promoted from a c l e r i c a l to a supervisory postion and was finding i t s t r e s s f u l . I can't discuss t h i s at work. I know the Centre should understand t h i s from the point of view of being a woman. In general, the c l i e n t s indicated that they came to the Women's Resources Centre because they did not f e e l free to discuss many of their concerns in other settings. This reticence to raise issues that were a f f e c t i n g their l i v e s was not a problem at the Centre becuse, as one c l i e n t put i t , "that is what they are there for". 66 Discussion and Recommendations These findings increase our understanding of the c l i e n t ' s reasons for seeking out the services of the Women's Resources Centre in several ways. Some insights into their motivations have been gained and two main features have emerged. The f i r s t , refers to the idea that because of being in t r a n s i t i o n in some aspect of their l i v e s , many of these c l i e n t s exhibited a readiness to make changes. The second i s the common expectation that the c l i e n t s had of receiving empathic acceptance and appropriate acceptance because they were coming to a women's centre. Readiness Why some people exhibit t h i s phenomenon of readiness and others do not, cannot yet be f u l l y explained (Arbeiter, 1979), but i t is beginning to be defined (Toombs, 1977) and i d e n t i f i e d . The high percentage of c l i e n t s who indicated that their v i s i t to the Centre was related to some change in the pattern of their l i v e s , can be seen as part of a larger phenomenon. Thi r t y - s i x percent of the American population between the ages of 16 and 65 are said to be in t r a n s i t i o n , either "actual" (unemployed and looking for work), or "anticipatory" ( d i s s a t i s f i e d with a current job and considering a new career), (Arbeiter, 1978) Moveover, a further increase in the i n - t r a n s i t i o n population can be expected because of two factors: continued lowering of sex and race b a r r i e r s to the movement of q u a l i f i e d workers into jobs, and, continued national concern about other a r t i f i c i a l b a rriers to employment, including educational and credential requirements not related to job performance. These are 67 p a r t i c u l a r l y pertinent to women and the situation in Canada w i l l p a r a l l e l s that of the United States. In spite of the fact that this s e l f - s e l e c t e d sample may not be representative of women who generally v i s i t the Centre, the high percentage of adults in t r a n s i t i o n can provide the centre with useful information about this type of c l i e n t ' s needs. Most of the subjects in Arbeiter's study who were i d e n t i f i e d as being in t r a n s i t i o n wished to change f i e l d s or change the i r l e v e l or status in their present f i e l d . Financial need was the prime motivating factor and a desire to seek more interesting work and advance professionally was also present. Biodemographic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of adults in t r a n s i t i o n did not seem to d i f f e r from adults not in t r a n s i t i o n , except that those in tr a n s i t i o n were s l i g h t l y younger. One of the things that educators have learned about adult l i f e stages i s that t r a n s i t i o n phases between periods of comparative s t a b i l i t y hold potential for growth and development. It i s at these c r u c i a l times that adults either move ahead or regress to a previous, more comfortable stage. When people in tra n s i t i o n pass a c r i s i s point, they enter a state of readiness to make changes in the i r l i v e s . William Toombs, in personal communication with the researcher, described this state as."...having one's act together, putting one's l i f e in order, to the point where i t is possible to pursue a new li n e of education or explore d i f f e r e n t employment." A c l i e n t in tr a n s i t i o n , demonstrating t h i s aspect of readiness, represents a person for whom the services of the Centre may be especially h e l p f u l . The role of a counselling centre, converting information into an action strategy to support c l i e n t 68 development, may be. a p a r t i c u l a r l y appropriate approach for these c l i e n t s . Both the "readiness" and "action strategy" concepts have implications for practice for the Women's Resources Centre. The 22 c l i e n t s (82%) who reported being in transiton, exhibit a form of readiness to u t i l i z e services to further their goals. Previous studies have also suggested that some c l i e n t s come to information and counselling centres in high states of readiness. (Toombs, 1977) Since a "get-on-with-it" environment where the c l i e n t i s encouraged to develop an action plan i s already a part of the approach of the Women's Resources Centre, the service could be better taylored to the needs of these c l i e n t s i f they could be i d e n t i f i e d at the outset. Recommendation 2 The i n i t i a l assessment of a c l i e n t ' s needs for service should involve ide n t i f y i n g those who are in either active or anticipatory states of tr a n s i t i o n so that an appropriate approach can be i n i t i a t e d . In order to do so, a d i s t i n c t i o n needs to be made between types of c l i e n t s . Those who come to the Centre for some s p e c i f i c piece of information rather than to explore p o s s i b i l i t i e s or those who are in personal c r i s i s , would not f a l l into the active or anticipatory t r a n s i t i o n category. This recommendation singles out the i n - t r a n s i t i o n group because they are the most v i s i b l e group in thi s study and may be those who can use the educational brokering services to best advantage. The implementation of thi s procedure can result in a more deliberate e f f o r t to assess c l i e n t s ' needs and offer appropriate assistance. Since t h i s i s a practice already c a r r i e d out on an i n t u i t i v e basis by many of the s t a f f , i t s standardization and 69 rou t i n i z a t i o n makes sense. A Women's Centre A second factor r e l a t i n g to c l i e n t s ' reasons for v i s i t i n g the Women's Resources Centre also emerged from the investigation. A need to i d e n t i f y and deal with issues, problems, and self-concepts which affect their a b i l i t y to make plans and decisions, was commonly expressed. Although this group of c l i e n t s represented a variety of di f f e r e n t career and l i f e s t y l e interests, they were dealing with some similar issues. The single most common feature which emerged from c l i e n t s ' reasons for seeking out the services of the Centre was the expectation that they would receive appropriate and helpful service because they were women. Their hopes were for i m p l i c i t acceptance and understanding. Whether their concerns and needs were for vocational, educational, or personal guidance, or whether they were dealing with issues of discrimination, s e l f - i d e n t i t y or role d e f i n i t i o n , t h i s expectation cut across a l l others. Knowing t h i s , we can derive several implications for the Centre for planning, p u b l i c i t y and service. Since approximately 300 women v i s i t the Centre each month, marketing of the services and programs i s not a major problem. This a b i l i t y of the Centre to readily attract c l i e n t s may be p a r t i a l l y explained by the tapping of this commonality of need. The feminist movement has promoted an awareness in recent years that women as a disadvantaged group have common concerns and needs with which they can help each other. The collaborative rather than competitive .attitude of women towards each other which has emerged, also draws women to 70 Centres. The fact that so many c l i e n t s expressed interest in this aspect of the Centre underscores i t s relevance as a resource for today's women. It also suggests the focus for continued e f f o r t s in making the services of the Centre known. Another implication relates to the actual provision of service. When c l i e n t s come with expectations of being accepted and understood, communication i s enhanced and rapport can be more quickly established. Thus, even though the brokering interview may be a b r i e f , one-time encounter, the exchange can represent a meaningful experience for the c l i e n t . The positive attitude of the c l i e n t , coupled with the empathy of the peer counsellor, can result in mutually b e n e f i c i a l interaction. Several c l i e n t s expressed t h i s ambience and their accounts during the personal interviews, about their association with the Centre r e f l e c t e d t h i s . A similar rapport developed during some of the research interviews. In fact, this resulted in the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of t h i s commonality of purpose in v i s i t i n g the Centre. F i n a l l y , i t i s important to consider t h i s motivation when planning to extend the Centre's services to men. Since i t seems to be a key to why women choose to a v a i l themselves of the services, the women's focus should be retained. This does not imply that the model on which the Centre operates i s only appropriate for a women's centre. Rather, whatever the purpose of a service, the commonality of need within the intended c l i e n t should be tapped i f that service i s to be u t i l i z e d by them. If the centre was to lose i t s focus on women's needs and issues, i t would also lose a valuable drawing card. 71 Recommendation 3 In considering any changes in the services, the Women's Resources Centre should, in the words of a c l i e n t , "Keep i t a Women's Centre. Make sure that services are f i r s t offered to women, i . e . psychological tests, l i f e p l a n n i n g for women only, so that there is no waiting time while men are being given the service." Summary The reasons which prompted women to seek out the services of the Women's Resources Centre suggest that their expectations of the service centre around career, educational and l i f e s t y l e interests but w i l l also be quite i n d i v i d u a l . Many c l i e n t s w i l l come with a positive attitude towards the Centre and the hopes for information and assistance may be very high. These various needs, the aspect of "readiness" which some c l i e n t s exhibit and the f a i r l y common expectation of empathic understanding w i l l a l l a f f e c t the c l i e n t s ' reactions to their association with the Centre and to the services they actually receive. This data, along with the responses to the question about " L i f e as a Whole", suggests that peole who come to these Centres may have s p e c i f i c needs for information and recommendations for action but, "... they also carry with them feelings of discomfort and d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n about their l i f e s i t u a t i o n " (Toombs, 1977, p. 39). Although Toombs found no evidence of major l i f e c r i s e s to be met, thi s i s not the case here. These women were dealing with divorce, abortion, unemployment, relocation, l i f e stage and career t r a n s i t i o n s as well as i l l n e s s and other c r i s e s . As Toombs (1977) points out, "These fragments of data go far toward explaining why such a high value was attached to the quality of the interaction, the concern and nurturing attitudes, exhibited by the counsellors and sensed by 72 the c l i e n t s " (p. 39). We s h a l l find, in examining the findings in the subsequent section that t h i s i s also very much the case with this p a r t i c u l a r group of c l i e n t s . 73 Effectivness of the Services in Meeting Clients' Needs As we have seen, c l i e n t s have high hopes and expectations for services from the Women's Resources Centre. Even though their needs seemed to f i t into some general categories, they were also uniquely i n d i v i d u a l . How well did the services which they actually received measure up for these women? For those who were in t r a n s i t i o n , were the services appropriate for their state of readiness to make changes and useful in helping them move ahead? Did the expectations of empathic understanding of the issues they were dealing with because they were women materialize? The results which are presented in thi s section are intended to provide some answers to these questions. Most of the findings r e f l e c t the responses of 63 c l i e n t s to several l i n e s of investigation. F i r s t , s p e c i f i c and overall reactions to three aspects of the drop-in service are examined. These include: a c c e s s i b i l i t y of the Centre, interaction with the staff and, the information exchange and r e f e r r a l service. Reactions to the stated goals of the Centre by 29 staff members and 27 c l i e n t s are reported next. Third, respondents' s p e c i f i c needs for information and assistance in each of the three areas of interest - career, education and l i f e s t y l e - are examined in order to assess how well these were met. Some reactions to the brokering process i t s e l f and to the group services, an extension of the brokering service, are also presented. The discussion section which follows attempts to t i e together the various findings and provide some indications of how well the services have been able to connect c l i e n t s needs with appropriate resources. Recommendations intended to reinforce present 74 practices as well as supplement and modify service are offered. Sa t i s f a c t i o n with the Drop-In Service Respondents had an opportunity to rate their s t a t i s f a c t i o n with various aspects of the Drop-In service in r e l a t i o n to the a c c e s s i b i l i t y of the Centre and i t s services, the interaction with the s t a f f , and the information and r e f e r r a l they received. It i s interesting to note that several items, possibly the most c r u c i a l factors of the service, were responded to more often than the others. Ninety percent of the respondents rated the following: . 1. The amount of time the staff gave. 2. The hours of operation. 3. The opportunity to explain f u l l y what your needs and interests were. 4. The competence of the person who worked with you. 5. The location of the Centre. 6. The willingness of the volunteer to 1isten. 7. The amount of attention the staff gave. 8. The way i t a l l turned out. 9. The level of comfort you 2 f e l t in discussing your needs with the s t a f f . 10. The s p e c i f i c information you expected to get. The response rate to the entire set of items in general was high. Except for the item on the Usefulness of the Vocational Planning Manual and the Resume K i t , a l l items were responded to by at least 60% of the c l i e n t s . Table 7 provides detailed information about the s a t i s f a c t i o n with each of the features as well as means for the three general aspects of the service. (The lower the mean, the higher the s a t i s f a c t i o n ) . The percentage of non-respondents for each item i s included. T a b l e 7 C l i e n t s ' S a t i s f a c t i o n w i th "Drop-In" S e r v i c e s (N=63) F e a t u r e s Not Very S a t i s f i e d N e i t h e r DIs- Very D1s-S t a t e d S a t i s f i e d s a t i s f i e d s a t i s f i e d (%) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) I n t e r a c t i o n w i t h S t a f f ( O v e r a l l mean - 1.8) 1. The w i l l i n g n e s s of the v o l u n t e e r 5 57 29 12 2 -t o 11sten. 2. The amount of a t t e n t i o n the s t a f f gave. 5 55 30 13 2 -3. The amount of time the s t a f f gave. 2 51 3 1 15 3 4. The competence of the person 3 38 30 25 8 — who worked w i t h you. 5. The l e v e l of comfort you f e l t . 8 43 31 . 16 7 3 A c c e s s i b i l i t y of the Ce n t r e ( o v e r a l l mean - 1 .9) 1. The t e l e p h o n e c o n t a c t . 29 38 42 18 2 -2. The l o c a t i o n of the Centre . 5 42 . 42 13 3 -3. The o p p o r t u n i t y to e x p l a i n . 3 42 34 16 8 4. The hours of o p e r a t i o n . 5 27 5 1 15 5 2 5. The number of v i s i t s . 14 26 37 28 9 I n f o r m a t i o n Exchange ( o v e r a l l mean - 2.1) 1. The u s e f u l n e s s of the 44 37' .. 37 26 . - -V o c a t i o n a l P l a n n i n g Manual. 2. The u s e f u l n e s s of the 7 1 38' 39 17 6 -Resume K i t . 3. The a c c u r a c y of the In f o r m a t i o n . 14 23 54 19 2 2 4. T i m e l i n e s s of the I n f o r m a t i o n . 16 27 45 15 9 4 5. The s e r v i c e s at the o f f i c e s , a g e n c i e s 37 24 43 23 5 . 5 or p e r s o n s to whom you were r e f e r r e d . 23 18 6. The s p e c i f i c i n f o r m a t i o n you 10 19 35 5 wanted. The Way 1t A l l Turned Out ( o v e r a l l mean - 2) 5 30 25 20 17 8 76 The highest s a t i s f a c t i o n level was expressed with three aspects of the service, a l l pertaining to interaction with the s t a f f . These were: items 1, 6, and 7 in the previous l i s t . When the "very s a t i s f i e d " and " s a t i s f i e d " responses are considered together, two additional items are included; the telephone contact and.the location of the Centre. Eighty percent of those who responded to these f i v e highly rated items were either "very s a t i s f i e d " or " s a t i s f i e d " . In grouping the features together under the three general aspects of the service, a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t picture emerges. Although the overall mean s a t i s f a c t i o n ratings for each category are f a i r l y close, ranging from 1.8 to 2, when the responses which f e l l into the less positive categories are considered, there are ranges of rating worth noting. Of those who were "very d i s s a t i s f i e d " with some aspect of the service, only 2% pertained to a c c e s s i b i l i t y (hours of operation) and 3% to interaction with the s t a f f . However, 16% were very d i s s a t i s f i e d with some aspect of the information exchange. Table .7 shows more s p e c i f i c d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s . When considering both the " d i s s a t i s f i e d " and "very d i s s a t i s f i e d " categories t h i s difference is s t i l l present but less pronounced. Thus, the most common area of d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the services of the Centre was with the Information Exchange aspects, while the Interaction  with Staff category received the least negative and the most positive responses. Overall S a t i s f a c t i o n In separating out these aspects of the service we gain s p e c i f i c a l l y focused feedback but we also lose something. The global question about The Way i t a l l turned out, i s an attempt 77 to gain an overall perspective. The gobal effect of the experience with the Centre i s a combination of a l l the separate aspects but i t also r e f l e c t s more than that.. It i s an i n t u i t i v e response to a question about ov e r a l l value or worth of the experience with the Centre. This question received a s l i g h t l y less than " s a t i s f i e d " mean response of 2.5. There was a large range of response to this item however, from 30% in the "very s a t i s f i e d " category to 8% who were "very d i s s a t i s f i e d " . Thus, even though many of the individual aspects of the service were rated high, the ove r a l l reaction to i t suggests that some of the i n i t i a l promise did not materialize for at least 25% of the respondents. Additional insights into the s a t i s f a c t i o n expressed by the c l i e n t s with these services can be gained by examining the open-ended responses to the i n v i t a t i o n to describe any other parts of the v i s i t to the "Drop-In" Centre about which they f e l t p a r t i c u l a r l y s a t i s f i e d or d i s s a t i s f i e d . These are presented in Appendix D. Before drawing any implicatons from the reactions to these aspects of the service, i t may be useful to examine how the goals and purposes of the Centre were perceived and how well the services measured up in re l a t i o n to them. Reactions to the Goals The 27 c l i e n t s interviewed were presented with a l i s t of goals on which the services of the Centre are based. Six items pertained to products and seven to processes or approaches offered by the Centre. Respondents were asked to identif y those services they had received and to rate th e i r helpfulness on a four point scale from "very h e l p f u l " to "of no help". Twenty-78 nine staff members also participated in a similar exercise, indicating which of the services they generally provided and how helpful they saw i t as being for the c l i e n t . Table 8 provides a comparison of the responses of st a f f and c l i e n t s . Their perceptions of the purposes of the Centre and their ratings of helpfulness for each of the services are also shown. Services Used or Provided A higher percentage of st a f f indicated they provided services than the percentage of c l i e n t s who acknowledged receiving them. This is understandable when we consider that staff are not only committed to the goals but are also more familiar with the range of* services that are available to c l i e n t s . Also, some of the c l i e n t s do not need a l l of the services whereas st a f f responded in relation to what they generally o f f e r . Staff consistently T a b l e 8 R e a c t i o n s to Goals A Comparison Between Staff(N=29) and C1 i e n t s ( N = 27 ) G o a l s of S e r v i c e Serv1ce Reported Very H e l p f u l St . Cl (n) St . Cl . S e r v i c e Rated Mod. S I i g h t l y H e l p f u l H e l p f u l St . Cl . ( P e r c e n t ) St. Cl Of no Help St . C l P r o d u c t s 1. Informat1 on 2. M a t e r i a l s 3. C o u n s e l l i n g S e r v i c e s 4. R e f e r r a 1 5. Advocacy 6. Programs 29 23 25 17 29 29 9 26 15 9 17 83 47 72 70 79 47 79 44 58 88 17 22 28 18 59 2 1 17 37 12 33 33 4 1 17 12 13 23 13 Approaches 1 . A c c e p t a n c e 29 24 2. C l a r i f y i n g Needs 29 21 3. I d e n t i f y i n g A b i l i t i e s 29 20 4. S e l f - R e s p o n s i b i l i t y 1n d e c i s i o n making 29 24 5. I d e n t i f y i n g A l t e r n a t i v e s 29 6. E n c o u r a g i n g s e 1 f - d 1 r e c t e d n e s s 26 7. Promoting c o n t r o l of l i f e d i r e c t i o n 27 14 17 14 86 58 79 47 90 50 76 46 69 43 50 47 67 43 tO 33 21 24 10 30 24 38 28 46 22 43 4 1 50 4 4 1 1 9 19 20 13 14 18 7 10 S t . R e f e r s t o s t a f f . C l . R e f e r s to c l i e n t s 80 reported providing most of the services except for advocacy. Nine claimed they had not had an opportunity to provide t h i s service. (None of the c l i e n t s reported receiving t h i s service, possibly because they did not require i t . One interviewee did report on the success of advocacy provided on her behalf by the University of B r i t i s h Columbia Women's Students O f f i c e , and,, since i t i s one of the core brokering functions, the question of why advocacy was the l a s t provided and least received service needs to be further explored. 1 More c l i e n t s reported receiving Information than any other product. Only nine of the c l i e n t s reported receiving Referral. Four of the approaches offered - acceptance, assistance in explaining and c l a r i f y i n g needs, encouragement to make one's own decisions and ident i f y i n g strengths - were received by more than 20 of the 27 c l i e n t s . Except for the discrepancies noted, the c l i e n t s seem to be receiving the services which the staff reported providing. Moreover, in ide n t i f y i n g that they received 1 The discrepancies between the responses to the goal of advocacy and the responses to the other product goals on the part of both staff and c l i e n t s requires some interpretaton. This p a r t i c u l a r function, rather than operating on an individual l e v e l as the others do, i s mainly carried out by the directors of the Centre. In serving on university committees, collaborating with the community and communicating with government, they f u l f i l l t his role for the Centre on behalf of women in general. Interpreting women's needs and how the services and programs of the Centre contribute towards meeting these, results in benefits for individuals. Attitudes and understandings which are promoted help to open doors to educational and vocational opportunities in the community. Even though the advocacy role does not appear to be a strong one when individual volunteer-client interactions are examined, i t i s considered to be important by the Centre. The fact that the Women's Resources Centre experience has provided a model for the province, resulting in government assistance being given to Women's Access Centres throughout the province indicates that the advocacy role has had some impact. 81 these services, p a r t i c u l a r l y the approaches, c l i e n t s show an awareness of being involved in a process of s e l f - d i r e c t e d learning. Of the 17 who recognized themselves as being involved in t h i s process, rather than passive recipients of a service, 15 f e l t that i t was helpful to them - a reasonable indication that t h i s central goal and overall purpose of the Centre's approach is being met. Helpfulness of Services In examining the ratings of helpfulness by those staff who provided service and those c l i e n t s who received i t , some additional interesting comparisons can be made. The staff rated a l l of the products as either "very h e l p f u l " or "moderately he l p f u l " , except for Referral and Advocacy which were rated " s l i g h t l y h e l p f u l " by 3% and 5% respectively. This less p o s i t i v e rating was explained in the openended responses as being due to a lack of follow-up procedures so that judgements about th i s were d i f f i c u l t to make. The staff rated a l l of the processes or approaches as "very h e l p f u l " or "moderately h e l p f u l " with a few exceptions. Three st a f f rated item 7, assistance with control of l i f e d i r e c t i o n , as only " s l i g h t l y h e l p f u l " , and one st a f f member also rated three additional items - acceptance, pointing out alternatives and encouraging s e l f - d i r e c t e d learning as " s l i g h t l y h e l p f u l " . Explanations for thi s included the q u a l i f i c a t i o n that these approaches are only helpful i f the c l i e n t i s motivated to accept them. In looking at the c l i e n t s ' ratings, a more detailed picture emerges. Ratings in general were high, but s l i g h t l y lower than 82 those of the s t a f f . The most p o s i t i v e l y rated products were Materials and Programs. These, as well as the approaches of Acceptance, encouragement of self-directedness, and assistance in gaining more control of l i f e d i r e c t i o n , were rated "very he l p f u l " or "moderately h e l p f u l " by over 88%. It seems that the expectation of empathic acceptance was realized by a majority of c l i e n t s (24 of the 27). Furthermore, an overwhelming 91% found this approach helpful either "moderately" or "very" h e l p f u l . The responses in the less positive categories may provide some clues to some of the gaps in service which were suggested e a r l i e r . Three people indicated that the information they received was "of no help", while four found i t to be only " s l i g h t l y h e l p f u l " . A few ratings in these categories for some of the approaches and a few other products also indicate some d i s p a r t i t y between expectations and actual s a t i s f a c t i o n s . Additional Comments Both s t a f f and c l i e n t s were given the opportunity to provide additional comments about the goals of the Centre and to suggest additions to the services and approaches. These responses are presented in Appendix E and included the following: Suggestions from Staff 1. Follow-up with s p e c i f i c c l i e n t s , perhaps those requiring additional support or encouragement, by even a b r i e f telephone c a l l would enable s t a f f to obtain feedback about the results of their service and offer additional assistance to the c l i e n t . 2. The vocational/career guidance could be improved by offering more p r a c t i c a l assistance with job placement, and better information about d i f f e r e n t careers. A contact network with agencies and educational i n s t i t u t i o n s and a hook-up with the Canadian Immigration and Employment Commission (formerly 83 Manpower) to available jobs, were seen as "... bridges that would make the connection from 'now' to the future so much easier for the c l i e n t . " 3. A wholistic approach including an emphasis on counselling and information in the areas of lifeplanning, n u t r i t i o n and exercise needs to be offered. 4. Physical rearrangement of the setting to provide quieter, more private areas for conversation were suggested as a way of enhancing the role of the volunteer-associate counsellor. 5. Broadening the background of the pool of volunteer-associates, e t h n i c a l l y and socio-economically, could increase rapport with c l i e n t s . 6. More women need to be made aware of the services. Suggestions from Clients 1. The need for follow up and ongoing contact with the Centre on a more formalized basis was expressed. 2. Vocational/career guidance could be improved by providing more p r a c t i c a l information about d i f f e r e n t careers and where to find' out about them. Assistance in obtaining employment and preparing for positions in management, was also requested. 3. More assistance in sorting out uncertainties and exploring alternatives before suggesting solutions or programs was requested. 4. Specific services such as legal advice or confidence building assistance would be useful. The suggestions of the staff and the c l i e n t s p a r a l l e l each other in several areas. The need for follow up procedures and for more p r a c t i c a l assistance in career/vocational guidance were mentioned by both groups. The reactions to the goals of service by these 27 c l i e n t s reinforced some of the e a r l i e r findings. Again, the most positi v e reactions were to those aspects of the service which related to Interaction with the Sta f f . Strongest d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s showed up in re l a t i o n to the Information  Exchange aspects. More information about gaps and areas where the information exchange may be improved i s gained by examining 84 the responses reported in the next section and looking at s p e c i f i c needs for information and assistance. 85 S p e c i f i c Needs for Information and A s s i s t a n c e So f a r , i n a s s e s s i n g how w e l l the s e r v i c e s of the Women's Resources Centre have been meeting the needs of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r group of c l i e n t s , we have gained general impressions about c l i e n t s ' s a t i s f a c t i o n with v a r i o u s aspects of the s e r v i c e and t h e i r o v e r a l l f e e l i n g s about the a s s o c i a t i o n with the Centre. We have a l s o seen how the s t a t e d goals and purposes of the Centre were p e r c e i v e d by the s t a f f and some of the c l i e n t s . More s p e c i f i c needs f o r i n f o r m a t i o n and a s s i s t a n c e and how w e l l these were met w i l l now be c o n s i d e r e d . Respondents were asked to i n d i c a t e whether t h e i r needs were in c l u d e d i n those l i s t e d under three c a t e g o r i e s - c a r e e r , e d u c a t i o n a l , or l i f e s t y l e i n t e r e s t s . • An o p p o r t u n i t y to add a d d i t i o n a l items was p r o v i d e d . In a d d i t i o n , c l i e n t s were asked B to r a t e the h e l p f u l n e s s of the Centre i n r e l a t i o n to each of the needs i d e n t i f i e d by the c l i e n t . Table 9 p r o v i d e s d e t a i l e d i n f o r m a t i o n about these responses on a f i v e - p o i n t s c a l e from "extremely h e l p f u l " to "of no h e l p " . Needs I d e n t i f i e d The frequency with which s p e c i f i c needs were i d e n t i f i e d i n each of the i n t e r e s t areas i s shown i n Table 9. The value of these f i g u r e s i s not d e r i v e d from a b s o l u t e s but from comparisons between them. For example, career/employment i n t e r e s t s were again a p r i o r i t y f o r most respondents (55%), while e d u c a t i o n a l and l i f e s t y l e i n t e r e s t s were i d e n t i f i e d by 21% and 26% r e s p e c t i v e l y , as t h e i r p r i o r i t y of i n t e r e s t . T a b l e 9 M e e t i n g Needs f o r I n f o r m a t i o n and A s s i s t a n c e (N=63) I n t e r e s t A r e a s The Women's R e s o u r c e s C e n t r e was Does not Ex t rem. Very Mod. S l i g h t l y Of no A p p l y to H e l p f u l H e l p f u l H e l p f u l H e l p f u l H e l p (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (%) 1. C a r e e r / E m p l o y m e n t I n t e r e s t s (mean r a t i n g = 3.0G) A n a l y z i n g j o b s i t u a t i o n C l a r i f y i n g employment g o a l s P l a n n i n g employment g o a l s P l a n n i n g f o r a l i f e l o n g c a r e e r E x p l o r i n g a p t i t u d e s . I n t e r e s t s and a b 1 1 1 t 1 e s L e a r n i n g how to j o b hunt R e - e n t e r i n g the j o b market W r i t i n g a resume E x p l o r i n g p a r t - t i m e work E x p l o r i n g v o l u n t e e r work 30 24 27 40 24 43 68 51 70 73 1 1 13 7 23 19 20 29 1 1 24 39 27 22 17 3 1 35 23 21 18 ( a d j u s t e d %) 16 23 27 21 15 22 10 23 21 12 25 21 22 32 3 I 1 1 10 13 1 1 18 17 22 32 15 17 25 13 37 29 2. E d u c a t l o n a l I n t e r e s t s (Mean r a t i n g = 3 .4) J o b - r e l a t e d t r a i n i n g C o m p l e t i n g h i g h s c h o o l V o c a t i o n a l o r T e c h n i c a l programs C o l l e g e o r u n i v e r s i t y programs G e n e r a l I n t e r s t o f p e r s o n a l d e v e l o p m e n t programs F i n a n c i a l a i d f o r E d u c a t i o n C r e d i t f o r l i f e e x p e r i e n c e 78 95 81 67 68 86 84 8 10 25 20 43 42 33 10 22 20 8 10 25 1 1 20 21 67 25 24 20 22 10 29 33 17 24 20 44 CO CN T a b l e 9 ( c o n t . ) I n t e r e s t A r e a s R e q u i r e m e n t s to e n t e r d i f f e r e n t p rograms P e r s o n a l s u i t a b i l i t y f o r d i f f e r e n t p r o g r a m s 3. L 1 f e s t y 1 e I n t e r e s t s (Mean r a t i n g =3. D e a l i n g w i t h S t r e s s R e s o l v i n g a F a m i l y S i t u a t i o n P e r s o n a l Deve lopment C o p i n g w i t h d e p r e s s i o n o r 1 o n l 1 n e s s I m p r o v i n g n u t r i t i o n or e x e r c i s e h a b i t s R e s o l v i n g f i n a n c i a l I s s u e s F i n d i n g out about community s u p p o r t s e r v i c e s A s s e s s i n g my p e r s o n a l L i f e s t y l e E x p l o r i n g L i f e g o a l s and L1fep1 an 1ng The Women's R e s o u r c e s C e n t r e was Ext rem. V e r y Mod,. S l i g h t l y Of no H e l p f u l H e l p f u l H e l p f u l H e l p f u l H e l p (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) ( a d j u s t e d %) 30 18 18 9 . 36 36 6 18 24 29 24 26 26 5 16 26 25 17 25 . 17 17 23 27 9 9 32 25 15 5 20 35 100 17 17 67 40 10 20 10 20 16 2 1 .11 16 37 14 32 5 27 23 87 Within the categories, the most interest was shown in the following: A. Career/Employment Intersts -Exploring aptitudes, interests and a b i l i t i e s - C l a r i f y i n g Employment Goals -Planning Employment Goals -Analyzing my job situation B. Educational Interests -College or University Programs -General Interest or Personal Development Programs - Personal S u i t a b i l i t y for d i f f e r e n t programs C. L i f e s t y l e Interests -Personal Development -Exploring L i f e goals and L i f e Planning -Coping with Depression or Loneliness -Assessing my Personal L i f e s t y l e Since these emerged as needs which were i d e n t i f i e d more frequently' than others, i t w i l l be interesting to see how c l i e n t s rated the information and assistance received in re l a t i o n to these needs. Ratings of Helpfulness In examining the ratings of helpfulness, mean scores for each of the three general categories were calculated by summing the means of the s p e c i f i c items and dividing by the t o t a l of the items in each category. The scores arrived at were f a i r l y s i m i l a r : 3.06, 3.4, and 3.34 for categories A, B, and C respectively. This indicates that, on the whole, assistance received in each general area was rated as moderately h e l p f u l . However, the ratings for s p e c i f i c needs ranged from 2.6 for writing a resume, to 5 for improving n u t r i t i o n or exercise habits. Because of the small number of responses to some of the items, these comparisons are not too useful. It i s more helpful 88 to examine the most p o s i t i v e l y and n e g a t i v e l y r a t e d items. The a s s i s t a n c e r e c e i v e d with each of the f o l l o w i n g was r a t e d "extremely h e l p f u l " or "very h e l p f u l " by 50% or more of those c l i e n t s who i d e n t i f i e d them as needs: a n a l y z i n g my job s i t u a t i o n , l e a r n i n g how to job hunt, r e - e n t e r i n g the job market, resume w r i t i n g , j o b - r e l a t e d t r a i n i n g , p e r s o n a l development, d e a l i n g with s t r e s s , and f i n d i n g out about community resources. Two of these are noteworthy i n that they a l s o appeared on the l i s t of most f r e q u e n t l y i d e n t i f i e d needs - p e r s o n a l development, and a n a l y z i n g my job s i t u a t i o n . The l e a s t help was r e c e i v e d with the f o l l o w i n g : completing high s c h o o l , requirements to enter d i f f e r e n t programs, f i n a n c i a l a i d f o r educaton, r e s o l v i n g f i n a n c i a l i s s u e s , and p l a n n i n g f o r a l i f e l o n g c a r e e r . S i x t y - f o u r percent or more of those who i d e n t i f i e d these as needs indicated.. that they had r e c e i v e d l i t t l e or no h e l p with them. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g that none of these appear on the l i s t of most f r e q u e n t l y i d e n t i f i e d needs. The s e r v i c e provided i n r e l a t i o n to those needs which were i d e n t i f e d more f r e q u e n t l y than the others was s l i g h t l y more p o s i t i v e l y r a t e d than that of the t o t a l l i s t . The mean was 2.9 compared with an o v e r a l l mean of 3.2. In other words, the i n f o r m a t i o n and a s s i s t a n c e r e c e i v e d with the needs which were of i n t e r e s t to the most c l i e n t s , was r a t e d more p o s i t i v e l y than that of the e n t i r e set of items. Thus, the Centre seems to be doing a good job i n g e a r i n g the s e r v i c e s to the i n t e r e s t s of the c l i e n t s . 89 Connecting Needs to Resources Having the right information i s a necessary and c r u c i a l factor in the learning process. For example, knowing that good n u t r i t i o n and proper exercise can actually enhance one's a b i l i t y to cope with the stresses of d a i l y l i v i n g , that having a well written resume i s an important tool for job hunting, or that a p a r t i c u l a r a b i l i t y i s •.: required for a certain occupation i s useful. Knowledge such as t h i s i s necessary to begin the process of moving away from an unsatisfactory position, or r e a l i s t i c a l l y appraising a positon in order to enhance, accept or decide to make changes in i t . In fact, providing adults with appropriate information i s c r u c i a l in offering a relevant service since, as previously noted, adults are more interested in "information" than "counselling". However, when c l i e n t s are faced with such an array of alternatives information sources - f i l e s , computers, pamphlets and brochures - i t can be overwhelming. They need and want guidance to quickly to f i n d what is applicable to them. This i s where the role of the brokering agent becomes important. F a m i l i a r i t y with s the c l i e n t s ' needs, and knowledge about where to find s p e c i f i c information can mean the difference between whether or not that information is u t i l i z e d . But even pertinent information i s not enough. Most of our self-defeating and maladaptive behavior occurs in spite of the fact that we know better. The f a i l u r e of informational programs to influence behaviour in the f i e l d s of n u t r i t i o n , smoking cessation, stress management, and parenting are common examples. We are now coming to r e a l i z e more and more, that, for information to be u t i l i z e d appropriately by an i n d i v i d u a l , i t 90 must be a p p l i e d and t r a n s f e r r e d to h i s / h e r p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n . Often the person i s abl e to move ahead and do t h i s on t h e i r own. Sometimes t h i s process i s c a t a l y z e d by events that occur spontaneously. For example, one c l i e n t ' s d e c i s i o n to pursue f u r t h e r education came about as a r e s u l t of a chance interchange. When a t t e n d i n g a workshop - "Options f o r Women" -she r e c e i v e d i n f o r m a t i o n about a l t e r n a t i v e s . I t was du r i n g the d i s c u s s i o n of t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n with another conference p a r t i c i p a n t that she came to her d e c i s i o n . I t r e s u l t e d from a remark by the other woman, " I f you have the q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , why not t r y f o r the best you can?" " I t ' s funny how these l i t t l e i n c i d e n t s can change our l i v e s , " r e p o r t e d t h i s c l i e n t . The i n f o r m a t i o n component i s a necessary element to be sure. The a p p l i c a t i o n of t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n and the a b i l i t y to u t i l i z e i t i n making plans i s an e q u a l l y important i n g r e d i e n t . R e f e r r i n g to the s e r v i c e provided by the L i f e l o n g Learning Centre i n Pennsylvania, Toombs p o i n t s out th a t going beyond p r o v i d i n g i n f o r m a t i o n and support i n an a c c e s i b l e environment i s the key. "The p o i n t not to be missed here i s that the Centre o f f e r s not only i n f o r m a t i o n and support but a l s o a s s i s t a n c e to c l i e n t s with the d e c i s i o n s about how to best use infor m a t i o n f o r t h e i r own purposes" (Toombs, 1977, p.29). The Women's Resources Centre recognizes the importance of p r o v i d i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r per s o n a l goal s e t t i n g , a p p l i c a t i o n of newly l e a r n e d s k i l l s and behaviours and f o r p r a c t i c i n g these i n p r o t e c t e d s i t u a t i o n s . In order to assess how w e l l the Women's Resources Centre has been able to a s s i s t c l i e n t s to make the connection between t h e i r i n t e r e s t s and needs and a v a i l a b l e r e s o u r c e s , comments and suggestions r e g a r d i n g both the group s e r v i c e s and the b r o k e r i n g 91 process have been analyzed.- These, along with statements made during the personal interviews, provide valuable information in the c l i e n t s ' own words. Reactions to the Brokering Process The brokering interview in which the c l i e n t s in t h i s study participated involves overlapping stages which may include: i n i t i a l assessment of the c l i e n t s ' needs, provision of support and encouragement for exploration and assessment of goals and directio n s , assessment of strengths and a b i l i t i e s in rel a t i o n to these, provision of appropriate information and resources and, f a c i l i t a t i n g the networking process as well as making provision for follow up and reassessment of progress. In order for this process to proceed, several v i s i t s to the Centre for individual as well as group sessions and explorations of resources in the? community are usually required. Ideally, t h i s should be part of an indi v i d u a l i z e d o v e r a l l plan for the c l i e n t who wanting this type of assistance. Deficiencies and gaps in this process are apparent from the c l i e n t s ' comments and these seem to explain some of the d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s with the information and r e f e r r a l service expressed previously. Clients are requesting, "In general, more in depth guidance with more s p e c i f i c information available to be of e f f e c t i v e individual use." In order to determine how the services can be modified to better accomplish t h i s goal, the brokering process w i l l be examined by breaking i t down into i t s phases. C l i e n t s ' comments about experiences in each of these stages are included, along with a brief description of the service offered and the c l i e n t s ' range of needs in each stage. 92 Suggestions for improved service are i m p l i c i t . More e x p l i c i t recommendations resulting from these findings w i l l be presented l a t e r . 1. I n i t i a l Assessment Since women come to the Centre for a variety of reasons, some of which f a l l into the casual drop-in or information-seeking category, not requiring a brokering interview, the task of making an i n i t a l assessment about an appropriate approach for each c l i e n t can be a most d i f f i c u l t one for the s t a f f . After identifying those for whom a brokering interview i s indicated, a further challenge involves determining the stages of exploration in which they are currently engaged. A woman may already be quite clear about her goals and directons and want to explore resources even though i t may be her f i r s t v i s i t to the Centre. Others may be uncertain about th e i r needs and reasons for v i s i t i n g the Centre. Thus, i t i s a sorting out time for both c l i e n t and volunteer. However, regardless of the motivation or the stage in which the c l i e n t i s , there is a common need. As one c l i e n t put i t , "It was important to me that I was made to fe e l welcome at the Centre and that my concerns were legitimate." Underlying t h i s common need however, are c r u c i a l individual differences. For some, l i k e Jan, the i n i t i a l v i s i t to the Centre may be a very s i g n i f i c a n t one. Jan i s an apprentice painter. Although she finds the work challenging and promising in terms of future remuneration, she has doubts about how she measures up compared to the men in the f i e l d . She was also wondering how she w i l l be able to handle the roles of wife and mother as well as maintain the physical stamina required for her 93 work. She had been c o n s i d e r i n g coming to the Centre to discuss these concerns for some time i n order to explore other employment p o s s i b i l i t i e s but an up s e t t i n g i n c i d e n t on the job t r i g g e r e d the a c t u a l v i s i t . Unfortunately her experience that day was u n f r u i t f u l and i n her words, "I didn't know what I wanted (from the Centre) and l e f t f e e l i n g the same." L i k e Jan, a woman may be i n an emotional s t a t e , not knowing what to expect from the Centre but counting on g e t t i n g some "help". A c l i e n t of t h i s type requires a very d i f f e r e n t kind of reception than does a casual, drop-in or information-seeker. One of the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of the s t a f f i s to make t h i s s e l e c t i v e judgement about the needs of the c l i e n t at the outset, o f f e r i n g appropriate- s e r v i c e . For the most p a r t , the volunteers carry out these assessments d a i l y , i n a most competent manner. However, some of the c l i e n t s ' comments i n d i c a t e d that t h i s aspect of the s e r v i c e could have been improved for them. For example, one c l i e n t s a i d , "I got sort or a 'Tower of Babel' f e e l i n g " , on her f i r s t v i s i t to the Centre. When asked to ela b o r a t e , she described the atmosphere as being c o l d and s a i d she f e l t overwhelmed by the a c t i v i t y and the array of in f o r m a t i o n a l m a t e r i a l . In s i f t i n g through some of the re a c t i o n s to the i n i t i a l assessment stage, i t seems that those who expressed d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n were unhappy about the lack of i n d i v i d u a l a t t e n t i o n they rec e i v e d . When asked how the s e r v i c e could have been more h e l p f u l one c l i e n t responded, " I f the woman had a c t u a l l y l i s t e n e d to what I had to say, instead of saying what she wanted to say". Another comment was, "Some of the co u n s e l l o r s weren't what I needed - couldn't l i s t e n . " During 94 th i s i n i t i a l encounter, regardless of whether the c l i e n t i s just beginning a process of exploration or i s further along, two aspects seem to be p a r t i c u l a r l y important - the atmosphere and the interaction with the s t a f f . On the whole, comments indicated that the i n i t i a l reception given to c l i e n t s i s the area in which the volunteer-associates r e a l l y shine and, once a mutual understanding of the focus of a c l i e n t ' s v i s i t i s gained, the interaction can proceed. For those who indicate that they wish to discuss general issues or s p e c i f i c concerns, a more deliberate consideration of needs and interests begins. 2. Exploration of Needs and Interest The i n i t a l exchange with a woman often moves d i r e c t l y into a closer examinatin of her needs and interests. Assisting a c l i e n t to explain and explore what she i s thinking and feeling is one of the c r u c i a l aspects of the process. The importance of taking the time to thoroughly explore the c l i e n t ' s situation with her before offering suggestions or information was pointed out by one of the volunteer associates at the outset of this investigation. She explained that, a c l i e n t ' s underlying concerns w i l l often surface only after reviewing her situation several times. The importance of th i s approach i s reinforced by findings that the c l i e n t s ' reasons for seeking out the services of the Women's Resources Centre are often related to issues of self-confidence, sex-role stereotyping or sex discrimination and while the c l i e n t may be seeking out the career or education related information or assistance she requires, she i s also hoping for empathic understanding in dealing with these related issues. 95 The need for a more exploratory approach i s apparent from the comments of some of the c l i e n t s . One suggestion was that staff should, "Take more time to explore why a person i s there, even i f they seem certain about what they want." Another advised, "Try to focus on the s p e c i f i c needs of the person coming to the Centre. Several v i s i t s could be required before the s p e c i f i c needs are determined." Frustration at not finding t h i s kind of assistance i s evident in another c l i e n t ' s comment, "Unless I go into the Centre with a s p e c i f i c problem I go 'blind'. The attitude that 'You're doing fine. What do you need?' i s not he l p f u l . I would l i k e to explore things more. I've never gotten anything more than picking up a bunch of brochures." Clearly, these c l i e n t s are pointing out a gap in the service they received. Since i t i s the Centre's aim to offer individualized assistance, the approach of the staff should be examined to determine why some c l i e n t s who require a more exploratory approach are not receiving i t . If staff can legitimize the c l i e n t ' s position - her uncertainty and confusion - and a recognize that i t has been a major step for her to seek assistance she i s more l i k e l y to f e e l okay about being unclear about goals and dir e c t i o n s . In the words of V i r g i n i a G r i f f i n , When you hear, accept, and legitimize a person's position early on, he or she i s freed to be more f l e x i b l e and to change and grow away from that posion. When a person has no need to fight for his stance to be known or to defend i t against attack, he can move away from i t without losing face or self-esteem. ( G r i f f i n , 1978, p.7) The' fact that assistance i s available to help her move along from t h i s position needs to be communicated. When a c l i e n t 96 begins to identif y some plans and interests, some goals and directions can begin to be formulated. 3. Defining Goals and Directions The comments of several c l i e n t s indicated a need for more assistance in formulating goals and directions. Again, emphasis needs to be placed on sorting out c l i e n t s ' p r i o r i t i e s and alternatives in re l a t i o n to their strengths and a b i l i t i e s before solutions are suggested. It i s useful to keep in mind the idea that, "If we want to help people change, i t is important that we don't push or p u l l them - just walk together" (Fergusen, 1980, p. 258) . One young woman, having just completed her B.A., needed to decide whether to enter the work force or contine on to graduate school. Since she has a young c h i l d and her husband was earning a modest income, there were seveal issues involved. Also, she had very l i t t l e idea of the types of jobs which were available for someone with her q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . She was not assisted to explore these options. In her words, I needed some one-to-one goal c l a r i f i c a t i o n help and possibly some assertiveness t r a i n i n g so I can speak up when I fin d myself being steered in the wrong d i r e c t i o n . I ended upin a job-finding group which didn't help me very much. This was an example of connecting a c l i e n t s ' needs to an inappropriate resource as well as f a i l i n g to f u l l y explore them with her in the f i r s t place. Others also expressed dissappointment with the assistance they received with t h i s • task. Some other comments were: "My problem i s with an i n a b i l i t y to state needs." "It would have been useful to see a l i s t of 'needs' and be better able to say 97 what I was a f t e r . " Since c l i e n t s themselves often do not know what they need to know or what the p o s s i b i l i t i e s are, asking for, "some counselling for people who come in 'a t o t a l blank'. Those of us who we want to change or improve something but do not know exactly what something i s . " Furthermore,: c l i e n t s often do not know what to expect in the way of assistance or service from the Centre. : Having a tool to as s i s t the c l i e n t in pinpointing interests and needs, such as the l i s t in the questionnaire used in t h i s study, could a s s i s t both the counsellor and c l i e n t to zero in on her p a r t i c u l a r interest areas and i n i t i a t e , some focusing of di r e c t i o n s . Some type of assistance with exploration of goals or self-assessment can be useful at t h i s stage. The important thing i s to communicate to the c l i e n t that the action or service suggested i s for purposes of exploration. 4. Resourcing - Identifying information sources and obtaining  information Identifying appropriate sources of information or r e f e r r a l , once the area of need and some general goals have been established i s one of the most c r u c i a l aspects of the process. The d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s with the information exchange service indicate that c l i e n t s want more s p e c i f i c assistance in finding out about courses, job opportunities and contacts in their p a r t i c u l a r areas of in t e r e s t . Moveover, they want th i s information to be relevant to themselves, their a b i l i t i e s , interests and backgounds. One c l i e n t ' s attempt to explain her 98 needs was as follows: The counsellor could have t o l d me, by an aptitude test, i f I was a good secretary or might have explained where to acquire a good job. For example, should I join a union, work for the government, or consider what companies have the best pension plan? Clients also want information about themselves, their a b i l i t i e s , strengths and weaknesses so that they can make appropriate choices.. The Centre attempts to a s s i s t c l i e n t s in acquiring t h i s kind of knowledge by offering a psychological testing servie. One c l i e n t ' s reaction to thi s service was as follows: I was most unhappy about the results of my psychological testing. The psychologist merely affirmed what I already know about myself, when I was expecting more in the way of job counselling. I know more about the a v a i l a b i l i t y of many services than she does. It seemed l i k e more of a survey than a service. I found the whole process most dissappointing. Why i s there no foll*ow-up after the testing as to jobs, what i s available, and where there i s need? Many questions on my personal data were not even explored. Why were they asked? This c l i e n t ' s experience points out a need for a more co-ordinated e f f o r t between the psychological testing and the brokering service in order to help the c l i e n t make the connection between her particular q u a l i t i e s and the p r a c t i c a l aspects of career/vocational planning. Some c l i e n t s were disappointed with the resources which were offered. One c l i e n t reported, "I took the job finding course. It was helpful but li m i t e d for my needs." Another said, "I did not gain any knowledge except about a n u t r i t i o n course which i s always h e l p f u l . " A suggestion that "Specific information about the job market in one's f i e l d would motivate you to seek out resources to meet your own needs," was offered. Some indicated that the Centre should go a step further and 99 "Offer a job finding service, and not be just another r e f e r r a l agency." Another concurred and described her experience as follows: I v i s i t e d the Women's Resources Centre twice in the months of February and March when I was down from Prince George. I was hoping to get some s p e c i f i c leads for jobs, which I discovered i s not one of i t s services. The chats I had were b e n e f i c i a l to the effe c t that I f e l t better psycholgically about not being successful in landing a job. However, that was the only benefit I f e l t . Some of the expectations in thi s area are in c o n f l i c t with the Centre's goals. Two aspects of the resourcing service seem to contradict each other. On the one hand, c l i e n t s want s p e c i f i c information from the Centre, about a host of interest areas. Alternately, the Centre can be a lead in or f i r s t step to the wider community and information services which exist elsewhere. The dilemma i s where to focus e f f o r t s . Building up an information bank on a variety of topics and developing r e f e r r a l networks that t i e in with community resources are both current endeavors of the Centre. There i s a needto consider t h i s dual role of the agency and how i t may be reconciled . The next phase of the brokering process - Networking may offer some ideas. 5. Networking or Making Contact The term "networking" in current, popular use, refers to the process of making contacts and pursuing leads in order to obtain needed information, tap resources, or find out about opportunities. The awareness of such a process and that one can pursue contacts for one's own benefit was a learning experience for some c l i e n t s . This i s described in more d e t a i l in part IV 100 of t h i s report. The networking idea takes us one step further than the resourcing stage does in f a c i l i t a t i n g s e l f - d i r e c t e d learning. The focus i s on as s i s t i n g c l i e n t s to learn the process so that they can do their own resourcing and networking more e f f e c t i v e l y . The comments of many c l i e n t s suggest that they want this kind of assistance from the Centre, and that they would l i k e to see the Centre promote more networking opportunities. For example, one c l i e n t said, "I needed contacts with people in related f i e l d s , women in the art s , the Centre should keep a f i l e of c l i e n t s seeking jobs. I just heard about a job that was not suitable for me but may have been for someone else." Another suggestion was: "Bring together people in similar circumstances, i.e. arrange a meeting of welfare (single) women seeking employment to meet others to discuss problems encountered." Others f e l t that the Centre should go beyond simply f a c i l i t a t i n g contacts and become d i r e c t l y involved in organizing interest and action groups. I f e e l , while the Women's Resources Centre may be helpful to certain individuals, i t lacks the power, or a b i l i t y to help women d i r e c t l y in obtaining employment I would l i k e to see thi s organization help women to organize themselves into unions, for domestics, waitresses, o f f i c e workers, beauty operators; in short, areas generally relegated to female employees. Show women they don't have to take a $4.00 per hour job while our male counterparts make double or more our salary. The networking idea also holds promise for supplementing the service of the Centre to better meet c l i e n t s needs. As we sh a l l see in examining the results achieved and the impacts of the association with the Centre for some c l i e n t s , networking has been very e f f e c t i v e . When people have been able to sort out 101 goals and directi o n s , and f e e l confident about how their energies are being channeled, an understanding of and knowledge of networking can be an extremely e f f e c t i v e way of making those connections that enable them to move ahead with plans, whatever they may be. 6 . Reassessing Progress and Goals The preceding phases of the brokering process have been presented in a step by step manner. However, in r e a l i t y , t h i s process is a c y l i c a l rather than a linear one. As c l i e n t s proceed through the process, i d e n t i f y i n g and c l a r i f y i n g needs and goals, i n i t i a l perceptions may change. As resources are explored, and information gained about the p r a c t i c a l i t i e s of the situ a t i o n , changes in directions may res u l t . Therefore-, i t i s important that the c l i e n t have an opportunity to reassess her p r i o r i t i e s and goals as she learns more about herself and her options. This step i s not necessarily the end of the process as reassessment may lead to other areas of exploration. Comments about this stage of the process related to the need for follow up and to re-establish contact with the Centre. For example, one c l i e n t said, "I enjoyed the two groups in which I participated. However, I find that there i s no real follow up. I r e a l i z e how d i f f i c u l t t h i s i s to do but being a person who lacks self d i s c i p l i n e and self confidence, I would have found i t most b e n e f i c i a l . " Although c l i e n t s are invited to return to the Centre, often no d e f i n i t e arrangements are made to continue the process. Enquiring about expectations of further association with the Centre, and how the c l i e n t s f e l t about the number of v i s i t s 102 they had made, provided some reactions to the service in t h i s phase. The number of v i s i t s made to the Centre by the 27 c l i e n t s who were interviewed ranged from one (5 c l i e n t s ) to 35 (1 c l i e n t ) . The most common number of v i s i t s were one, two, and four, each being reported by 5 d i f f e r e n t c l i e n t s . Four c l i e n t s made five and six v i s i t s while three came only three times. . Another three c l i e n t s v i s i t e d a t o t a l of eight times and one person reported having made 10 v i s i t s . One person that she had been to the Centre over 35 times during the past two years. In response to being asked how they f e l t about the number of v i s i t s they had made to the Centre, 20 (74%) said that they expected further association with the Centre. Seven (26%) did not. Of those who expected further association, 7 f e l t that the Centre should have taken some i n i t i a t i v e for encouraging them to return and 13 f e l t that i t was up to them to return i f they wished. Those who expressed reluctance to take the i n i t i a t i v e , were uncertain i f they were welcome to do so, or f e l t they required some further encouragement such as a scheduled follow up session of the group to pursue resources. Even those who f e l t comfortable about taking the i n i t i a t i v e , indicated that for some, the Centre should take the i n i t i a t i v e in arranging for follow up v i s i t s . Several reasons for wanting further association were given. C l i e n t s wanted to browse through the resource f i l e s to find out about d i f f e r e n t occupations and to f i n d out about other programs offered. More interpretation of psychological tests, l i f e planning interviews and c r i t i q u e s of resumes were also given as reason for returning. Some q u a l i f i e d their interest in obtaining additional service. "Would l i k e to have a 1 0 3 relationship with a p a r t i c u l a r person rather than t e l l my story again to someone else." Others wanted, additional association but were unsure of the form t h i s might take. "Wanted more assistance, don't know in what capacity - disapointed with information I got." For a few, continued association was a matter of course. "It's an ongoing process." Two other reasons were to explore volunteer employment with the Centre and to provide the Centre with feedback and express s a t i s f a c t i o n with the service. Most of these c l i e n t s were prepared to be s e l f - d i r e c t e d in seeking out further association with the Centre in r e l a t i o n to their continuing needs. However, seven ( 3 5 % ) f e l t that the Centre should take more i n i t i a t i v e in encouraging follow up v i s i t s . Considering that this p a r t i c u l a r group of c l i e n t s was probably highly motivated and s e l f - d i r e c t e d , there i s possiblye an even higher percentage of c l i e n t s for whom some more s p e c i f i c v a l i d a t i o n for returning might be indicated. One of the ways in which c l i e n t s are encouraged to continue their process of learning i s by p a r t i c i p a t i n g in a group offered by the Centre. In doing so, a c l i e n t ' s needs for further envolvement and assistance may be met. Further assistance with the previous stages of the brokering process may also be forthcoming from the group experience. Reactions to t h i s extension of the service may offer some additional insights. Reactions to the Group Services Even though the focus of t h i s study i s on the Drop-In educational brokering services of the Centre - counselling, information exhange, and r e f e r r a l , the reactions of the c l i e n t s 1 04 to some of the group programs are pertinent to our enquiry. Information and advisement Centres seem to offer a better service when there i s some kind of on-site routine a c t i v i t y beyond counselling, according to Toombs. "Typically some kind of training function to build s k i l l s by workshops or to offer job search classes, seems to give a sense of continuity to the work." (Toombs, 1979 ) The Women's Resources Centre extends i t s services in this way. During January to June when this study was underway, 13 (24%) of the c l i e n t s in thi s sample, took part in a three to five session vocational planning group. An additional 5 (9%) were enrolled in a similar l i f e planning group. Several other types of groups are also offered at the Centre including job finding, confidence building and most recently, a health oriented l i f e s t y l e planning group. Women's programs sponsored by the Centre for Continuing Education are also offered at the Centre throughout the year. The ongoing three-session groups run by volunteer-associates at the centre are p a r t i c u l a r l y e f f e c t i v e in at t r a c t i n g c l i e n t s sincethey are usually available within a short time, do not involve a long-term comittment and are reasonably priced. These groups are seen as an extension of the brokering process in a group setting rather than as courses and as such, need to be considered in this study. Clues to the service offered in these groups and reactions to them were offered by the c l i e n t s who part i c i p a t e d . Comments pertained to several aspects of the experience. 105 1. The Group Leaders Comments about the leaders were generally p o s i t i v e : The group leaders were f r i e n d l y . However, there were too many of them. (3 for a group of 5 c l i e n t s at the f i r s t and l a s t session) The individuals were more than adequate. It was the sheer numbers that scattered thought with three leaders giving input at once. Two should be a maximum for th i s small group. The instructors were exc e l l e n t l y prepared and easy to open up with. The women who led the groups were marvelous, p r a c t i c a l , the informatin and advice was positive and 'right on'. 2. The Role Play The reactions to the use of the role play technique were mixed. Some examples are: Enjoyed some of the real l i f e role play situations in the job planning workshop. Was p a r t i c u l a r l y s a t i s f i e d with interaction in role playing of mock interview with a prospective employer. I found the role playing in the l a s t session disconcerting and i f I had been prewarned I would have been better prepared. I question the value of role playing. 3. The Benefits Most comments were very p o s i t i v e . One c l i e n t said, "The job hunting course was excellent and helped my self-esteem." Another was very happy with her experience and exclaimed, "God, people are wonderful - so brave. The group was very h e l p f u l , people opened up." 4. - D i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s and Suggestions for improvement The diverse needs of the group members was seen as a weakness by one c l i e n t and her comment was, "Suggest more screening for people taking groups - two women did not continue - they were in c r i s i s and came only once. There i s no follow up. Some people 106 in the group had other focuses." The need to focus more on s o c i a l structures, as well as on individual psychological needs was pointed out by one c l i e n t . "The job hunting group should be in a larger context - with more awareness of the system." Other suggestions included: "Should have a group for people who don't have problems with work etc. but feel that something i s not ri g h t . " One c l i e n t wanted, "time during the sessions to read university calendars or other information at the Centre". Other d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s were expressed as follows: "It was u n r e a l i s t i c to be expected to identify goals - too personal, too many games eg. l i f e tree. Too many di f f e r e n t needs in group"; "The career planning/job hunting course was very good but the group was too large and the course was too short"; and, "The delay in holding of the group sessions that go along with the job hunting manual was dissappointing. This has been delayed u n t i l the end of September for me and I v i s i t e d the Centre in June." 5 . Testimonials Some comments l i k e the following example were very p o s i t i v e : There were shining moments for me (in the group). I was so depressed at the time. Each time I went to the group I f e l t so much better. I realized I was not the only one with problems. It gave me confidence to be assertive with my mother re 'gu i l t traps'. I w i l l go back for more. The group programs seem to have been a valuable adjunct to the service for these c l i e n t s . The atmosphere of f r i e n d l i n e s s and sharing promoted by the leaders as well as opportunities for testing out plans and ideas were valued. Others indicated they were able to see their own situations in a more posit i v e way when they discovered that others had problems too - often more 107 serious than t h e i r s . Confirmation of self-confidence and of "being on the right track" were also mentioned as outcomes of the group experience This completes the presentation of findings in this section. The discussion which follows w i l l t i e together related findings in d i f f e r e n t areas in Order to make some generalizations and formulate objectives which w i l l r e f l e c t the major reactions of the c l i e n t s . 108 Discussion and Recommendations The c l i e n t s ' reactions to. the services of the Women's Resources Centre can be best understood by viewing their search and the accompanying v i s i t s to the Centre as a process. At the outset, there may be uncertainty and doubt about p o s s i b i l i t i e s and directions as well as unfamiliarity with the Centre and i t s services. Whether c l i e n t s are considering a job or career change, are in emotional upheaval or facing a l i f e stage t r a n s i t i o n , i t i s helpful to remember that people faced with change t y p i c a l l y follow a pattern of i n i t i a l d i sorientation, followed by gathering of resources to assess what is of value in the old and the new, and f i n a l l y , a higher l e v e l of functioning. The responses discussed in t h i s section r e f l e c t this search and these uncertainties and the s a t i s f a c t i o n with assistance received. They also identify gaps and point out areas where services can be modified to address unmet needs. The c l i e n t s ' reactions resulted from several d i f f e r e n t l i n e s of inquiry. Some of the same information and insights appear in several places and reinforce each other. Others seem to be isolated instances of opinion. In order to t i e together some of these interelated findings, and offer some recommendations which w i l l r e f l e c t general and s p e c i f i c reactions to the service, the discussion w i l l f i r s t address the s a t i s f a c t i o n with the three aspects of the service which were explored - a s s e s s i b i l i t y , interaction with the s t a f f and information exchange. The significance of the reactions for d i f f e r e n t c l i e n t s with varying needs w i l l be discussed. Secondly, the discussion w i l l deal with the c r i t i c a l aspect of 109 connecting needs to reso u r c e s . A b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n . o f v a r i o u s aspects of the s e r v i c e and how they p r e s e n t l y operate w i l l be i n c l u d e d so that the f i n d i n g s can be b e t t e r understood. The recommendations which are presented i n each s e c t i o n , are intended to serve two purposes -r e i n f o r c i n g present p r a c t i c e s i d e n t i f i e d as h e l p f u l and improving s e r v i c e s i d e n t i f y i n g as having gaps. The three aspects of the Drop-In S e r v i c e under c o n s i d e r a t i o n operate as a package. However, i n s i n g l i n g out components of these we have been able to i d e n t i f y d i f f e r e n c e s i n l e v e l s of s a t i s f a c t i o n and some d e f i c i e n c i e s . In p a r t i c u l a r , more a s s i s t a n c e was requested in o b t a i n i n g s p e c i f i c i n f o r m a t i o n about career and educatonal p o s i b i l i t i e s and with s e l f -assessment. Some d i s s a t i s f a c t o n was expressed with the p h y s i c a l set up, l a c k of p r i v a c y and hours of o p e r a t i o n . Some e l a b o r a t i o n of each of these aspects of the s e r v i c e as w e l l as accompanying recommendations f o r improved s e r v i c e f o l l o w . A c c e s s i b i l i t y One c l i e n t ' s comment about the Centre was, "I f e l t comfortable with the atmosphere - formal, yet somehow i n f o r m a l . " T h i s was a t y p i c a l r e a c t i o n , understandably so s i n c e much time, care and a t t e n t i o n has gone i n t o d e veloping t h i s aspect of the s e r v i c e . Diana I r o n s i d e d e s c r i b e s t h i s process and the r e s u l t : . . . i n 1977 the WRC found two rooms u p s t a i r s over a st o r e a l i t t l e f u r t h e r along Robson S t r e e t from the l i b r a r y , very near i n f a c t t o the new Robson Square, an almost i d e a l l o c a t i o n . I t took months of walking around the area to f i n d the space and the r e n t a l was high, $5,000 an n u a l l y f o r each room, one of which the UBC Centre f o r Continuing Education pays f o r to house i t s c l a s s e s and programs. The Centre's name i s on the sidewalk n o t i c e board at the b u i l d i n g ' s entrance, and the two l a r g e rooms can be screened o f f to make two 110 small meeting rooms, o f t e n used f o r s t a f f meetings, small group c o u n s e l l i n g s e s s i o n s and v a r i o u s programs and courses. The main room, entered by a short f l i g h t of s t a i r s from the s t r e e t , p r o v i d e s a very l a r g e and b r i g h t space f o r four desks and working areas f o r v o l u n t e e r s ; a lounge with s o f a , c h a i r s , c o f f e e t a b l e and an area f o r c o f f e e / t e a making, a d i s p l a y t a b l e , b u l l e t i n boards and shelves f o r an impressive c o l l e c t i o n of brochures, pamphlets and other resource m a t e r i a l s , a m i n i - l i b r a r y , i n f a c t , and a "job-hunting" resource c e n t r e of v o c a t i o n a l f i l e s , . c o u r s e d e s c r i p t i o n s and other manuals, c a l l e d the V o c a t i o n a l P l a n n i n g Centre. Leading o f f t h i s l a r g e room i s a small o f f i c e f o r one-to-one i n t e r v i e w i n g and p s y c h o l g i c a l t e s t i n g ; i t c o n t a i n s the in f o r m a t i o n f i l e s . A washroom i s att a c h e d to each of the l a r g e rooms and telephones, chalk-boards and f l i p c h a r t s are a v a i l a b l e . ( I r o n s i d e , 1980, p. 4) Th i s s e t t i n g sounds almost i d e a l and yet, other r e a c t i o n s to i t were v a r i e d . These are presented i n Appendix D. D i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s expressed r e l a t e d mainly to lack of p r i v a c y and hours of o p e r a t i o n . Some comments were as f o l l o w s : "I f e l t that everyone i n the Centre would be aware of my problem", "More p r i v a t e areas f o r c o n v e r s i n g with voluneer i f d r o p - i n i s seeking p r i v a c y and c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y " , "I wish the Centre c o u l d stay open a f t e r 4 p.m. u n t i l 7p.m. on weekdays", "The hours are not geared t o working women." As a r e s u l t , two recommendations a r e : Recommendation 4 The needs of the c l i e n t s f o r p r i v a c y should be co n s i d e r e d more c l o s e l y . The s t a f f should rearrange the e x i s t i n g space or choose more p r i v a t e areas f o r i n d i v i d u a l c o n v e r s a t i o n s . T h i s would a l s o solve the problems of i n t e r r u p t i o n s by other d r o p - i n s or c l a s s e s having breaks. Since t h i s recommendation i s f a i r l y s p e c i f i c and s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d and s i n c e i t was p r e v i o u s l y suggested (Conry, 1978) i t should be given p r i o r i t y . Recommendation 5 The Centre should c o n s i d e r extending i t s hours to b e t t e r serve working women. 111 Perhaps a new group of volunteers could be recruited to staff the f a c i l i t i e s during the early evening. The present 4 p.m. closing time prevents people from dropping in after work. Lunch hours are often too short to get to the Centre and even though the Centre i s open one evening a week and Saturdays, t h i s does not meet the needs of those who work downtown. Interaction with the Staff In t h i s study and in the studies of the Lifelong Learning Centres, the strongest favourable ratings, the fewest unsatisfactory ratings and the fewest "no answers", were given on questions r e l a t i n g to relationships with the s t a f f . Some examples of c l i e n t s ' comments are : "Receptive s t a f f , wanting to be of assistance", They took time to put you at ease with coffee", "A good l i s t e n e r , pleasant personality, an understanding kind women", and, "The counsellor didn't mind i f I cr i e d . " More comments are presented in Appendix D. These findings are interesting and encouraging for the Women's Resources Centre since the Lifelong Learning Centres were staffed by professionals while t h i s Centre u t i l i z e s volunteer-associates. The peer-counselling model on which the service i s based i s described as follows: The use of the Peer Counselling model i s based on the work of Margaret Rioch of the National Institute of Mental Health who showed that women with shared l i f e experience and some tra i n i n g in l i s t e n i n g s k i l l s and psychodynamics make good counsellors. Our experience bears t h i s out. In the Women's Resources Centre, the Volunteer-Associates function as educational brokers, using their peer counselling s k i l l s to a s s i s t women to locate learning resources and map out action plans. The Volunteer-Associates are taught to view women in the context of their l i v e s and to consider the s o c i a l , emotional, physical and i n t e l l e c t u a l aspects of functioning. An important part of the trai n i n g 112 consists of understanding the place of peer counselling in the counselling team and knowing when r e f e r r a l i s appropriate. Emphasis i s placed on the et h i c a l dimension of human service. The Women's Resources Centre makes extensive use of adult education theory and practice to prepare women for t h e i r changed role in society. (Ironside, 1979, p. 17) In terms of providing s a t i s f a c t i o n with service, t h i s model is indeed working. In fact, the s p i r i t which the volunteer associate brings to her role i s probably one of the most valuable strengths of the service and a factor which i s reflected unmistakably in the comments of the c l i e n t s . The recommendations presented are intended to enhance th i s role by providing suggestions for supplementing i t . The present group of volunteer-associates represents a variety of age ranges, backgrounds and socio-economic l e v e l s . However, as a previous study indicated, (Conry, 1978) the Centre is primarily staffed by middle and upper-middle class women. Concerns about the possible d i f f i c u l t y which some c l i e n t s may have in r e l a t i n g to the volunteers was expressed at that time. These have emerged again. One volunteer wondered how the flash of diamonds around the Centre affected c l i e n t s who were poor. Another concern related to how well the present s t a f f could a s s i s t a very poor woman or a lesbian woman coming to the Centre. In order to promote a more appropriate match up between c l i e n t s ' needs and staff c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , two recommendations are: Recommendation 6 The s t a f f of the Women's Resources Centre should attempt to match up the c l i e n t s ' c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s with those of a volunteer associate who i s similar or who may have knowledge in the c l i e n t s ' area of interest. 113 For example, some older c l i e n t s f e e l that a volunteer closer to their own age could relate better to their needs. One comment was, "Try to match ages. At 59 one doesn't f e e l comfortable discussing one's l i f e with a 20 year old." Also, since some volunteers are more familiar with various aspects of the service (vocational planning, health promotion, etc.) i t seems reasonable to try to achieve t h i s . This process could be part of the i n i t i a l assessment phase or result from the exploration of a c l i e n t s ' needs and i n t e r s t s . An inteview with a d i f f e r e n t volunteer could be offered at the next v i s i t , which could be scheduled accordingly. Recommendation 7 Recruit additional volunteers to staff the Centre during the late afternoon or early evening hours. Since i t has already been recommended that the Centre extend i t s hours to better serve women who work downtown, this recommendation would serve two purposes. As well as solving the s t a f f i n g problem of extended hours, i t would provide a dif f e r e n t composition of staff since those who would be available at th i s time would probably be working at jobs during the day and offer the needed supplement to the pool of volunteers in terms of socio economic status, l i f e s t y l e , resources and role models. Naturally, the recruitment of these new volunteers would have to proceeed as c a r e f u l l y and their orientation would need to be as through as that which i s presently practiced with the daytime s t a f f . I n s t i t u t i n g these two recommendations would address two aspects of the Centre which are seen by some as shortcomings. The services would be more indiv i d u a l i z e d and would offer some 1 1 4 control over the pairing of a c l i e n t with a suitable volunteer. Secondly, the services would be geared to a broader range of women and their varying needs. The quality of the interaction with the sta f f i s important at a l l stages of service. However, as reflected by the c l i e n t s ' comments, i t i s probably more c r u c i a l during the beginning stages of their association with the Centre. The following recommendations, therefore, pertain mainly to the i n i t i a l stages of the brokering process: Recommendation 8 Staff should focus more attention on the i n i t i a l assessment and exploratory phases of the service so that information and resources are not offered prematurely and consequently not u t i l i z e d by c l i e n t s . It has already been recommended that a d i s t i n c t i o n between c l i e n t s ' varying needs during the i n i t i a l contact (either in person or by telephone) be made. Once that has been done, more attention needs to be focused on offering an appropriate reception and approach. For example, those seeking s p e c i f i c information or assistance within a limited time frame should have that provided i f possible. The casual drop-in should be oriented to the resources and allowed to browse with the knowledge that a volunteer i s available should she wish to pursue or discuss anything. The c l i e n t in c r i s i s or the woman wishing to discuss a concerning situation should be offered a private place to converse, with support, warmth and attention. The c l i e n t who indicates an interest in futher exploration of any kind, should be offered a brokering interview. A l l of these d i f f e r e n t types of c l i e n t s should be made aware of the a v a i l a b i l i t y of further service according to their needs and 115 invited to return i f they wish. Recommendation 9 Clients for whom a brokering interview i s indicated should be offered an appropriate "entry-strategy" or approach, depending on their p a r t i c u l a r stage of exploration. This can be done during the i n i t a l exploratory stage by l i s t e n i n g , r e l e c t i n g , encouraging elaboration and generally a s s i s t i n g the c l i e n t s to express themselves. Appropriate strategies include allowing time and insuring a quiet place for the exchange. If the c l i e n t i s uncertain about her goals or directio n s , the fact that t h i s i s a common feeling and a legitimate one should be communicated. The p o s i b i l i t i e s for service from the Centre should be outlined, with the assistance of printed materials that she can take away with her. An appropriate next step should be agreed upon. In order to as s i s t the volunteer in implementing these two recommendations, another i s suggested: Recommendation 10 Training and orientation sessions for volunteer-associates should focus on the i n i t i a l stages of the brokering process and the importance of off e r i n g the approaches l i s t e d in the goals of the Centre under "processes" during these stages should be stressed. These tr a i n i n g sessions should stress that c l i e n t s ' needs are such that they may enter the brokering process at any point. Their readiness to act or explore p o s s i b i l i t i e s w i l l depend on a var i t y of individual factors. Therefore, while being aware of the o v e r a l l process, and that some c l i e n t s may proceed in an orderly fashion from the i n i t i a l asssessment stage to the follow-up phase, volunteers also need to be aware that some c l i e n t s w i l l present themselves having already embarked on some 1 1 6 of these a c t i v i t i e s . By understanding individual differences and the rationale of the ov e r a l l process, staff w i l l be more confident in assessing the needs of the c l i e n t , including the stage she i s in and her state of readiness to move on. They w i l l then be able to offer an appropriate approach which may involve a supportive or a more action-oriented strategy. By focusing on the interaction with the st a f f in the preliminary stages of the brokering process, these recommendations and their implementation can result in more positi v e feelings and less disappointment with t h i s aspect of the service. Information and Referral Since Information was the service most frequently received by those c l i e n t s who reacted to the goals of the Centre and since i t received the least favourable ratings in terms of both s a t i s f a c t i o n and usefulness, the Centre should focus i t s e f f o r t s on improving the information exchange and r e f e r r a l aspects of the brokering service. Needs for information generally f a l l into two categories: Information about one's self and information about career or educational opportunities. In as s i s t i n g c l i e n t s to define goals and directions, both types of knowledge are required. One of the ways in which the Centre a s s i s t s c l i e n t s is by reacting to their plans. A women may test out her ideas to see i f they are r e a l i s t i c . She may require confirmation that her di r e c t i o n i s appropriate and that her pa r t i c u l a r plan of action f i t s . C l i e n t s sometimes come to the Centre with u n r e a l i s t i c plans and hopes, presenting a challenge for the peer-counsellor 117 who does not wish to discourage but cannot encourage what she sees as a completely u n r e a l i s t i c goal. In order to identif y strengths and a b i l i t i e s and formulate goals in re l a t i o n to these some assistance besides a counsellor's confirmation or opinion is useful. Assessment of "personal competencies" and "testing of strengths and weaknesses" ranks high on the l i s t of services that adults would l i k e provided (Cross, 1978, p.36). Since adults give high p r i o r i t y to . self-assessment, the Women's Resources Centre should examine i t s services in thi s area. The psycholgical testing service which the centre presently offers does not seem to be adequate to meet t h i s need. Reactions of c l i e n t s who have u t i l i z e d i t indicate that i t confirmed what they already knew about themselves but did not reveal anything new. Also, there seems to be a gap in as s i s t i n g c l i e n t s with transferring the information gained from the tests to their own si t u a t i o n . Connecting their p a r t i c u l a r a b i l i t i e s to the requirements of a career area remains an u n f i l l e d need. For these reasons and because the cost of $60 i s out of range for many c l i e n t s , the staff of the Centre do not often recommend the testing service. Recommendation 11 The Women's Resources Centre should reassess i t s role in a s s i s t i n g c l i e n t s to obtain knowledge about themselves, their strengths and a b i l i t i e s and in rel a t i n g these to educational and career goals by: 1. Reviewing the present psychological testing service provided and co-ordinate t h i s service with the brokering process. 2. Referring c l i e n t s to assessment services in the community (C.E.I.C. offers testing free of charge for those seeking employment or vocational t r a i n i n g ) . 3. Developing additonal ways to assi s t c l i e n t s in self-assessment, both at the Centre and by r e f e r r a l to other career counselling services. Another way in which the Centre can and does a s s i s t c l i e n t s 118 to define their needs and interests i s by providing them with information about the p o s s i b l i i t i e s for assistance from the Centre.. Adults are generally unaware of the range of programs and services available to them in the community and i t i s one of the brokers' functions to make these known in relation to the c l i e n t s ' p a r t i c u l a r needs and in t e r e s t s . S i m i l a r l y , c l i e n t s coming to the Centre often do not know about the range of services offered. One c l i e n t noted, "I had no idea the Centre offered a l l of t h i s u n t i l I received t h i s form." She suggested, "perhaps a form similar to this prior to counselling as well as after could be used." Recommendation 12 The Women's Resources Centre should develop and employ an assessment tool to a s s i s t those that are unclear about their needs or unfamiliar with what the Centre has to o f f e r . This would consist of a l i s t i n g of career, educational and l i f e s t y l e interests and the services offered by the Centre. Using such a tool would help c l i e n t s to define goals and directions and assess some of their own needs for information and assistance. It would also a s i s t the counsellor in providing appropriate resources whether the needs are for self-assessment, counselling or related to career or education. Once these needs have been i d e n t i f i e d , and a c l i e n t ' s resources assessed, the role of the Centre i s to either provide the information for the c l i e n t or a s s i s t her in obtaining i t . Clients' comments about t h i s service during the resourcing and networking phases indicated that there were some shortcomings. Since some needs were i d e n t i f i e d as being of interest to more c l i e n t s than others, e f f o r t s to improve the information service should focus on these. 119 Recommendation 13 The Women's Resources Centre should focus i t s e f f o r t s to provide information and r e f e r r a l services in the eleven areas of need which were most frequently i d e n t i f i e d . These include: A. Career/Vocational Interests 1. Exploring aptitudes, interests and a b i l i t i e s . 2. C l a r i f y i n g employment goals. 3. Planning employment goals. 4. Analyzing the job si t u a t i o n . B. Educational Interests 1. College or university programs 2. General interest or personal development programs 3. Personal s u i t a b i l i t y for .different programs. C. L i f e s t y l e Interests 1. Personal development 2. Exploring l i f e goals and l i f e planning 3. Coping with depression or loneliness 4. Assessing personal l i f e s t y l e s . Recommendation 14 The Women's Resources Centre should examine the ways in which i t provides the following eight services which received the most positive ratings so that these approaches could also be used to benefit other areas: 1. Analyzing my job si t u a t i o n . 2. Learning how to job hunt. 3. Re-entering the job market. 4. Resume writing. 5. Job-related t r a i n i n g . 6. Personal development. 7. Dealing with stress; and, 8. Finding out about community resources. Two of these, analyzing a c l i e n t ' s job situation and providing opportunities for personal development, should receive p a r t i c u l a r attention since they were also included in the l i s t of items of most interest. The centre should continue to focus on these two areas. Recommendation 15 The Women's Resources Centre should examine ways in which i t provides information and assistance with fiv e interest areas which received the least positive ratings: 1. Completion of high school. 2. Determining requirements to enter d i f f e r e n t programs. 3. Securing f i n a n c i a l aid for education. 1 20 4. Resolving f i n a n c i a l issues; and, 5. Planning for a l i f e - l o n g career. The Centre should examine whether or not these services are part of i t s goals and to what extent they require concentrated e f f o r t s to improve them. Implementation of these three recommendations would address some of the previously mentioned d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s . Even though i t has not been possible to connect these shortcomings with those which were mentioned e a r l i e r , these e f f o r t s would probably result in c l i e n t s receiving better service. It would also enable the Centre to focus limited resources and set p r i o r i t i e s so that plans can be made to maintain e f f e c t i v e service and supplement d e f i c i e n c i e s . Other ways in which the service provided during the resourcing and networking phases of the brokering process could be improved were suggested by c l i e n t s and staff and included an emphasis on career/vocational guidance. Recommendation 16 The Women's Resources Centre should consider offering more p r a c t i c a l assistance to c l i e n t s in securing employment by dir e c t communication with the Canadian Immigration and Employment Commission (Women's Employment Project) in order to provide c l i e n t s with information about available jobs. This would result in more p r a c t i c a l assistance, more opportunities for advocacy as well as supplementing the services of that agency. Since c l i e n t s expressed a lack of assistance in exploring goals and a b i l i t i e s at C.E.E.C. A coordination of ef f o r t s could enhance the services of both agencies. Recommendation 17 The Women's Resources Centre should improve i t s contact networks with community agencies and educational i n s t i t u t i o n s . A computerized educational 121 brokering hook up with educational i n s t i t u t i o n s would enable the Centre to provide current, relevant information more e f f i c i e n t l y . In focusing on reactions to such external environmental aspects of the service as physical surroundings, hours of operation, a v a i l a b i l i t y of s p e c i f i c information and even interaction with the s t a f f , we court the danger of becoming caught up in assessing measures of comfort and neglecting the more c r u c i a l aspect of f a c i l i t a t i n g a connection for the c l i e n t between her needs and the available resources. Satisfactions with services are important and may be a prerequisite for achieving results, but i t i s the impact of. the service which t e l l s the f i n a l story. If c l i e n t s actually move towards their goals, as an outcome of s p e c i f i c assistance they receive, the importance of the comfort aspects pale as the more c a t a l y t i c measures are recognized. One c l i e n t addressed this d i s t i n c t i o n when she wondered i f the services were more "optics than r e a l " . Moreover, i t has been suggested that external factors such as physical environment and problems such as transportation loom larger for those who seek out services, or participate in educational programs because of d e f i c i e n c i e s they feel rather than for reasons r e l a t i n g to growth and development (Boshier, 1973) . The s a t i s f a c t i o n ratings need to be considered in r e l a t i o n to t h i s knowledge. Knowing that, for some, the i n i t i a l reception, the convenience of v i s i t i n g the Centre and the f r i e n d l i n e s s of the s t a f f , are more c r u c i a l than for others, has p r a c t i c a l implications for service. Those who are more growth-122 motivated exhibit a d i f f e r e n t form of "readiness" than those who come because of some problem or deficiency they f e e l . This difference makes sense when we imagine how each of these two groupsmust feel about themselves when f i r s t approaching the Centre. Thus, the following recommendation is offered. Recommendation 18 During the i n i t i a l assessment of the c l i e n t ' s needs, the staff of the Women's Resources Centre should also assess the c l i e n t ' s reason for v i s i t i n g the Centre in terms of growth or deficiency motivation. This can provide p r a c t i c a l guidelines for tayloring services to the needs of the c l i e n t . Ways to accomplish t h i s i n i t i a l assessment of a c l i e n t ' s motivation and needs should also be formulated and introduced to the staff at orientations and ongoing workshops. In l i g h t of the s k i l l s and a b i l i t i e s of the volunteer-associates whom in off e r i n g a welcoming reception, t h i s recommendation and the others which deal with the volunteer's role, may appear superfluous. However, when we consider the di f f e r e n t emphases which c l i e n t s place on the i n i t i a l reception, these recommendations serve two purposes: ( 1 ) Promotion of improved judgements about how to spend limited time with a c l i e n t so that service can be better geared to varying needs, and ( 2 ) Confirmation of a strength inherent in the q u a l i t i e s of the volunteer associates and the service they provide. Having made these i n i t i a l assessments, and having offered appropriate approaches, the st a f f can take the next step and focus on more action-oriented strategies for those who can benefit from them - connecting their needs to available resources. 123 Connecting Needs to Resources The services of the Women's Resources Centre operate on the premise that acceptance and understanding, including l e g i t i m i z i n g a c l i e n t ' s position, can free her to move on. Making information and resources available can also encourage her to do so. The staff u t i l i z e these strategies very well as we have seen from the previous discussion. However, the service goes a step further. A proactive, gentle "get-on-with-it" attitude supplements and extends these approaches. In ou t l i n i n g the phases of the brokering process the shortcomings which c l i e n t s have experienced have been highlighted. However, there i s potential for offering a service which i s both comprehensive and ind i v i d u a l i z e d by tayloring the approach to the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the c l i e n t and hercUrrent stage of exploration. As the c l i e n t progresses through each of these stages with the counsellor, in a c y c l i c a l rather than linear fashion, i t i s important that the woman leaves each encounter knowing her next step. Whether th i s relates to the i n i t i a l assessment stage or one of the more advanced points, i t should be a clear goal, mutually agreed upon. Provision for reporting back, either in person or by telephone, should be made as indicated. I n s t i t u t i n g t h i s more deliberate approach to service would a l l e v i a t e some of the h i t or miss aspects of the service which have resulted in the d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s . The role of the counsellor in each of these phases i s one of f a c i l i t a t i n g the process by cutting through the wide array of available information to i d e n t i f y those resources, programs or services which are appropriate for each individual at whatever stage she 124 happens to be and then a s s i s t i n g her in making use of them. In short, the role consists/of assessment, advisement, r e f e r r a l , information and advocacy as indicated. The necessity for c l i e n t s to make several v i s i t s to the Centre as well as to other community resources in order to engage in the brokering process has been i m p l i c i t in the previous discussion. It was also implied by previous recommendations which suggested matching up c l i e n t s with suitable counsellors. Even though women are welcome to return at any time, we have seen that many of them are reluctant to do so. Others are unsure of what further services the Centre might offer them. Since the suggestion that more s p e c i f i c follow-up provisions be included in the service came up again and again, in comments made by both c l i e n t s and s t a f f , an e x p l i c i t 9 recommendation i s in order. Recommendation 19 The Women's Resources Centre should i n s t i t u t e more s p e c i f i c procedures for follow-up services for selected c l i e n t s Some suggestions as to how t h i s might be implemented are: 1. Volunteers could routinely set up an appointment for a c l i e n t to return to the Centre to meet with the same or a more suitable s t a f f member. 2. A telephone c a l l could be planned by c l i e n t or volunteer to check back. 3. A record of the c l i e n t ' s needs and interests could be kept on f i l e so that she could be contacted when and i f suitable contacts or resources emerge. This would also provide information for other volunteer asociates who sees her at her 125 next v i s i t . Implementation of these suggestions may pose some p r a c t i c a l problems but i n s t i t u t i n g follow-up procedures may be the single most e f f e c t i v e way in which the service of the Centre can be improved for certain types of c l i e n t s - those for whom a brokering process is indicated. A follow-up procedure for s p e c i f i c c l i e n t s , perhaps those requiring additional support or encouragementconsisting of even a brief telephone c a l l could also enable . s t a f f to obtain feedback about the results of service and they could then offer additional assistance as required. However, the Centre may be-ambivalent about implementing such a recommendation. Since there i s a fine l i n e between offering an adequate service and promoting dependence, and as the purpose of the Centre is to promote self-directedness and the u t i l i z a t i o n of community resources, i t has no desire to be a l l things to a l l women. Whether or not this goal would be jeopardized by i n s t i t u t i n g t h i s recommendation i s dependent upon the ways in which i t i s done. If the previously outlined brokering process and the accompanying recommendations are accepted, the follow up aspect must of course, be an entegral part of that approach. Clients for whom that process i s set in motion, should receive t h i s encouragement to continue with i t . Other c l i e n t s l i k e A l l i e who are regular v i s i t o r s to the Centre might also be i d e n t i f i e d and better assisted i f they were offered an opportunity to return at a s p e c i f i c time for a s p e c i f i c purpose. Like A l l i e , who has been to the Centre over 25 times during the past two years, and says that she l i k e s to peruse the brochures and browse, but also 126 states that she, "never got any more help than picking up a bunch of brochures," some habitual v i s i t o r s may be motivated to move ahead with their exploration or take action. Because some c l i e n t s have needs exempified by A l l i e whose statements r e f l e c t both a request for more assistance and and d i f f i c u l t y in accepting i t , a further recommendation i s in order: Recommendation 20 Regular habitual v i s i t o r s to the Women's Resources Centre should also be i d e n t i f i e d and offered some s p e c i f i c follow-up service. Since these women are familiar with the Centre their v i s i t may even go unnoticed. One wonders i f their persistence i s a request for more assistance which they are unable to a r t i c u l a t e . The intent of these two recommendations for follow up procedures, i s to improve the quality of service to c l i e n t s who are presently u t i l i z i n g i t . Whether to invest time and energy into doing so rather than in rec r u i t i n g more c l i e n t s by additional outreach and promotion of the Centre are questions that the sta f f w i l l need to consider. The question about how e f f e c t i v e the services of the Women's Resources Centre have been in meeting the c l i e n t s ' needs was succinctly answered by one c l i e n t t h i s way: "Overall,- I have enjoyed ' my association with the Centre. I f e l t i t was supportive in providing d i r e c t i o n and by explaining your si t u a t i o n , you saw i t more objectively and could make your own decision." We have examined an array of findings about many aspects of the service and formulated a host of s p e c i f i c recommendations. Putting these elements back together, and looking at some of the reactions to the service as a whole, we begin to understand how i t works. Since adults often experience 127 personal and environmental d i f f i c u l t i e s making changes in their l i v e s , feeling locked in to certain patterns, roles and expectations, any decision to change must be preceded by the development of a comprehensive view of one's s i t u a t i o n . The very s i g n i f i c a n t role of a service such as that of the Women's Resources Centre i s to provide "both the information and psychological support for a synoptic view of one's l i f e . That can abet and inform, but not make or even co-erce, the decision of individuals" (Toombs, 1977, p.7). If thi s service can be provided in conjunction with an existing state of readiness on the part of the c l i e n t which may be the result of an already i n i t i a t e d process of t r a n s i t i o n and f a c i l i t a t e d by rapport with the counsellors, the role of the Centre may be one of opening doors for some c l i e n t s by of f e r i n g an appropriate action strategy. Discussion of the responses to the f i n a l major question to be considered in thi s report, "What impacts or results can be attributed to the c l i e n t s ' association with the Centre?" i l l u s t r a t e s how some c l i e n t s have indeed moved ahead with plans, made changes in their l i v e s , and gained new perspectives on their situations. 128 Impacts of Clients' Association with the Women's Resources Centre. The previous section i d e n t i f i e d some de f i c i e n c i e s , unmet needs and d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s . Although these were presented within a context of ove r a l l s a t i s f a c t i o n and a positive reaction to the services in general, i t was the shortcomings to which most of the recommendations were addressed. Now, in looking at the results or impacts of the services for these c l i e n t s and how the experience f i t t e d into the broader framework of the women's l i v e s , there i s a dif f e r e n t mood-almost one of celebration. The response to this l i n e of questioning r e f l e c t optimism and hope, even though this may be tempered with r e a l i t y factors. Outcomes: Actions, Plans, General Improvements Table 10 provides a picture of. three types of results which c l i e n t s attributed to their association with the Centre. Seventy-three percent (46 of the 63 c l i e n t s ) reported having taken some d e f i n i t e action. Another 16% (10) reported that they also had plans underway or had experienced general l i f e s t y l e improvements. The most frequently reported outcomes in each category were: A. Actions Taken Approximately 25% of those who responded reported having improved their income, enrolled in school, college, general interest or personal development programs, attended a vocational planning group at the Centre or contacted a community resource to meet the i r needs. The following actions were reported most frequently (They were mentioned by 15 to 23 percent of the 129 Table 10 Results Attributed to Cl i e n t s ' Association with the Women's Resources Centre (N=63) Outcome N % Responses (yes) A. Actions Taken Started my f i r s t job 55 7 Got a job after being out of the job market for a period of time 55 16 Enrolled in job t r a i n i n g program 56 5 Improved my income 55 24 Enrolled in school, college or university 53 23 Enrolled in general interest or personal development program 54 24 Attended vocational Planning group at the Centre 55 24 Improved l i v i n g arrangements 56 18 Had li f e - p l a n n i n g interview 55 9 Registered for l i f e - p l a n n i n g workship 55 9 Improved family or marital relationships 56 13 Improved diet or exercise habits 55 6 Attended noon hour events at the Centre 56 7 Took psychological tests 54 16 Sought personal counselling 55 15 Contacted a community resource to meet my need 54 24 continued next page T a b l e 10 ( c o n t . ) Outcome N Responses 1 30 % (yes) B. P l a n s Underway Making p l a n s f o r j o b change 50 36 Making p l a n s f o r f u r t h e r e d u c a t i o n 51 41 Making p l a n s f o r l i f e s t y l e change 50 42 S t i l l g a t h e r i n g i n f o r m a t i o n 52 71 C. G e n e r a l Improvements I now know where t o f i n d the i n f o r m a t i o n I need 55 71 I now know more about m y s e l f , my s t r e n g t h s and a l t e r n a t i v e s 57 63 My l i f e i n t e r e s t s have broadened 55 38 I f e e l more s a t i s f i e d w i t h my p r e s e n t s i t u a t i o n 57 60 I now f e e l more i n c o n t r o l of the d i r e c t i o n of my l i f e 56 63 My g o a l s have been c l a r i f i e d . 5 4 54 I am now more l i k e l y t o seek a s s i s t a n c e when I need i t 56 79 r e s p o n d e n t s ) : got a j o b a f t e r b e i n g out of the j o b market f o r some t i m e , improved l i v i n g arrangements, took p s y c h o l o g i c a l t e s t s or sought p e r s o n a l c o u n s e l l i n g . F i f t y - n i n e p e r c e n t of thos e i n t e r v i e w e d s a i d t h a t they had taken some a c t i o n s t h a t were based on t h e i r v i s i t t o the Women's Resources C e n t r e . B. P l a n s Underway Seventy p e r c e n t of the respond e n t s r e p o r t e d t h a t they were s t i l l g a t h e r i n g i n f o r m a t i o n about a l t e r n a t i v e s . I n d i s c u s s i n g t h i s d u r i n g the i n t e r v i e w s , 22 of the 27 c l i e n t s s t a t e d they had made o t h e r i m p o r t a n t d e c i s i o n s s i n c e t h e i r v i s i t t o the C e n t r e and 12 of t h e s e c l a i m e d they had been i n f l u e n c e d by t h e v i s i t . 131 C. General Improvements • . Seventy-nine percent reported that they are now more l i k e l y to seek assistance when they need i t and 71% said they now know where to find the information they. need. Sixty-three percent reported that they know more about themselves, th e i r strengths and alternatives and f e e l more in control of the di r e c t i o n of their l i v e s . The response pattern indicates that the results are part of a process which consists of changing attitudes and feelings, ongoing information-gathering and planning. Although most of the responses f e l l into the planning, exploring stages, Others indicated that many c l i e n t s had also taken some d e f i n i t e actions. A f f e c t i v e Outcomes Additional information about changes in attitudes and feelings about themselves and others and about l i f e in general was gained from the 27 c l i e n t s interviewed. Table 11 shows a mean increase in positive a f f e c t i v e outcomes of 13 to 25 points, from a starting point of 100. When individual responses are examined i t becomes apparent that there was not always a change in every item. Some stayed the same and a few decreased. One c l i e n t explained her decreases as follows: My contentment decreased to 80 because I came to the r e a l i z a t i o n that I wanted more for myself, as a woman and independent person than I had previously desired, es p e c i a l l y in terms of career and f i n a n c i a l s t a b i l i t y . My optimism decreased to 75 after the job-training program because prospects for employment looked bleak. My enthusiasm decreased to 80 because I did not f e e l that there were many options, again employment did not look p o s i t i v e , career p o s s i b i l i t i e s did not look posit i v e either. 132 Table 11 Affective Outcomes Resulting from Clients' Association with the Women's Resources Centre Outcome Increased from 100 to (mean scores) 1. Feelings of Self-worth 121 2 . Self-Conf idence 1 1 5 3 . Self-understanding 1 25 4 . Knowledge 122 5 . Contentment 113 6 . Assertiveness 1 1 3 7 . Optimism 122 8 . Enthusiasm 121 9 . R e a l i s t i c Outlook .1 20 10 . General Wellbeing 121 My feelings of wellbeing decreased to 9 5 . I f e l t that I had to go through major changes in order to become, a f i n a n c i a l l y secure and independent woman. This woman's self-understanding increased to 1 2 5 , knowledge, to 150 , assertiveness to 130 , and r e a l i s t i c outlook to 125 . The o v e r a l l picture for most of the c l i e n t s was one of improved feelings of wellbeing and general outlook on l i f e r e s ulting from their association with the Centre. In fact, several indicated that they would now choose a more positive response to the question "How do you fe e l about your l i f e as a whole?" than they previously did on the i n i t a l questionnaire. Problems The attainment of results and i n i t i a t i o n of changes, or the f a i l u r e to do so, may depend on other factors besides the association with the Women's Resources Centre. Clients were asked to id e n t i f y problems or barrie r s which might prevent them from moving ahead with their plans. Table 12 shows those factors most frequently i d e n t i f i e d as problems. The degree of 133 d i f f i c u l t y presented by each factor, for those who i d e n t i f i e d i t Table 12 Problems in moving ahead with Plans (N=63) Problem 1. Lack of counselling & information services. 2. Lack of Self-confidence . 3. Lack of knowledge about personal talents and goals. 4. Lack of money . 5. Transportation problems. 6. Lack of support from family or spouse. 7. Lack of c h i l d care or other support services . 8. Lack of f l e x i b l e programs or part time opportunities. 9. Lack of -recognition.for previous education or experience. 10. Unhappy feelings about school. 11. Lack of information about opportunities. 12. Location of programs or employment. 13. Not enought time . Seen as Presents a A real Problem D i f f i c u l t y Barrier (%) (Adjusted %) 70 66 34 89 54 46 82 53 47 70 60 40 41 68 32 43 71 29 21 40 60 46 85 15 65 49 51 44 63 37 79 69 31 49 83 17 52 64 36 as a problem, is also indicated. Three of these were i d e n t i f i e d by a higher percentage of c l i e n t s than any others: lack of S e l f -Confidence (89%), lack of knowledge about personal talents and goals (82%), and lack of information about opportunities (79%). Two additional problem areas were also i d e n t i f i e d by at least 70% of the c l i e n t s . These were lack of counselling and information services, and lack of money. Those who i d e n t i f i e d problems were asked to rate them as d i f f i c u l t i e s or b a r r i e r s . Several barriers were mentioned. 134 Lack of self-confidence was i d e n t i f i e d as a barrier by more people than any other problem (22). Lack of knowledge about personal talents and goals was a close second. (.21). Eighteen people f e l t that lack of recognition for previous education or experience was a barrier for them and 15 c i t e d lack of money. For 5 people, lack of c h i l d care and other support services was a ba r r i e r . Several additional problems were also mentioned: "Lack of s p e c i f i c information on how to apply my s k i l l s , a b i l i t i e s and interests, i e . courses, job opportunities", "My problem is the i n a b i l i t y to c l e a r l y state needs", "Management of time available"," Energy (may be connected to number 2)", "Depression", "I'm confused", "An attitude of, 'I don't deserve to be what I want'". In order to supplement the responses gained from the 63 respondents to the questionnaire, the 27 interviewees were asked to elaborate on any problems they s t i l l needed to solve before they could act on suggestions or plans. Eighty percent claimed they had continuing problems. The-following problem areas and the accompanying comments add to our understanding of the previously l i s t e d d i f f i c u l t i e s and barriers and how they af f e c t the women's progress. 1. Lack of Information, Knowledge and training Deficiencies in management, communication and technical s k i l l s , such as typing, were mentioned. Lack of knowledge about personal a b i l i t i e s and s u i t a b i l i t y for d i f f e r e n t occupations as well as not having the prerequisites to enter educatoional programs were also stated as continuing problems. Lack of 135 awareness and information on women's issues and how these can affect their l i v e s was also mentioned by some c l i e n t s . 2. Financial and other Problems Several c l i e n t s expressed the need to f i n d ways to finance further education. For example, some planned to apply for student grants, secure part time employment or manage on less money. Others who were interested in programs l i k e W o m e n in Management or psychological testing services found them out of their reach f i n a n c i a l l y . The continuing problem of organizing home respo n s i b i l i t i e s a n d making suitable child-care arrangements prevented some women from moving ahead with plans as quickly as they wanted to. Others needed to make p r a c t i c a l changes such as move residence and a few noted that the routine of work made i t d i f f i c u l t to find time to explore other p o s s i b i l t i e s . 3. Self-Cbnfidence and Motivation Some c l i e n t s stated that they continued to lack the s e l f -confidence and motivation required to move ahead with their plans. A need to develope more maturity before tackling an academic program as well as self-doubts regarding schooling from the past were also mentioned. Worry about personal problems also interfered with plans for some. 4. Relationships "Maintaining and resolving my relationship with my husband as I continue to change and sort myself out", was a problem mentioned by one c l i e n t and an underlying concern for others as well. 136 Connecting Outcomes to the Association with the Centre In spite of these continuing problems, a majority of the c l i e n t s who were interviewed seemed to be moving ahead with their plans. Next, we w i l l consider more closely how the outcomes may be connected to the association with the Centre. In response to this l i n e of questioning, 16 of the 27 (59%) said that they had acted on suggestions that came out of the experience with the Centre. Of the 22 (85%) who said they had faced other important challenges since their contact with the Centre, 12 (55%) indicated that their experience with the Centre counselling had p o s i t i v e l y affected their a b i l i t y to deal with these constuctively. An increased understanding of the results reported and the possible relationships between outcomes and the association with the Women's Resources Centre was also gained from responses to the question, "Has your association with the Women's Resources Centre affected you in some way which has not been mentioned?" Several common factors emerged and are summarized and i l l u s t r a t e d as follows: 1. Some f e l t they had gained increased self-confidence to act. on their own ideas and were more self-accepting. For example: I'm s t i l l going though a d i f f i c u l t personal journey but I now am more accepting of who and what I am, which i s d i f f e r e n t from society's expectation. Day to day l i f e problems seem less c r u c i a l - l i f e i s a b i t easier now. Others found asking.for help less d i f f i c u l t and one c l i e n t ' s a b i l i t y to accepta r e f e r r a l for personal counselling at the Pastoral Institute "... has changed my l i f e and l i f t e d a great 137 burden." 2. Others became aware of encouragement, support and the a v a i l a b i l i t y of future assistance. Several comments were as follows: Now that I know the Centre and the people I am more l i k e l y to go to workshops or return i f I need more assistance - i t ' s better than a f r i e n d . I now know that when I feel bad I can pick up the phone and c a l l or go there. Knowing that the Centre is there gives me support in t h i s (Handling a d i f f i c u l t s i t u a t i o n ) . What i t did for me was to make me real i z e that many women have the same problems I have. I was not alone. The feeling that " . . . i f I do need help in certain areas, i t w i l l be available" was also expressed. 3. Self-directedness and motivation was also increased. Some c l i e n t s received the encouragement and stimulation they needed to i n i t i a t e and continue explorations, seek counselling or make a move.One c l i e n t said, "I have stopped waiting. The job I have at this point i s not exactly what I want but I am working towards where I want to go. The Centre helped me to get going and do something." 4. New ideas and insights were also gained. Clients gained information and new perspecitives in such areas as parenting, women's issues, problems with relationships and handling a job interview. One c l i e n t was able to eliminate some u n r e a l i s t i c options by looking at Calenders at the Centre rather than "...trying to contact a l l those places." Another discovered "The idea that one could make contacts for b e n e f i c i a l purposes". These comments i l l u s t r a t e the Center's wide range of influence ont i t s c l i e n t s . They also indicate how the Centre influenced their a b i l i t y to move ahead with d i f f e r e n t aspects of their l i v e s . A closer examination of how the association with the 138 Centre f i t t e d into the larger framework of the women's l i v e s follows. The larger Context of the Women's Lives The Women's Resources Centre offers i t s services within the context of an ove r a l l l i f e planning framework. Up to thi s point we have examined several aspects of the Service. Clients' needs and the helpfulness of the Centre in providing appropriate information and assistance with career, educational and l i f e s t y l e concerns have been described. We have separated out goals, both products and processes, in order to assess their influences. We have also enquired about continuing problems and pointed out some connections between c l i e n t s ' outcomes and their experience with the Centre. Now, in order to do ju s t i c e to the central purpose of the service, (promoting self directed learning), some findings and observations about how the experience f i t t e d into the larger framework of the women's l i v e s w i l l be presented. The personal interviews provided some indication of how c l i e n t s saw their association with the Centre in terms of their current l i f e s i t u a t i o n . In talking with the f i r s t few c l i e n t s , i t became apparent that, for the most part, these women represented successes in terms of the goals of the Women's Resources Centre. The majority of the 27 c l i e n t s who participated in the interviews which were conducted 2 to 5 months after the i n i t i a l v i s i t to the Centre, reported having moved ahead in some area of th e i r l i v e s . They had either c l a r i f i e d goals and directions or some of their needs had been resolved. 139 Some c l i e n t s recognized that what they were r e a l l y involved in was a process of 'learning how to learn' and were able to ar t i c u l a t e t h i s . They were developing new perspecives which could result in changes. They recognized that knowing how to pursue resources and contacts as well as seeing their situation within the larger context of women's status in society was personally important to them. This awareness influenced their explorations and enabled them to c l a r i f y their goals and purposes, resulting in a r e a l i z a t i o n of personal power. As each of the interviews progressed, t h i s quality, when i t was present, manifested i t s e l f in d i f f e r e n t ways. I l l u s t r a t i o n s are presented in Appendix F. As these results emerged, i t became apparent that certain features of the association with the Centre may have f a c i l i t a t e d their learning and growth. Consequently, each interview was allowed to proceed in an unstructured manner, and each c l i e n t was encouraged to " t e l l her story". Yet, the questions on the interview schedule were often answered in the process. The perspectives gained from the interviews resulted in an increased understanding of the "readiness" phenomenon and a clearer understanding of why women come to the Centre at pa r t i c u l a r times in their l i v e s . These findings w i l l be discussed in terms of: networking ef f e c t s , c l i e n t s ' search for meaningful goals, their consciousness of the status of women and i t s effect on their l i v e s , and a r e a l i z a t i o n of personal power. 140 Networking Effects One of the purposes of the personal interviews was to map out a picture of some of the networks which lead women to the Centre as well as those resources which are tapped after their contact. When questioned about how. they knew about the services of the Centre and why they decided to v i s i t , the responses were varied. Women's Resources Centre brochures and Centre for Continuing Education Calenders were most often mentioned. Female.friends, neighbours or co-workers as well as newspaper or magazine a r t i c l e s about the Centre were also sources of information. Several people dropped in after seeing the sign on the street. Others said they always knew i t was there, and a couple of people purposely sought out the Centre because they had been in contact with a similar centre in another c i t y . A few were referred by professionals, i . e . a nurse on a psychiatric ward, and an instructor of an assertiveness c l a s s . A. Sources Leading to the Centre The 27 c l i e n t s interviewed were asked i f they had contacted other sources for assistance before c a l l i n g the Centre. Some had already shopped around a great deal before contacting the Centre. A variety of resources and agencies had been contacted by 78% of the women. These included: 1. Employment agencies Both government and private agencies had been u t i l i z e d by those seeking vocational counselling, t r a i n i n g or employment. Employment and Immigration Canada including the Women's Employment project was most frequently mentioned. 2. Employers Companies and agencies were contacted d i r e c t l y by those seeking employment in a par t i c u l a r f i e l d . 141 3. Educational Counselling and Student Employment Services The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, Simon Fraser University and various community colleges had been approached about requirements for p a r t i c u l a r programs and infomation about employment in related f i e l d s . 4. Educational programs Some had completed exploratory workshops or volunteer tr a i n i n g programs at various community locations. 5. Friends, Acquaintances, family and colleagues Many had made useful contacts through word of mouth. 6. Personal Counselling . A few were receiving personal counselling by Family Service agencies or psychiatric services or had done so in the recent past. . 7. Other A variety of other contacts and services including assessment tests, service at other Women's Centres and p a r t i c i p a t i o n in a group on depression, at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia psychiatry department, were mentioned. The helpfulness of these resources varied markedly. Some ran into dead ends. Others found new directions in their search.Most had not received s u f f i c i e n t information and assistance and thus their eventual contact with the Centre resulted. Several women d e f i n i t e l y saw the Women's Resources Centre as their f i r s t step in making contact with the kinds of resources they might need to solve a problem or explore p o s i b i l i t i e s . Two comments were as follows: I came straight here. Last time I needed help, this was the place I found i t . I feel good about the Centre. It was the l o g i c a l place to come. I was sure that someone could help. I had been to Women's Centres in other places ( C a l i f o r n i a ) , and when I returned to Vancouver after an absence of 11 years, I knew that I would get sympathy and understanding at the Women's Resources Centre as well as help in 'cutting through red tape'. 142 B. Sources contacted after the Women's Resources Centre These c l i e n t s were also asked whether they got in touch with other o f f i c e s , agencies, or persons aft e r contacting the Women's Resources Centre. Eighty-two per cent of the interviewees reported making contact with a variety of resources. These included a l l of those previously mentioned. In addition, some had been sponsored in tr a i n i n g opportunities such as c l e r i c a l "brush-up", and a Women's Exploratory Apprenticeship training program. Others had registered in programs such as Interior Design, Real Estate Sales, and F l i g h t Attendant Training. S t i l l others had discovered growth Centres l i k e Cold Mountain Institute and community support groups eg. LIFE (Living i s for Everyone) - a group for widowed, divorced or separated people. On the whole, their results seemed to be more action-oriented than those a c t i v i t i e s previously mentioned which were more exploratory in nature. Most people had d i f f i c u l t y r e c a l l i n g whether or not their actions had resulted from a r e f e r r a l or suggestion from a counsellor or from someone in the group in which they had participated at the Centre. Some stated that they had already i n i t i a t e d some of their contacts and plans before v i s i t i n g the Centre but that they had received additional ideas and motivation there. In c o l l e c t i n g t h i s information, and r e l a t i n g i t to possible "networking patterns", l i t t l e connection was found between the ways in which c l i e n t s heard about the Centre, the resources they contacted before v i s i t i n g the Centre, and the contacts•they made afterwards. Except for a few isolated cases where personal counselling services were u t i l i z e d , i t i s d i f f i c u l t to establish which actions occurred as a result of 143 direct r e f e r r a l by the Women's Resources Centre and which were a part of an already i n i t i a t e d process of exploration. What did emerge is a more general picture of the possible role of the Women's Resources Centre in a process of "personal networking", which was unique to each individual c l i e n t . By charting a path beginning with a c l i e n t ' s existing networks, and her reasons for v i s i t i n g the Centre, then, ide n t i f y i n g the resources she u t i l i z e d both at the Centre and elsewhere, i t was possible to ide n t i f y new and continuing networks as well as resulting learnings and actions. In mapping out thi s path with the c l i e n t , the contribution of the Women's Resources Centre to this process seemed to f a l l into three possible categories: 1. I n i t i a t i o n of important networking including direct r e f e r r a l s or s p e c i f i c learning resulting in action; 2. F a c i l i t a t i o n of an already i n i t i a t e d process of networking 2 (Support and encouragement were seen as catalysts for this process); and, 3. The Cli e n t s ' networking was not affected by 2 the services or programs of the Women's Resources Centre. Of the 27 c l i e n t s whose networking processes were examined only one f e l l into the f i r s t category, 11 into the second, and 7 into the t h i r d . Another 7 seemed to have been influenced by both the i n i t i a t i o n and f a c i l i t a t i o n r oles. A description of Melanie's introduction to the networking process and the Centre's influence i s presented in Appendix F. Viewing the networking e f f e c t s of the services in t h i s way has implications for the way in which the educational brokering interview i s defined and conducted. If indeed, the influence of the Centre can be seen as contributing toward a c l i e n t ' s 144 personal networking process, a better understanding of the relat i o n s h i p between the services and the goals can be gained by redefining the educational brokering interview in terms of the networking idea. This has been outlined in the previous section and s p e c i f i c recommendations w i l l be presented l a t e r . 145 A Search for Meaningful Goals Cli e n t s who were successfulin moving ahead with their plans were often characterized by an awareness that one can engage in a process of personal networking which can help in attaining one's goals. They seemed to know how to explore resources and pursue contacts. Another c r i t i c a l feature, which was i m p l i c i t for some, was made e x p l i c i t for the researcher by Lynda. She pointed out that before one can make a decision about goals and dire c t i o n s , whether these involve meeting new people, embarking on an educatonal program or making career plans, i t i s necessary to be aware of underlying reasons for the pa r t i c u l a r goals or decisions. She emphasized that for her, examining the reasons behind plans for action in terms of her philosophy of l i f e and her s p i r i t u a l needs is a necessary f i r s t step. The one thing which she f e l t the Centre lacked was an opportunity to do t h i s . Lynda f e l t that staff should help c l i e n t s sort out their reasons for wanting to persue certain aims before a s s i s t i n g them in formulating goals or encouraging actions. A group service for t h i s purpose was suggested. This theme was previously discussed and i t has been recommended that c l i e n t s be offered more opportunities to explore before solutions are offered. Several i l l u s t r a t i o n s of c l i e n t s ' searches for meaningful goals, including Lynda's, and the role which the Women's Resources Centre played for each are given in Appendix F. 146 Personal Power Some of these women were able to develop the insight, s e l f -knowledge, and self-understanding necessary to find meaning in their pursuits. This component can be described as the re a l i z a t i o n of one's personal power. As Pam said, "Knowing what I don't want to do, makes i t easier to explore more r e a l i s t i c p o s s i b l i t i e s . " Molly's discovery was reflected by her statement that, "I now know how I fee l when I'm doing something that isn't right for me" and also represents learning that has resulted in empowerment for her. This c h a r a c t e r i s t i c repeatedly emerged as, a distinguishing feature of those c l i e n t s who had made strides since completing the questionnaire, and was notably absent in others who did not seem to be getting anywhere. Some c l i e n t s ' increased self-understanding and a b i l i t y to control the directions of their l i v e s was related to an awareness of women's issues and how these affected their l i v e s . The Status of Women As we have seen, most c l i e n t s indicated that t h e i r reasons for seeking out the services of the Women's Resources Centre related to the fact that i t was a women's centre. For some, this resulted in a general positive attitude towards the service they expected. Others, were s p e c i f i c a l l y interested in women's issues. Several suggested that the Centre should be more s o c i a l l y and p o l i t i c a l l y active regarding women's issues. For example, Barbara suggested that there should be "More focus on so c i a l structure as well as individual psychological needs. For example, the job hunting group should operate within a larger context so that women gain more awareness of the system." One 147 c l i e n t ' s views in this area were p a r t i c u l a r l y strong. She commented, " I've been angered by the narrowness and lack of p o l i t i c a l consciousness at the Centre. Your emphasis i s far too ind i v i d u a l l y psycholgoical with l i t t l e s o c i o l o g i c a l and p o l i t i c a l content." A l l i e ' s suggestion was that the Centre provide more of a forum for women's ideas and discussion about issues, that affect them such as the abortion issue which recently s p l i t hospital boards into pro l i f e and pro choice factions. Another suggestion was for more outreach services and the establishment of a Centre in the East end. O l l i e f e l t that the Centre should offer asistance to young prostitutes and become involved in research into the pr o s t i t u t i o n problem in Vancouver. Other c l i e n t s expressed apprec-iation for the focus on comtemporary women's issues. One c l i e n t was, " . . . r e v i t a l i z e d by the contact with a progressive women's group. I've been working with people not involved in t h i s area (in business o f f i c e s ) . " O l l i e , who had been active in the women's movement in the East, saw the Centre as "...an inspration to me, bo see as a recipient of service how important the feminist movement has been to esta b l i s h these centres and therefore to improve the status of women." S t i l l others acknowledged the importance of knowing that the support i s there, i f and when they may need i t . One woman reported, "I hadn't necessarily taken advantage of a l l the Centre o f f e r s but knowing that i t and i t s services are there have affected me in an astonishingly p o s i t i v e way." Another said, "I realized that others were also searching and f e l t no confidence in their a b i l i t i e s a f t e r being at home with children 148 for years. It helps to know others f e e l the same." For Elaine, an American woman who had recently come to Vancouver, the fact that support and assistance was available was "a b i t of factor" in her decision to return (She had gone home for an extended v i s i t which had involved a separation from her husband). She appreciated the collaborative, supportive aspects of the Centre, having experienced a more competitive, confrontative approach in Boston and New York. Several personal accounts of how their raised conscousness of women's issues affected the progress of c l i e n t s l i k e Elaine and Melinda and how this resulted from their association with the Women's Resources Centre are also provided in Appendix F. L i f e Stage Transitions For some c l i e n t s the search for meaning was a prerequisite to making a commitment to a goal and to feeling that the e f f o r t required to reach t h i s goal was worthwhile. Finding meaning often resulted from a personal learning process about the c l i e n t s * expectations of themselves, their strengths and a b i l i t i e s and about the need to l i s t e n to their i n t u i t i o n as well as consider the p r a c t i c a l r e a l i t i e s of their l i f e s i t u a t i o n . Some women were also involved in a similar sorting out process, s p e c i f i c a l l y related to their personal l i f e stage t r a n s i t i o n s . Each seems to have arrived at a point where a valuable learning resulted and moreover, she was ready to put t h i s into e f f e c t to further her purposes. Some appeared to be on the brink - unsure about moving ahead but discontent about remaining where they are. A closer look at these- women's situations may provide the Centre with some clues as to how 149 people at these junctures can be assisted. Throughout the interviews i t became apparent that these women were facing challenges of achieving independence, coming to terms with childhood relationships and taking on adult r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . Pam and Rose,, two women in their 40's who had been busy with family r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s over the l a s t few years were now looking toward career pursuits. The experiences of two older women, Eileen and O l l i e , add to these examples of how women of a l l ages are facing the challenges of l i f e stage t r a n s i t i o n s . These c l i e n t s came to the Centre because they were facing changes in their l i v e s for which they had no guidelines. Two had been widowed in their 50's, their children were grown and they were on their own, and needed to rebuild their l i v e s on an independent basis. For more elaboration see appendix F. Their quiet courage, dignity and sense of independence as they examined alternatives was most impressive and brings to mind the comments of another capable woman. Senator Florence Bird, a l i a s Anne Francis, CBC news commentator, j o u r n a l i s t , author, s o c i a l reformer, and chairman of the h i s t o r i c and infamous Royal Commission on the Status of Women discusses t h i s time of her l i f e . "The l a s t years have taught me a great deal. I'm seventy-two, that's the way i t i s , and I'm a widow. I never wanted to be a widow and I never wanted to be old." She pinpoints the challenge and the r e a l i t y when she says, "You know, you must take the hurdles as they come, because the next one w i l l be higher, and i f you're not prepared, y o u ' l l bump yourself and break your neck." 150 Summary This discussion of how the association with the Centre affected the larger framework of these women's l i v e s and the i l l u s t r a t i o n s presented in Appendix F, are intended to add to our understanding of how the services affected individual c l i e n t s . They also demonstrate how the service acts as a catalyst for an already existing . process of resourcing, networking and se l f - d i r e c t e d learning. The Centre can learn a. great deal from i t s c l i e n t s about their needs and the type of service which is useful for d i f f e r e n t women at di f f e r e n t times. Implications for service a r i s i n g from these examples, also relate to the "readiness" phenomenon. The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of those c l i e n t s who demonstrate success imply that encouraging the development of these q u a l i t i e s as well as recognizingwwhen they are present can help the c l i e n t move ahead. This belief constitutes the basis for the recommendations which follow. Before presenting these, two f i n a l types of findings are reported. C l i e n t s ' Endorsement of the Centre In the questionnaire c l i e n t s were asked how often they had informed others about the services of the Women's Resources Centre, and/or recommended the services to others. The fact that 97% reported conveying information to others and 81% reported actually recommending the services, r e f l e c t s a positive attitude towards the Centre and what i t has to o f f e r . "Very often counseling a c t i v i t i e s are regarded as therapeutic rather than normative. Such a view creates an attitude that one seeks 151 counseling only when something i s wrong" (Toombs & Croyle, 1977 p. 43). According to Toombs, a high degree of endorsement such as t h i s , probably r e f l e c t s the view of thi s type of operation as "...generally useful and posit i v e rather than remedial". This is an encouraging interpretation when we consider that "Such a normative view of counselling a c t i v i t y has been d i f f i c u l t to achieve in most counseling operations" (p.43). The Last Word - Doorknobbers In communications of a l l types, the • "doorknob" phenomenon can often provide the essence of what a person r e a l l y wants to say. Counsellors have noticed that as an interview is terminated, the c l i e n t , with hand on door handle may turn and say something l i k e , "What I r e a l l y wanted to talk about was..." The patient, leaving the physician's o f f i c e may say, "By the way, I forgot to mention ..." In the process of saying their goodbye's friends may begin t h e i r " r e a l " conversations. Picking up t h i s f i n a l comment was part of the procedure for the personal interview. Oftentimes, t h i s t a c t i c , which involved waiting and allowing the c l i e n t to terminate the interview at the door with a f i n a l statement was rewarded. The following i s a sample of comments received as the interview was terminating: I think the Women's Resources Centre i s of most value to women who lack spouse and family support. I r e a l l y enjoyed i t . I had a suspicion I was ri g h t . I wanted someone to say to me, 'You're not a dumby.' I was impressed with the po s i t i v e emotional support offered. The lack of competitive f e e l i n g , non-judgemental attitudes, not playing one woman off against another. It gave me a general f e e l i n g of 152 wellbeing. It was a positi v e experience. There are a l o t of women out there - a l o t of us who need th i s kind of service. I have recommended i t . The recurring theme was one of positive affirmation of the Centre's importance as a service to women, p a r t i c u l a r l y to those in greater need than themselves. This type of "doorknob" response, rather than a reference to shortcomings, sums up the experience for these c l i e n t s in a very positive manner. 153 Discussion and Recommendations In assessing the outcomes and the impacts of service, i t was found that the majority of c l i e n t s had taken some d e f i n i t e action as a result of their association with the Centre. Oftentimes t h i s consisted of more than one type of action. Considering the. short time which elapsed between the v i s i t to the Centre and the completion of the questionnaire, this i s quite remarkable. Even more encouraging are.the reports of •plans underway and .general improvements which indicate that an even higher proportion of c l i e n t s are engaged in a process of change which they attribute at least in part, to their association with the Centre. The reported a f f e c t i v e outcomes reinforce t h i s . For many c l i e n t s , the encounter with the Centre and i t s services was comparatively b r i e f . And, since there were only two or three months between the time of service and the reporting of these r e s u l t s , i t seems reasonable to surmise as Toombs did, that, "Many of them were apparently ready to act in some way and the contact became a c r y s t a l l i z i n g or p r e c i p i t a t i n g factor" (1977, p. 36). Consequently, he suggests that readiness might be a condition worth assessing during the early interview sessions. Some the findings of t h i s study have also suggested that the concept of readiness can be p a r t i a l l y defined in terms of a c l i e n t ' s reasons for seeking out the services of the Centre and their expectations of these services. Appropriate strategies for assessing and u t i l i z i n g t h i s readiness have been suggested 154 so that follow up for those presenting high readiness could be planned, using limited time and resources more e f f e c t i v e l y . Since the c l i e n t s in t h i s study seem to represent a group of adults who are in t r a n s i t i o n and ready to make changes in their l i v e s , further possible components of readiness were investigated during the personal interviews. In exploring how the experience f i t t e d into the larger framework of the women's l i v e s , several factors emerged. These included: having meaningful goals, self-awareness and self-knowledge, a consciousness of women's issues and how these touch their l i v e s , and p a r t i c u l a r l y , an understanding of the networking process. In addition, self-esteem, or the awareness of personal power seemed to be an important factor in how these women f e l t about what they were doing. A l l of these can be seen as components of readiness and have implications for the planning of appropriate helping strategies. The c l i e n t s who exhibited these features and connected them to their association with the Centre have provided us with an increased under standing of the role of the Women's Resources Centre. Their experiences suggest that readiness, as well as being a pre-existing c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the c l i e n t , can also be stimulated through exposure to better models of performance, higher lev e l s of aspiration and self-diagnostic procedures. For example, David McClelland (1970) has suggested a set of strategies for helping adults develop acheivement motives. Herein l i e s the rationale and power of the brokering process, including the group services. The s i g n i f i c a n t aspects include the fact that i t i s offered within the context of lif e - p l a n n i n g and embodies the exemplar role of the volunteer-associates. 155 Pertinent aspects of each of these features of the service are singled out for recommendations, based on the findings just presented. The reactions of these c l i e n t s have reinforced some of the present practices and suggested how these may be extended. The Centre's focus on the strengths and positive aspects of a woman's l i f e r e f l e c t s the philosophy that people need to be trusted and supported to dismantle their own bar r i e r s , and the suggested strategies are based on thi s theme. Affective Outcomes The Women's Resources Centre is committed to a philosophy shared by the growing number of self-help movements which emphasize attitude ratherthan behaviour. The Centre hopes to promote an attitude of self-directedness in the c l i e n t so that she sees herself as a learner, d i r e c t i n g her own process rather than being the passive recipient of a service. The reactions of these c l i e n t s reinforce the idea that, ...only that which i s deeply f e l t can change us. Rational arguments alone cannot penetrate the layers of fear and conditioning that comprise our c r i p p l i n g b e l i e f systems...Communicaton must not only be wide but deep. (Ferguson, 1980, p. 35) According to Toombs, "Changes in feelings may well be the c r u c i a l element in adult l i f e changes" (1977, p. 14). The feeli n g component has been featured in each aspect of the previous discussion. C l i e n t s ' reasons for v i s i t i n g the Centre, the i r attitudes toward the Centre as a resource for women and especially- their interaction with the sta f f have included an emotional component. In fact, the emotional energy and 156 freshness which the volunteer associate brings to the role because, according to the Centre's Director, "she i s on the cutting edge of her own learning", i s seen as a valuable aspect of the peer' couselling approach. The comments of the c l i e n t s about the support and encouragement they value in both the individual and group contact, bears out the importance of thi s caring aspect of the service. Since the exemplar role of the volunteer associate seems to be a valuable feature of a s s i s t i n g c l i e n t s with behaviour change, in both individual and group encounters, some recommendations rel a t i n g to thi s role are indicated. There are two aspects to this feature of the service and each i s addressed inturn. F i r s t , the r e a l i z a t i o n that the example of those who are not too di s s i m i l a r in knowledge and a b i l i t y can motivate others l i k e themselves to. learn and change i s not new (Rioch, 1963), and has been part of adult education pratice for some time (Rogers, 1971). However, i t i s a unique qpproach in educational brokering operations and i s being recommended for other information and. counselling centres. "Peer counsellors can f a c i l i t a t e c l i e n t s ' movement towards autonomy since they are models of ' s e l f - d i r e c t i n g learners' themselves" (Ironside, 1980, p. 8). The exemplar role of the peer-counsellors i s also seen as a valuable aspect of the services by health professionals such as physicians and ps y c h i a t r i s t s who refer women to the Centre because of this healthy influence. Recommendation 21 The Women's Resources Centre should retain i t s peer counselling model since i t represents one of the basic strengths of theservice. Peer counsellors may or may not be paid workers. In thi s 157 case, the use of volunteer-associates as peer counsellors i s also an asset and a valuable feature of the Centre. In t h i s way, more c l i e n t s can be served. The volunteers are also involved in public relations and outreach a c t i v i t i e s , an important aspect of the Centre. Recommendation 22 The Women's Resources Centre should continue to orient and employ volunteer associates as peer-counsellors and to involve them in a l l aspects of the Centre's operation. Because they are not regular paid employees but work approximately one day a week, the volunteer brings energy and freshness to the r o l e . The effectiveness of the volunteer-associate's role in the group services i s also noteworthy. One c l i e n t ' s comment i l l u s t r a t e d this very well. She pointed out that one of the most useful things about the vocational planning group experience was the example set by the leaders. There were three or four and as they t o l d us of their experiences and showed how they handled d i f f e r e n t situations, i t helped me to see that I could be l i k e that too. They didn't put us down or anything by this but just seeing them and hearing them talk about their situations was h e l p f u l . There was a good supportive feeling in the group. Recommendation 23 Volunteer-associates should continue to offer groups as an extension of the brokering service. Leaders should continue to be assigned in r e l a t i o n to the resources which they can offer a p a r t i c u l a r type of group since the c r e d i b i l i t y of the leader proved to be an important part of the value of the group experience. 158 The Group Services Since the group services themselves are seen as important by the c l i e n t s , they should be maintained and supplemented. Many of the comments centered around the b e n e f i c i a l aspects of the groups in which c l i e n t s had participated. Suggestions about how these could be improved were also offered. Besides offering an opportunity for role modeling, the groups helped c l i e n t s apply information to their own situations, explore goals and encouraged networking within a supportive environment. Because of the valuable aspects of the group services, and the requests for additional groups which emerged from these c l i e n t s , several recommendations are offered: Recommendation 24 Additional groups should be offered from time to . time in such areas as confidence building or goal exploration. There seems to be a need for a group for those who are not ready to set goals and simply want to explore ideas and p o s s i b i l i t i e s . In l i g h t of the fact that lack of self-confidence was i d e n t i f i e d as a problem in moving ahead with plans by more c l i e n t s than any other factor, the group service should focus on confidence building and related themes such as assertiveness, i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of strengths and goal c l a r i f i c a t i o n . Since many of the reactions to the group experiences indicated that the support was helpful in building self-confidence, these services appear to be most useful. C l i e n t s also expressed s a t i s f a c t i o n with being able to register for a group on the spot, while they were motivated to do so. I t also enabled them to leave the Centre, having a 159 s p e c i f i c "next step" in mind. Those who registered for vocational planning also were able to go away with a manual in hand - a concrete result of their v i s i t . Recommendation 25 Group services should continue to be offered on an ad hoc basis throughout the year rather than becoming regularly scheduled 'courses'. One of the c r i t i c i s m s of the groups was that the members represented too much d i v e r s i t y of need. Others said they had been steered into the job finding group before they were ready to be a job seeker. Since groups are not always available when c l i e n t s v i s i t the Centre, they may be offered a group that i s not exactly appropriate. If names of c l i e n t s with di f f e r e n t needs were kept on f i l e so that groups could be more readily formed, d i f f e r e n t types could be offered more frequently. This procedure i s praticed at present for the more frequently offered groups but could also be adopted for groups such as 'confidence building', which are less in demand. Recommendation 26 Clien t s should be more c a r e f u l l y assigned to groups so that they r e f l e c t more commonality of need and so that the focus of the group i s appropriate. C l i e n t s ' requests for more opportunity for personal networking suggeststhe need for another type of group service. Recommendation 27 Offer a drop-in group service s p e c i f i c a l l y for women who wish to discuss common concerns, make contacts or id e n t i f y resources with others in similar circumstances. A volunteer could take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for f a c i l i t a t i n g the interaction of these sub-networks which could be offered in such areas as: re-entering the work force, related f i e l d s of 160 employment, current issues, or age cohorts. Monthly noon-hour or evening sessions could be organized by interested c l i e n t s . This a c t i v i t y could lead to resource i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , mutual support and assistance, friendship and possibly s o c i a l action. The present noon-hour events could evolve into ongoing groups. Personal Networking A more proactive stance in a s s i s t i n g c l i e n t s with personal networking on an individual basis is also needed. Since the networking process proved to be an ef f e c t i v e way for c l i e n t s to achieve results, the Centre should strengthen i t s services in this area. Recommendation 28 The Women's Resources Centre should a s s i s t c l i e n t s with the personal networking process by -including i t as part of the brokering approachexplaining the idea as well as a s s i s t i n g the c l i e n t with the process. One way in which t h i s can be done is by keeping a record of c l i e n t s ' interests and neds so that they can be met at a la t e r time. Recommendation 29 The Women's Resources Centre should serve as a clearing house for interests and needs and matching these up with available resources. For example, a l i s t of c l i e n t s with p a r t i c u l a r needs can be kept so that they can be brought together for group sessions or adirec-tory could be compiled. Recommendation 30 Since most of the personal networking a c t i v i t i e s were related to career/vocational interests, the Women's Resources Centre should a s s i s t c l i e n t s in tying in with the Vancouver Women's Network and the Women in Management Programs sponsored by the University of B r i t i s h Columbia Centre for Continuing Education. 161 Women's Issues The suggestion that the Women's Resources Centre should play a more s o c i a l l y and p o l i t i c a l l y active role as an advocate for women in career/vocational matters as well as provide a forum for discussion of issues has been made by several c l i e n t s . This, they feel would supplement the Centre's individual psychological focus. Since the Centre's mandate i s an educational one and since other women's organizations in Vancouver offer a soc i a l action approach, the goals and directions of the Women's Resources Centre need to be affirmed and communicated to c l i e n t s . However, since outreach and advocacy as well as a feminist orientation and an awareness of contemporary women's.issues are an integral part of the service, the expectation that the Centre should engage in more s o c i a l action i s understandable. The Centre's purpose i s to strengthen an individual's a b i l i t y to meet her own various challenges, whether these are personal or related to society's i n e q u a l i t i e s . The following recommendations are intended to reinforce the Centre's mandate as well as meet c l i e n t s ' needs for so c i a l and p o l i t i c a l awareness and involvement. Recommendation 31 The Women's Resources Centre should provide more sp e c i f i c opportunities for people to find out about and discuss current issues that relate to women and provide information about ways in which people can become more personally involved in p o l i t i c a l or s o c i a l action. Since an awareness of the status of women has been a factor in enabling c l i e n t s to gain more understanding about how related issues a f f e c t their l i v e s , more emphasis on th i s aspect of 162 service seems to be indicated. A current issues notice board and a regularly scheduled discussion time would provide an opportunity for both men and women to become more knowledgable and discover ways of becoming more involved in the issues. Communication with other women's groups who are more action-oriented could be f a c i l i t a t e d . Financial Information and Assistance Lack of money was c i t e d as a problem by 70% of the respondents and for 40% of these c l i e n t s i t was a real b a r r i e r . Because the amount of disposable income which may be available for self-development may be very small or negligible for many women, the issue of money was further explored during the personal interviews. Perhaps the most revealing insight into the relationship between t h i s problem and the f i n a n c i a l aspects of pursuing further education can be gained from J i l l ' s point of view. After she decided to return to university she sought a part time job to pay for her books and t u i t i o n . She explained that there was no pressure from her husband to do so and that t h i s was her own decision. Since they have two children whose education w i l l require financing in the near future, she f e l t that t h i s was the most sensible approach. "It was for my own sense of s e l f " , she said. This reticence to view family income as being j u s t i f i a b l y available for personal development seems to be common among women who work in the home. Another attitude which emerged was the reluctance to a l l o c a t e personal income towards education or vocational upgrading. Interests in learning to manage money and become involved in investing and real estate were also common. Economic independence was the goal of some. 1 6 3 The problem of money seems to be two-fold. The actual lack of extra funds because of limited income or other p r i o r i t i e s for funds i s coupled with the attitude that f i n a n c i a l outlay for personal educational pursuits is not appropriate. In other words, i t i s d i f f i c u l t for women to j u s t i f y spending money on their own career or self-development even though they r e a l i z e that i t may result in a monetary advantage in the future. Considering these attitudes and since assistance with f i n a n c i a l matters was i d e n t i f i e d as an area of weakness in the services, an increased focus on the economic aspects of l i f e planning i s in order. Recommendation 32 Information and assistance with f i n a n c i a l and economic aspects of career, educational and l i f e s t y l e : planning should become an increased part of the services of the » Women's Resources Centre. The L i f e Planning Focus It seems that one of the greatest strengths of the service of the Women's Resources Centre i s i t s willingness to a s s i s t c l i e n t s in making plans and decisions within the context of their o v e r a l l l i v e s . Not just another r e f e r r a l agency, i t ' s services a s s i s t women to examine their roles and assess how they can f i t together most appropriately for the present and the future. This process can begin with the brokering interview and is extended by the individual and group l i f e planning service. Some of the findings of t h i s study are pertinent to the emerging directions of the Women's Resources Centre and University of B r i t i s h Columbia's plans to offer a l i f e s t y l e 164 p l a n n i n g outreach s e r v i c e . The Women's Resources Centre's beginning e f f o r t s i n t h i s area of s e r v i c e and c l i e n t s ' e l a b o r a t i o n s of how t h e i r a s s o c i a t i o n with the Centre, d i d and can i n f l u e n c e t h e i r t o t a l l i f e s i t u a t i o n can help guide these f u t u r e p l a n s . I t was i n t e r e s t i n g to note that 25 (39%) of the respondents to the q u e s t i o n n a i r e i n d i c a t e d an i n t e r e s t i n r e c e i v i n g information and a s s i s t a n c e with l i f e s t y l e needs. S p e c i f i c a l l y , responses expressed a need f o r a s s i s t a n c e with p e r s o n a l development, e x p l o r i n g l i f e goals and l i f e p l a n n i n g , coping with depression and l o n e l i n e s s , and a s s e s s i n g personal l i f e s t y l e s . Because the s e r v i c e s of the Centre i n t h i s category are the l e a s t developed and l e a s t known, the number of c l i e n t s who r e p o r t e d using, them was s m a l l , and.the h e l p f u l n e s s of the Centre d i f f i c u l t to as s e s s . The r e l a t i o n s h i p between h e a l t h , s t r e s s and l e a r n i n g i s being i n c r e a s i n g l y examined. Recent f i n d i n g s i n c l u d e the notion that " S t r e s s r e s i s t a n t people have a s p e c i f i c set of a t t i t u d e s toward l i f e - an openness to change, a f e e l i n g of involvement i n whatever they're doing, and a sense of c o n t r o l over t h e i r l i v e s " (Pines, 1980, p.34). Encouraging c l i e n t s to b u i l d on t h e i r s t r e n g t h s and gain more c o n t r o l over the d i r e c t i o n of t h e i r l i v e s has become a focus of the Centre. Recently, e f f o r t s to do so have i n c l u d e d development of a s t r e s s management, h e a l t h promotion program "Toward a Healthy L i f e s t y l e " . S e v e r a l of the peer c o u n s e l l o r s have a l s o been using t h i s w h o l i s t i c focus i n t h e i r work with i n d i v i d u a l c l i e n t s . T h i s i s a f u t u r e d i r e c t i o n f o r the Centre. UBC i s d e s i g n i n g 'changing l i f e s t y l e ' programs now i n the areas of h e a l t h and n u t r i t i o n , a c r i t i c a l community problem. T h i s new emphasis i n e d u c a t i o n a l 165 programs workshops, c o u n s e l l i n g and in f o r m a t i o n d e l i v e r y w i l l e n r i c h the e x i s t i n g s e r v i c e s of the WRC, not r e p l a c e them; the s e r v i c e s now o f f e r e d to women and l a t e r to men w i l l c o ntinue to be the core of the Centre. ( I r o n s i d e , 1980, p. 26) In the words of M a r i l y n Ferguson, " I f we are not l e a r n i n g and t e a c h i n g we are not awake and a l i v e . Learning i s not only l i k e h e a l t h , i t i s h e a l t h " (1980, p. 282). The Women's Resources Centre's recent focus on s e l f - c a r e , l i f e s t y l e education and h e a l t h promotion can r e s u l t i n a s e r v i c e which w i l l be aimed at making a connec t i o n between l e a r n i n g and everyday l i f e - p o s s i b l y a p r e r e q u i s i t e for p r e v e n t i n g and managing s t r e s s and g a i n i n g c o n t r o l over the d i r e c t i o n of one's l i f e . Recommendation 33 The Women's Resources Centre's recent focus on s e l f -care l i f e s t y l e e ducation, and h e a l t h promotion i s a re l e v a n t and ti m e l y one and should be promoted and continued. 166 Summary The array of results which have been described present a variety of challenges for the educational brokering services of the Women's Resources Centre. Clients need to be given an appropriate i n i t i a l reception, assisted in exploring p o s i b i l i t i e s and provided with pertinent information about resources. They also need to be given an opportunity to reassess their needs and receive continuing support and assistance. Moreover, the degree of emphasis to be placed on each of these aspects of service varies in re l a t i o n to whether a c l i e n t i s in t r a n s i t i o n , in c r i s i s or a casual information seeker, or whether she is growth or deficiency motivated. It also varies according to the stage of exploration in which she happens to be as well as with di f f e r e n t personal and l i f e stage needs and interests presented. How can a service be geared to accommodate such a variety of requirments? Furthermore, how can staf f be asisted to offer service geared to such diverse needs? The recommendations which have been formulated and are presented in thi s report may be seen as overwhelming. When consideration i s given to the d i v e r s i t y of the operation, the e r r a t i c nature of the drop-ins, the lack of private space, the often crowded f a c i l i t i e s and the voluntary aspect of the s t a f f i n g , the generally pos i t i v e reactions of the c l i e n t s to the service and the impacts of the association for women i s most remarkable. The r e a l i t y of the situation i s simply that the present resources of the Centre are being strained. Oftentimes d a i l y t a l l y sheets remain for the next day's s t a f f to complete because of a rash of drop-in's at clos i n g time. The irony of the situation i s that as the value and uniqueness of the service 167 becomes known, more women are r e f e r r e d to the Centre and more come on t h e i r own v o l i t i o n . As t h i s happens, s e r v i c e cannot continue to be i n d i v i d u a l i z e d and thorough. The recommendations which suggest an even more comprehensive s e r v i c e , t a y l o r e d to i n d i v i d u a l needs, probably represent an u n r e a l i s t i c expectaion of the present resources of the Centre. Consequently, two f i n a l recommendations are o f f e r e d : Recommendation 34 The a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Centre f o r Con t i n u i n g Education should recognize the value and success of the i n n o v a t i v e approach o f f e r e d by the Women's Resources Centre r e f l e c t e d by the r e a c t i o n s of the c l i e n t s by p r o v i d i n g needed c l e r i c a l and other support s e r v i c e s . T h i s would enable the s t a f f of the Centre to implement some of these recommendations i n order to address the d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s and d e f i c i e n c i e s i n s e r v i c e which have been i d e n t i f i e d . In implementing t h i s recommendation, the Centre f o r Cont i n u i n g Education would recognize the p o t e n t i a l of the Women's Resources Centre to o f f e r l e a d e r s h i p as a model f o r other Centres, not only women's access s e r v i c e s but a l s o , e d u c t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n and c o u n s e l l i n g o p e r a t i o n s i n g e n e r a l . The uniqueness of i t s v o l u n t e e r - a s s o c i a t e peer c o u n s e l l i n g approach should be p r o t e c t e d . I f t h i s s t a f f i n g s t r a t e g y i s e x p l o i t e d by expecting workers to operate i n an atmosphere of f r u s t r a t i o n and overwork, burnout and r a p p i d turnover can only r e s u l t - making f o r l e s s q u a l i t y i n s e r v i c e . When t h i s study was i n i t i a t e d , the average number of dr o p - i n ' s was approximately 300 a month. One year l a t e r , the January f i g u r e wasv 400. The resources have not been s i g n i f i c a n t l y i n c r e a s e d over t h i s time 168 period. In order for the Centre to move ahead, meet the increased challenges presented by c l i e n t s ' increased needs for service and continue to evolve to meet changing community needs, i t ' s day to day operation needs to be assessed. Recommendation 35 The next step in the ongoing evaluation of the Women's Resources Centre should be an examination of the Organizational Aspects and how they affect service. The attributes associated with organizational effectiveness in a sample of 28 Educational Information and Counselling Centres in Pensylvania were examined in a recent study (Toombs, 1980). The components included were legitimacy, funding, s t a f f , c l i e n t s , connections and information. The implementation of many of the recommendations in this report w i l l probably depend how these aspects operate together. Therefore, a similar inquiry into the operation of the Women's Resources Centre i s recommended as a l o g i c a l and timely next step in the ongoing evaluation of the Centre and i t s educational brokering service. The philosophy on which the Women's Resources Centre was established was as follows: Individuals' problems d i f f e r from each other and the handicaps and r e s t r i c t i o n s of women in Vancouver and Canada are changing almost d a i l y . ... The essential nature of the Centre, i t s working p r i n c i p l e , i s one of adapting to rather than defining women's needs. (Hendry, 1975, p.6) At th i s time, this philosophy s t i l l r e f l e c t s the aims of the Centre. Furthermore, the way in which the Women's Resources Centre has evolved and i t s present alignment with the educational brokering approach, seems to have resulted in ef f e c t i v e service for these p a r t i c u l a r c l i e n t s . The findings 1 6 9 presented in this chapter confirm that the approach i s 'working' in many ways, and seems to be appropriate for the Centre at t h i s particular. time. Chapter V w i l l report additional findings resulting from the second stage of analysis and relate and discuss some implications for educational brokering, and adult learning and development. 170 CHAPTER V. RESULTS - PART II EDUCATIONAL BROKERING AND ADULT LEARNING Stage II of the Analysis involved a search for relationships between c l i e n t s ' c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , needs, perceptions of service and outcomes. This resulted in findings in several areas. These w i l l be reported and discussed in r e l a t i o n to s a t i s f a c t i o n s with service, needs and interests, results, problems, biodemographic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and responses to the question about "L i f e as a Whole". Additional information gained from the 27 c l i e n t s interviewed and the relationship between their perceptions of the service and their c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s w i l l also be presented and discussed. Since the investigation of relationships between these factors was of an 9 exploratory nature, and considering the small number of cases, relationships in the range of p=.05 w i l l be reported in a descriptive manner. Stage II Analysis - 63 Cases After d i s t r i b u t i o n s were determined, the following variables were recoded to f a c i l i t a t e crosstabulations: age, marital status (married and common-law were combined, two widows were excluded), numbers of needs, results and problems. Figure 1 presents an overview of the relationships discovered from analysis of the questionnaire data. For purposes of c l a r i t y , i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s between variables in the same category are not shown. CLIENTS' PERCEPTIONS OF SERVICE OUTCOMES CLIE.NJS1 CHARAC1FRISTICS Sat 1 s f a c t 1 on Overa! 1 Sat t s f a c t Ion I n f o r m a t ton Exchange A c c e s s I b l 1 I t y I n t e r a c t Ion w i t h s t a f f R a t i n g s of H e l p f u l n e s s E d u c a t i o n a l needs . V o c a t i o n a l needs L i f e s t y l e Needs Number of Outcomes Act Ions P l a n s r.nri General Improvements Number of Outcomes 1 Act Ions P l a n s and General Fee 1 1ngs about " L i f e as a Who 1e" Age Number of Problems Number of needs Educat1ona1 Vocat1ona1 L i f e s t y l e Fee 1 1 ngs about " L i f e as a Whole' F 1gure 1 S t a t i s t i c a l l y S i g n i f i c a n t R e l a t i o n s h i p s between R a t i n g s of S e r v i c e , Outcomes and C l i e n t s ' C h a r a c t e r 1 s t i c s (N = G3) 172 Satisfactions with Service In order to make comparisons between a large number of items and since inter-item correlations between s p e c i f i c aspects of the drop-in service and o v e r a l l s a t i s f a c t i o n were high (p<.00l), mean scores were calculated. Responses in each of three areas - a c c e s s i b i l i t y , interaction with the s t a f f , and the information exchange - were summed and divided by the number of items in each category to obtain a mean s a t i s f a c t i o n score across items for each of the three areas. These new variables, along with responses to the question about o v e r a l l s a t i s f a c t i o n , "The way i t a l l turned out", were correlated and crosstabulated with a variety of other variables. Table 13 shows the results of these in t e r c o r r e l a t i o n s . Correlation c o e f f i c i e n t s have been rounded to two places, decimals omitted, in t h i s and the following tables. Several s i g n i f i c a n t relationships were found between c l i e n t s ' s a t i s f a c t i o n s with the various aspects of the drop-in service and their ratings of helpfulness of the information and assistance they received with career, educational and l i f e s t y l e needs (see Table 13). Sa t i s f a c t i o n with two aspects of the service - a c c e s s i b i l i t y and interaction with the staff - was found to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y correlated with the number of problems c l i e n t s i d e n t i f i e d . That i s , the more problems c l i e n t s perceived in moving ahead with their plans, the more l i k e l y they were to be d i s s a t i s f i e d with these two features. T a b l e 13 I n t e r c o r r e l a t i o n s between R a t i n g s of S a t i s f a c t i o n and H e l p f u l n e s s , Outcomes, Number of Problems and F e e l i n g s about L i f e as Whole V a r i a b l e 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 1 S a t i s f a c t i o n s w i t h "Drop-1n" 1 . A ccess1b111ty 2. I n t e r a c t i o n w i t h S t a f f 3. I n f o r m a t i o n Exchange 100 55 34 100 46 100 H e l p f u l n e s s of I n f o r m a t i o n and A s s i s t a n c e 4. C a r e e r / v o c a t i o n a l 5. E d u c a t i o n a l 6. L i f e s t y l e 49 52 39 48 45 53 73 60 67 100 76 78 100 .75 100 O v e r a l l S a t i s f a c t i o n 7. The Way 1t a l l Turned out 43 51 39 52 42 57 100 Number of Outcomes 8. A c t i o n s Taken 9. P l a n s and General Improvements 02 1 08 1 .31 31 33 56 -38 -64 -27 -52 -49 -53 38 37 100 56 100 10. Number of Problems 45 21 ? 17'; 25 ' 13 1 14 ' 22 33 100 1 1 . F e e l 1ngs about L i f e as a Whole 20' 14 1 33 43 25 1 53 42 . 01 1 20 27 100 C o r r e l a t i o n C o e f f i c i e n t s a r e rounded to 2 p l a c e s , d e c i m a l s ommitted. C o e f f i c i e n t s a r e s i g n i f i c a n t at alpha=.05. 1 C o e f f i c i e n t s a r e not s i g n i f i c a n t a t alpha?.05. ' C o e f f i c i e n t s c o u l d not be c a l c u l a t e d . Sample s i z e s v a r y a c c o r d i n g to response p a t t e r n s c h a r a c t e r i z i n g p a i r s of v a r i a b l e s (m1n1mum=25, max1mum=G3) 174 No s i g n i f i c a n t relationships between s a t i s f a c t i o n with a t h i r d feature of the drop-in - the information exchange nor between ove r a l l s a t i s f a c t i o n and number of problems were found. Needs for Information and Assistance In order to compare ratings of helpfulness with other aspects of service, mean scores for each category of need were calculated by summing the responses and dividing by the number of items in each. These scores were then correlated and crosstabulated with the other rated variables and selected c l i e n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Besides being associated with s a t i s f a c t i o n , ratings of helpfulness were linked with the number of outcomes reported. That i s , those who were most helped by the service reported the most results, both actions and plans while those who reported fewer results also rated the help they received-less p o s i t i v e l y (See table 13) . 1No s i g n i f i c a n t relationships were found between the number of problems identifed and the ratings of helpfulness with the information and assistance received with either career or l i f e s t y l e needs. However, a weak relationship (p=.07) was found between the number of problems and the ratings pertaining to educational needs. That i s , the more problems that were i d e n t i f i e d , the less p o s i t i v e the ratings were and vice versa. Other patterns of relationship between needs and problems w i l l be further elaborated when s p e c i f i c problems are considered. The number of needs i d e n t i f i e d by c l i e n t s was also 1 Negative correlations result from the way in which rating scales for s a t i s f a c t i o n and helpfulness were constructed. This has been taken into consideration in reporting findings. 175 considered in each category. A positive relationship was discovered between the number of problems and the number of needs for information and assistance in the educational and l i f e s t y l e categories was discovered. No such relationship for the career/vocational category was found. Those who had a high number of educational needs also had a high number of l i f e s t y l e and career needs and vice versa. No s i g n i f i c a n t relationship between the number of career needs and the number of l i f e s t y l e needs was found. Outcomes A d e f i n i t e relationship between the number of outcomes reported and the number of problems c l i e n t s i d e n t i f i e d in moving ahead with their plans was discovered. It seems that those who were able to achieve some of the i r goals did so in spite of these problems. Further achievements may have been hampered by the continuing problems. The cor r e l a t i o n between the number of actions taken and the number of problems was s l i g h t l y lower than that between the number of plans underway and number of problems. This suggests that those with more problems may s t i l l be in the planning stages. The number of outcomes resu l t i n g from c l i e n t s ' association with the Women's Resources Centre was highly correlated with their s a t i s f a c t i o n with the service and, as already mentioned, their ratings of helpfulness. That i s , those who were more s a t i s f i e d and more pleased with the information and assistance they received also seemed to achieve more results - actions, planning steps, and general l i f e improvements. 1 7 6 Problems The search for relationships between problems and needs resulted from an admonishment that too much emphasis has been placed on looking for relationships between biodemographic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and needs or outcomes. A more promising di r e c t i o n seems to be determining common features among potential adult learners. That i s , do those with certain needs, such as for career-related information and assistance, ident i f y similar problems (such as lack of knowledge about talents and goals)? Are there common barriers faced by those with common goals? As already reported, the number of problems i d e n t i f i e d was related to several aspects of service. In order to gain a better understanding of the relationships between s p e c i f i c problems, c l i e n t s ' c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , and their perceptions of service, each problem was considered independently. No connection between s p e c i f i c problems and the number of career or educational needs was discovered. However, those who i d e n t i f i e d certain problems generally had more needs in the l i f e s t y l e category. These problems were: lack of self-confidence, lack of personal knowledge, lack of money, transportation problems, lack of family support, lack of other support services, locations of programs, and lack of time. In a l l of these comparisons, those who i d e n t i f i e d a s p e c i f i c problem also identifed four or more l i f e s t y l e needs. Those who did not i d e n t i f y these problems generally had fewer l i f e s t y l e needs. In looking at the ratings of helpfulness in each of the 177 categories, few relationships to s p e c i f i c problems were found. However, those who i d e n t i f i e d lack of counselling and information services, lack of self-confidence, and lack of personal knowledge as problems tended to show less positive ratings more often. Other differences related to c l i e n t s ' c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and w i l l be discussed in the next section. Biodemographic Characteristics In order to answer the question "Which of the factors which c l i e n t s bring with them as part of their backgrounds seem be make a difference in how they perceive the services and • what they do as a result of the association wih the Centre?" a search was made among the various rated variables and results for trends, patterns and commonalities between these and factors such as age, education, marital status, or whether or not the c l i e n t was in paid employment. Age A relationship between age and s a t i s f a c t i o n with the a c c e s s i b i l i t y of the Centre was found (p=.050). The older the c l i e n t , the more s a t i s f i e d with t h i s aspect she tended to be. The older the c l i e n t s , the fewer problems they identifed in moving ahead with their plans. Conversely, the younger c l i e n t s i d e n t i f i e d more problems (p=.002). Although no other s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t relationships were found between age and any of the other variables, a close examination of the figures showed that age made a difference in the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of c e r t a i n problems. At least eight s p e c i f i c problems were i d e n t i f i e d more often by those in the 1 9 - 3 9 age 178 group. These were: 1. Lack of self-confidence 2. Lack of money 3. Transportation 4. Lack of spouse and family support 5. Lack of program f l e x i b i l i t y 6. Feelings about school 7. Lack of programs, and 8. Lack of support services. No pattern of age difference was associated with any of the other problems not mentioned above. Age was also a factor in r e l a t i o n to group attendance - 84% of those who attended the vocational planning group were'between 19 and 39 while only 70% of the t o t a l sample f e l l into this age group. Marital Status No s i g n i f i c a n t relationships between marital status, s a t i s f a c t i o n with service, or number of problems identifed was discovered. However, the c i t i n g of certain problems seemed to to related to marital status. Lack of self-confidence was more frequently i d e n t i f i e d as a problem by single (40%) and married (36%) c l i e n t s than by those who were either divorced or separated (23%).,. Lack of money was c i t e d as a problem by 75% of both the single and divorced or separated c l i e n t s while only 52% of the married c l i e n t s did so. Of the 66% of the sample who i d e n t i f i e d t h i s as a problem, 43% were single, 31% married, and 26% separated or divorced. Transportation seemed to pose more of a problems for 179 singles while lack of family support was i d e n t i f i e d as a d i f f i c u l t y more often by divorced or separated c l i e n t s than by those who were married. S i m i l a r l y , lack of support services such as c h i l d care was more of a problem to t h i s group as well. Eleven of the 12 c l i e n t s in t h i s category also c i t e d lack of  information about opportunities as a problem. Those in the divorced or separated category also reported more actions taken as a result of the association with the Centre than the single or married c l i e n t s did. Singles were over-represented by those who attended the vocational planning group. (54% compared to 39% in overal l sample). Over half the single c l i e n t s attended t h i s group program. Education No pattern of relationships was found between education and s a t i s f a c t i o n s , needs, re s u l t s , or the number of problems identifed with only a few exceptions. Of those who attended the vocational planning group program, 39% had one or more years of college while only 24% of those who did not attend had as high an educational l e v e l . Those who c i t e d lack of support services as a problem a l l had at least one year of college. Paid Employment There were no apparent differences in the s a t i s f a t i o n ratings nor in attendance at the vocational planning (job hunting) program between those in paid employment and those not in paid employment. There were some differences between these 180 two groups however. Those not in paid employment rated the helpfulness with career/vocational needs less p o s i t i v e l y . That i s , 54% found the information and assistance they received in th i s category only ' s l i g h t l y helpful' or 'of no help' while only 19% of those in paid employment responded in this way. In considering the problems i d e n t i f i e d , several differences emerged. Of those who c i t e d lack of self-confidence 66% were in paid employment, 34% were not. Of those who did not identify t h i s as a problem, only 29% were in paid employment. Lack of  personal knowledge was i d e n t i f i e d by the same percentages in each group as above, and only 36% of those who did not identify this as a problem were in paid employment. Lack of family  support was c i t e d more often by those in paid employment (71%) than those not (29%). Eighty percent of those who c i t e d Lack of  support services were in paid employment as were 71% of those who c i t e d time. To summarize, those in paid employment seemed to find that personal psychological factors and p r a c t i c a l aspects constituted problems for them. Those in paid employment also reported 1/3 more outcomes of the action type than those not in paid employment. L i f e as a Whole Another c h a r a c t e r i s t i c which c l i e n t s bring with them is their attitude towards l i f e as a whole. Does a generally pos i t i v e orientation to l i f e make a difference to how service i s perceived? Do those with a negative view of their l i f e s i t u a t i o n express more d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with service? Does t h i s influence outcomes or the problems identifed by the c l i e n t ? In order to answer these questions, c l i e n t s ' responses to t h i s item 181 were correlated with s a t i s f a c t i o n s , needs, results and problems. 1 As Table 13 shows, Feelings about "L i f e as a Whole" were highly correlated with o v e r a l l s a t i s f a c t i o n and in p a r t i c u l a r , s a t i s f a c t i o n with the information exchange and with ratings of helpfulness with educational and l i f e s t y l e needs. That i s , those with more positive orientations to l i f e were also, more positi v e in their ratings of these factors. As the number of problems i d e n t i f i e d increased, so did d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with l i f e . Although no s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t relationship was found between the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of s p e c i f i c problems and feelings about l i f e , for each of the 13 problems, those who c i t e d the factor as a d i f f i c u l t y or barrier tended to respond in the negative end of the scale compared to those who did not ident i f y a part factor as a problem. For example, those who c i t e d lack of self-confidence, lack of personal knowledge, lack of money, lack of spouse and family support, lack of support services, lack of program f l e x i b i l i t y , feelings about school and location of programs as problems also rated their feelings about l i f e as a whole as "mixed" or less s a t i s f i e d . Those who attended the group programs f e l l into the 'mixed' or ' d i s s a t i s f i e d ' categories s l i g h t l y more often than those who did not (70% vs 51% in the vocational planning group and 60% vs 1 Responses to t h i s question should be considered in l i g h t of the fact that t h i s opinion was not independently assessed. Even though the question was placed at the end of the questionnaire and c l i e n t s responded to i t after completing the sections on s a t i s f a c t i o n , helpfullness, outcomes, problems and biodemographic information, their responses may have been influenced by their previous answers. 182 41% in the lifeplanning group). These findings about the relationship between c l i e n t s ' feelings about L i f e as a whole, suppport those of Toombs who also found that people who were generally d i s s a t i s f i e d with l i f e were more l i k e l y to be less pleased with 'The way i t a l l turned out', and that those who checked an action result tended to be more pleased with l i f e . 183 Stage II Analysis - 27 Cases Additional information about the perceived helpfulness of services, number of v i s i t s , a f f e c t i v e outcomes, networking effects and readiness for s e l f - d i r e c t e d learning was gained during the interviews. A search was conducted forpossible relationships between the rated variables, results and problems and these additional variables. Figure 2 provides an overview of the s i g n i f i c a n t relationships discovered between variables in each category. As in figure 1, i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s between variables in the same category are not shown. Services and Approaches As explained in chapter IV, during the interviews-, c l i e n t s were asked to rate the helpfulness of the Centre's services and the ways in which they were provided. In order to determine i f these ratings were related to previously reported ratings of s a t i s f a c t i o n and outcomes, Pearson correlations were run. Table 14 provides d e t a i l s of the r e s u l t s . A positive correlation between ov e r a l l s a t i s f a c t i o n and ratings of helpfulness of four aspects of the service was found. That i s , those who found the counselling (3) and the program (6) components useful, and those who were helped by the approaches which encouraged s e l f -r e s p o n s i b i l i t y (10) and pointed out alternatives (11), also were pleased with "How i t a l l turned out". T a b l e 14 C o r r e l a t i o n s among R a t i n g s of H e l p f u l n e s s of S e r v i c e s and Approaches and t h e i r C o r r e l a t i o n s w i t h Outcomes and O v e r a l l s a t i s f a c t i o n V a r 1 a b l e 1 2 3 4 5 6 V a r i a b l e .7 8 9 10 1 1 12 13 S e r v i c e s Approaches 1. Informat1 on 100 46 57 -37 1 7 49 7. Acceptance 100 29 ' 71 80 68 53 " 44 2. M a t e r i a l s 100 22 1 20' 7 53 8. C l a r i f y i n g Needs 100 56. 55 62 59 42 ' 3. Counsel 11ng 100 58' 7 75, 9. I d e n t i f y i n g A b i l i t i e s 100 54 37 ' 40' 67 4. R e f e r r a 1 100 7 26 ' 10. S e i f - r e s p o n s 1 b 1 1 1 t y 100 23 1 25' -05 ' 1n D e c i s i o n Making 5. Advocacy 100 ? 11. I d e n t l f y l n g 100 84 37 1 A1ternat1ves 6. Programs 100 12. Encourag1ng 100 47 ' S e i f - d 1 r e c t e d n e s s 13. Promoting c o n t r o l 100 of l i f e D 1 r e c t i o n 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 1 12 13 Outcomes 14. A c t i o n s Taken -31 ' -06 ' -59 7 7 -54 -38 -27 ' - 18 1 -04 -51 -46 -25 ' 15. PIans, genera 1 -55 -20' -62 31 ' I 66 -50 - 18 ' -31 ' -40 -58 -34 -43 ' Improvements 16. A f f e c t i v e Outcomes -29' -02 ' -47 50' 7 -44 -36 19 ' 12 ' -4 1 -29 ' 01 ' -'13 1 17. Overa11 -02' -02 1 61 08 ' ? 66 30' 1 1 1 26' 44 57 44 12 ' sat 1 s f a c t 1 on • C o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s a r e rounded to 2 p l a c e s , d e c i m a l s ommltted. C o e f f i c i e n t s a r e s i g n i f i c a n t at alpha=.05. 1 C o e f f i c i e n t s a r e not s i g n i f i c a n t at alpha=.05. ! C o e f f i c i e n t s c o u l d not be c a l c u l a t e d . Sample s i z e s v a r y a c c o r d i n g to response p a t t e r n s c h a r a c t e r i z i n g p a i r s of v a r i a b l e s (m1n1mum=6 max1mum=26) CO CLIENTS' PERCEPTIONS OF SERVICE OUTCOMES CLIENTS'  CHARACTERISTICS O v e r a l l S a t i s f a c t i o n A f f e c t i v e Outcomes S a t I s f a c t I o n w i t h S t r a t e g i e s of S e r v i c e Informa11 on ( 1 ) Counse111ng (3) Programs ((5) A c c e p t a n c e (7) I d e n t 1 f 1 c a t 1 o n of Ab1 1 I t l e s O ) Se1f-Respons. f o r Dec 1s1ons (10) I d e n t i f i c a t i o n of A 1 t e r n a t 1 v e s (11) .3, 10, 9 3,6,7,10,11 1, 3, 6, 9 10, 11 .3, 6, 7, 10. Networking E f f e c t Number of Outcomes Number of A c t i o n s Number of P l a n s and Improvements A f f e c t i v e outcomes Readi n e s s f o r S e l f -D l r e c t e d L e a r n i n g Number of V i s i t s F i g u r e 2. S t a t i s t i c a l l y S i g n i f i c a n t R e l a t i o n s h i p s between R a t i n g s of S e r v i c e , Outcomes and C l i e n t C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s (N=27) 186 Networking Effects Chapter IV also described the process which was used to assess c l i e n t s ' networking e f f e c t s . Four p o s s i b i l i t i e s were i d e n t i f i e d : 1. Clients' networking was not affected; 2. Important networking was i n i t i a t e d ; 3. The existing process was f a c i l i t a t e d ; or, 4. Cli e n t s ; networking was both i n i t i a t e d and f a c i l i t a t e d . Cross tabulations between networking effects and ratings of services and approaches resulted in the discovery of a relationship between f a c i l i t a t i o n of networking and the positive rating of one approach - helping a c l i e n t identify her strengths and a b i l i t i e s and make plans to build on these (9) (Chi Square=l8.16 with 10 degrees of freedom, p=.052). Since most of the expectant c e l l values were too small on the f i r s t series of cross-tabulations, tests of s t a t i s t i c a l significance could not be carr i e d out for many of the combinations of items. To f a c i l i t a t e the search for further possible relationships, responses for each of these two variables were reduced to two categories (networking not affected or affected and a positive or negative, rating of helpfulness) so that b i s e r i a l tables could be produced. This resulted in the emergence of a s i g n i f i c a n t relationship between the promotion of networking (either i n i t i a t i o n or f a c i l i t a t i o n ) , and the helpfulness of two strategies of service - peer counselling (3) (Chi Square=11.62 with 2 degrees of freedom, p=.003)1 and encouraging a c l i e n t to make her own decisions (10) (Chi 1 This s t a t i s t i c results from Fisher's exact test which i s not affected by small expected c e l l frequencies. 187 Square=4.73 with 1 degree of freedom, p=.0297). Although no other s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t relationships could be established, a pattern of responses across most of the services characterized those whose networking was either i n i t i a t e d or f a c i l i t a t e d by their association with the Centre. The trend was for those deemed to have a networking effect to report more positive ratings while those who did not have a networking effect provided more negative ratings. The percentage of responses in the positive and negative categories for each group were summed and the t o t a l divided by the number of services in order to arrive at the mean score. When thi s score for the negative responses was subtracted from that for the p o s i t i v e responses, a substantial difference was discovered between the two groups. That i s , the group which derived a networking e f f e c t , rated the services and approaches p o s i t i v e l y more often than negatively and the difference between the the percentages was 61.5. The other group had a difference of only 11.5. Thus, overall the difference between these- two groups' ratings was 50 percentage points. The Number of Outcomes was also related to some of the services and approaches. The more outcomes reported, the more positive were the ratings of helpfulness for two services -counselling (3) and programs (6) and three approaches - showing acceptance (7), encouraging s e l f - r e s p o n s i b i l i t y in decision making (10), and pointing out alternatives (11). This was true for both types of outcomes - actions taken and plans and general improvements (except for programs (6)). That i s , the positive rating of programs (6) and an additional aspect, the information service (1) was s i g n i f i c a n t l y correlated with the planning type 188 of outcome. In other words, those who rated these two services as being helpful reported fewer outcomes in this category than those who found them less h e l p f u l . Table 14 provides figures. Affective Outcomes A search for possible relationships between ratings of s a t i s f a c t i o n , helpfulness and outcomes, as well as selected biodemographic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and changes in attitudes or feelings (affective outcomes) was conducted. In order to f a c i l i t a t e these intercorrelations and cross-tabulations, a mean score was calculated for a f f e c t i v e outcomes by summing the scores of the individual items and dividing by. 10. (Intercorrelations between items was high (p<.002). Correlations between th i s mean score and ratings of helpfulness of services and approaches resulted in several findings. Two types of service - counselling (3) and programs, (6) were s i g n i f i c a n t l y related to a f f e c t i v e outcomes and number of outcomes (both actions and plans) as was the case with Overall  s a t i s f a c t i o n . Two others were more weakly related - Information and r e f e r r a l (p<.09). The f i r s t three were negatively correlated, indicating that those who reported greater degrees of change in attitudes and feelings, found these more helpful than those who reported a lesser degree of attitude change. Referral however, was rated as less helpful by those who reported higher degrees of a f f e c t i v e outcomes. Two approaches were also s i g n i f i c a n t l y related to a f f e c t i v e  outcomes - acceptance (7) and encouragement of s e l f -r e s p o n s i b i l i t y (10). These were negatively correlated, indicating that those who acheived the most changes in attitude 1 8 9 rated their helpfulness more p o s i t i v e l y . Affective Outcomes In addition to the relationships with services and approaches already mentioned, a f f e c t i v e outcomes were found to be p o s i t i v e l y correlated with the number of other outcomes reported. Those who reported a higher degree of a f f e c t i v e outcome also reported a greater number of both actions taken (p= . 0 0 l ) and plans underway, including general improvements (p = . 0 0 4 ) . The number of v i s i t s c l i e n t s made to the Centre was also p o s i t i v l y correlated with the degree of attitude change reported (p = . 0 4 ) . Overall s a t i s f a c t i o n was negatively correlated with a f f e c t i v e outcomes ( p = . 0 l 7 ) , indicating that those who rated t h i s more p o s i t i v e l y reported a larger degree of change in attitudes. Changes in attitudes and feelings also seemed to bear a strong relationship to the interviewer's judgements of networking e f f e c t s . Those whose networking was judged to be either i n i t i a t e d , f a c i l i t a t e d or both, reported s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher degrees of changed attitudes and feelings (Chi Square= l3 .80 with 2 degrees of freedom, p = . 0 0 l ) . Networking E f f e c t s As already reported, several relationships between networking e f f e c t s and ratings of helpfulness of services and approaches, as well as a f f e c t i v e outcomes were discovered. In addition, a s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p between the influence of the Centre on the c l i e n t s ' process of networking and the number 190 of outcomes reported was apparent. For both actions taken and plans or general improvements noted, those whose association with the Centre had no effect on their networking process, reported fewer re s u l t s . Conversely, those whose networking had been i n i t i a t e d and/or f a c i l i t a t e d by the support and encouragement of the Centre reported more r e s u l t s . This was s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t for both actions (chi square=7.28 with 2 degrees of freedom, p=.026). and plans (chi square=7.30 with 2 degrees of freedom, p=.025). Table 15 provides a comparison between the percentage and number of c l i e n t s in each group who reported achieving r e s u l t s . The difference between the Table 15 Crosstabulation between Networking E f f e c t s , "In-Transition" State and Number of Results Number of Results * Variable Actions Plans or General Improvements • n 0 1-3 4-9 0 1-6 7-11 Networking 1. Not affected 7 43 57 -- 29 57 14 2. Affected 19 5 58 37 — 47 53 "In-Transition" 1. No 5 40 40 20 20 60 20 2. Yes 22 14 59 27 5 50 46 * Expressed as percentages. n=Total number of cases in each category. percentages in each group reporting "no results" of either type i s also i n t e r e s t i n g . Whether these changes or goals resulted from the association with the Centre's networking effect i s d i f f i c u l t to say. The r e l a t i o n s h i p between these two factors, 191 however, i s noteworthy. Readiness for Self-directed Learning The Readiness for Self-Directed Learning scale which was completed by 27 c l i e n t s during the interviews, was scored by the LERTAP computer program. Three d i g i t scores for each c l i e n t resulted and ranged from a low of 119 to a high of 186. This range, compared to the scores obtained from other populations, was r e l a t i v e l y high, indicating that, on the whole, th i s p a r t i c u l a r group of c l i e n t s was highly s e l f - d i r e c t e d . Comparing the scores of six c l i e n t s whose networking was not affected by their association with the Women's Resources Centre (mean score was 136) with those of the 18 c l i e n t s whose networking was either i n i t i a t e d and/or f a c i l i t a t e d , (mean score was 156) the difference was found to be s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t (T value=2.62, 22 degrees of freedom, p=.0l6). Whether the influence of the Centre promoted t h i s , or whether the characteristices of the c l i e n t s affected how they used the Centre's assistance cannot be determined from t h i s data. However, the possible reciprocal relationships between eff e c t s of a process such as networking and the s e l f -directedness of the learner presents interesting p o s s i b i l i t i e s for further study as in the case of the relationship between a f f e c t i v e outcomes and networking. No other s i g n i f i c a n t relationships were discovered between these scores and age, education or feelings about l i f e as a whole. However, those in paid employment scored higher in s e l f -directedness than those not in paid employment (mean was 142 vs 125). Also, c l i e n t s who were either single or separated or 192 divorced also scored higher than married c l i e n t s (means were 146, 148 and 124 respectively). The overa l l mean was 138. These relationships did not prove to be s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t because of the wide spread of scores in each category. However, the mean scores for these d i f f e r e n t groups are appreciably d i f f e r e n t and nevertheless, an interesting finding. In Transition Those who were in t r a n s i t i o n in some aspect of their l i v e s or whose networking was affected by their association with the Centre, reported a higher incidence of results, both actions and plans or general improvements. Like those whose networking was not affected, those who were not in t r a n s i t i o n , reported a higher incidence of "no r e s u l t s " . As previously mentioned, the relationships between the networking effects experienced by the 27 c l i e n t s and the number of results reported was found to be s i g n i f i c a n t . However, in t h i s case, since only 5 c l i e n t s were not in t r a n s i t i o n , the expected size of the c e l l values was too small to do an appropriate s t a t i s i c a l test to determine a possible relationship between "in t r a n s i t i o n " state and number of r e s u l t s . Table 15 also provides a comparison between these factors and an indication of possible relationships. Number of V i s i t s In addition to the link between number of v i s i t s c l i e n t s made to the Centre and a f f e c t i v e outcomes, i t was also found that those who v i s i t e d more often, reported a higher number of  outcomes in the planning or general improvements category. No relationships between the number of v i s i t s and actions taken or o v e r a l l s a t i s f a c t i o n emerged. 1 94 Discussion The relationships which emerged from stage II of the analysis have confirmed many of the formulations which were presented in Chapter IV. The idea that cognitive, a f f e c t i v e and behavioural factors are int e r - r e l a t e d aspects of an individual's learning process has been demonstrated. The possible existence of reciprocal relationships between needs, interests, attitudes and outcomes have been previously suggested by Michenbaum and Butler (1979, p. 35). "A cycle i s established whereby a f f e c t , cognition and behaviour a l l interact and feed upon each other." This phenomenon was most evident when the experiences of the c l i e n t s of the Women's Resources Centre were analysed. The Findings resulting from this second stage of analysis w i l l be discussed within t h i s context under three headings - educational brokering and the networking process, mediating factors, and implications for practice. Educational Brokering and the Networking Process Chapter IV also presented a formulation of the educational brokering process which incorporated elements of another process which has come to be commonly termed "networking". The use of the networking process was found to be c r u c i a l in enabling c l i e n t s to make the connections between the information exchange aspects of the service and the outcomes resulting from their association with the Centre. Three aspects of the networking idea were found to be important in enabling c l i e n t s to use the information for their own purposes. These were: 1. An understanding of the concept of networking; 2. An awareness of the existence of a network of b e n e f i c i a l 195 contacts which could be pursued to further one's aims; and, 3. Self-confidence and motivation to pursue t h i s network including the i d e n t i f i c a i o n of resources and the actual procedures of making contact. The description of the process of educational brokering presented in Chapter IV resulted from the findings of the f i r s t stage of analysis and the interviews with the c l i e n t s . In pa r t i c u l a r , Melanie's description of how she became aware of the existence of a networking process and how she began to use i t , presented in Appendix F i l l u s t r a t e s the way in which educational brokering and networking can operate together and are in eff e c t , aspects of the same t o t a l process. Stage II of the analysis has provided additional findings which reinforce the formulation presented in Chapter IV. The emergence of s i g n i f i c a n t relationships between the networking ef f e c t resulting from c l i e n t s ' associations with the Women's Resources Centre and their ratings of helpfulness of some of the services provide additional insights into how the process works. The importance of the interplay between various elements i s also reinforced. For example, those whose networking was f a c i l i t a t e d , found that the assistance they received to take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for making their own decisions was very h e l p f u l . Those whose networking was both i n i t i a t e d and f a c i l i t e d reported that the peer counselling service was very h e l p f u l . Further, the relationships between networking e f f e c t s and both a f f e c t i v e outcomes and outcomes of the action and planning type were also s i g n i f i c a n t l y related. C l e a r l y , the integration of the networking process into the brokering approach seems to be part of the effectiveness of the approach of the Women's Resources 196 Centre. Mediating Factors The relationships between c l i e n t s ' c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , their perceptions and the outcomes they reported indicate that there are variables which tend to act as mediating factors between the strategies of service and their e f f e c t s . That i s , they moderate the process. For example, those who exhibited readiness to make changes in their l i v e s , were able to make better use of the service for their own purposes than those who did not. Further, the perception of problems did not necessarily interfere with c l i e n t s ' achievments of results, confirming the idea that people can solve their own d i f f i c u l t i e s , given the required encouragement and support. F i n a l l y , those who f e l t more positive about their l i v e s as a whole and those who perceived more problems were less s a t i s f i e d with the service and also found i t less h e l p f u l . Implications for Practice The relationships which were discovered between the number of outcomes - actions, plans and general improvements - together with the degree of attitude change (affective outcomes), and the ratings of services underscore the importance of several strategies of service. S p e c i f i c a l l y , since two services (peer counselling and program offerings) as well as three approaches (offering acceptance of c l i e n t s ' concerns, encouraging s e l f -r e s p o n s i b i l i t y in decision-making, and pointing out alternatives including the exploration of options) stand out as the important aspects of service for these p a r t i c u l a r c l i e n t s . The fact that those who f e l t more positive about their l i v e s as a whole and those who perceived more problems were less 197 s a t i s f i e d with the service and also found i t less h e l p f u l , reinforces the need for an individualized approach during the i n i t i a l reception phase of the process. I d e n t i f i c a t i o n of these c l i e n t s as well as those who exhibit more aspects of readiness to progress also reinforces the implications for practice already discussed. While supplementing the information on which the previous recommendations where based, the findings of stage II of the analysis also provide some additional understanding of adults' learning needs and the potential value of the broker's role in responding to these. The conviction that the provision of information alone is not s u f f i c i e n t to successfully a s s i s t adults in making career, educational or l i f e s t y l e decisions i s unmistakably reinforced. The counselling, r e f e r r a l , advocacy and supportive, s e l f - d i r e c t i v e aspects of the service a l l operate together. The importance of on-site service in a l l of these areas i s c l e a r l y demonstrated. The f i n a l chapter attempts to draw the findings of Chapter IV and V together and formulate a model of access which i l l u s t r a t e s how the individual c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the c l i e n t , the strategies of the service and external factors can operate together to achieve c l i e n t empowerment. 198 CHAPTER VI CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS, LIMITATIONS, FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS The purpose of the study was to investigate the u t i l i t y and appropriateness of . the educational brokering approach in f a c i l i t a t i n g access for adults to the career/vocational, educational/learning networks in the community. This was done by evaluating the effectiveness of the University of B r i t i s h Columbia Women's Resources Centre drop-in services. The educational brokering approach represents an attempt to. connect learners' needs to available learning resources and, in par t i c u l a r , to serve the disadvantaged. Women as a group have h i s t o r i c a l l y been disadvantaged and even though p a r t i c i p a t i o n rates for women in education are increasing, their learning needs are s t i l l largely unmet. Since the brokering phenomenon i s r e l a t i v e l y new, few guidelines exist for i t s evaluation. A c l i e n t reaction study, based on previously i d e n t i f i e d c r i t e r i a and designed to meet the needs of the Women's Resources Centre was conducted. Information was gained from 63 respondents about s a t i s f a c t i o n s , helpfulness and outcomes of service. Additional information about how the experience related to the larger framework of the women's l i v e s , networking e f f e c t s , readiness of se l f - d i r e c t e d learning and changed attitudes and feelings was obtained from 27 c l i e n t s interviewed. An array of findings have been reported and discussed in Chapters IV and V. Concepts have been refined and elaborated. Some formulations have been presented. This f i n a l chapter t i e s 199 together . loose ends, presents conclusions -and their implications, resulting in some f i n a l recommendations. Statements of l i m i t a t i o n s and contributions of the study are also included. Conclusions The educational brokering approach, as practiced by the University of B r i t i s h Columbia Women's Resources Centre was found to be e f f e c t i v e and worthwhile. The findings confirm that the approach i s 'working' in many ways, and seems to be appropriate for the Centre at t h i s p a r t i c u l a r time in i t s continuing development. These types of investigations usually raise more questions than they answer. Their value i s in terms of confirmation of direct i o n s , philosophy, and i n t u i t i v e perceptions about the value and worth of the service. They can also provide information and insights for planning and policy decisions. The findings have been presented in a way which i s intended to f a c i l i t a t e these two purposes. The s a t i s f a c t i o n levels with various aspects of the service and the reported actions and results including a f f e c t i v e outcomes, are a substantive testimony to "what's going right" with the Centre. Interspersed with this information are qualifying statements and suggestions for improving and extending the service. In addition, the interpretation of the findings, e s p e c i a l l y in r e l a t i o n to how the association with the Centre related to the larger framework of the women's l i v e s , raises additional implications for future directions and provides further confirmation of present practices. 200 The discovery of relationships between variables such as a f f e c t i v e outcomes, self-directedness and networking e f f e c t s , along with insights gained during the personal interviews, enabled refinements in the d e f i n i t i o n s of readiness, c l i e n t empowerment, and the brokering process to be made. The hypothesis which has emerged from t h i s investigation i s : Educational brokering services, offered in supportive atmosphere and within the context of l i f e planning can f a c i l i t a t e access for individuals to the career/vocational, educational/learning networks in the community. This is dependent upon two factors: 1 . The individual c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which the c l i e n t brings to the experience, and; 2. Strategies of the service which enhance the c l i e n t ' s contribution. Furthermore, a t h i r d factor, the external aspects of the c l i e n t ' s situation plays a mediating role as does the s o c i e t a l context. In other words, the results of this investigation have shed l i g h t on ways in which the process of educational brokering can influence people and a s s i s t them in c a p i t a l i z i n g on opportunities for learning and growth in a variety of areas of their l i v e s . Two aspects which influence t h i s process have emerged. It seems that c l i e n t s ' c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and external factors such as problems they encounter and events which occur bear a relationship to whether or not people are able to move towards appropriate goals. When these three factors interact in a p o s i t i v e way, within the context of a receptive s o c i a l system, a phenomenon of "empowerment" seems to occur and access to opportunities for learning/education, career/vocation and l i f e s t y l e improvements can be achieved. Figure 3 depicts t h i s interaction and i t s e f f e c t . 201 Figure 3. Interacting Aspects of Access Each of these components require some elaboration. 1. The s o c i a l , l e g a l , economic system in which a l l of the other factors operate represents the context in which the process takes place and i s influenced by i t . The context can also be influenced by the process, especially the advocacy function of brokering. 2. Individual Characteristics The differences in motivational orientations, the awareness of empathic acceptance, the degree of self-directedness and self-esteem, and the knowledge of and a b i l i t y to employ the networking process, have a l l been shown to influence c l i e n t s ' perceptions of the helpfulness of the services of the Women's Resources Centre. The readiness concept and i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p to bring in t r a n s i t i o n in some aspect of their l i v e s also affected how c l i e n t s made use of the service. The unique c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s 202 which i n d i v i d u a l s b r i n g t o the e x p e r i e n c e seem t o i n f l u e n c e b o th the e x t e r n a l a s p e c t s of t h e i r s i t u a t i o n and the way i n which s e r v i c e i s p e r c e i v e d and u t i l i z e d . 3. S t r a t e g i e s of S e r v i c e The phases of the b r o k e r i n g p r o c e s s which have been o u t l i n e d and the importance of t a i l o r i n g these t o the c l i e n t s ' s t a g e s of e x p l o r a t i o n has been emphasized. When t h i s happens, e x t e r n a l a s p e c t s such as p r a c t i c a l problems a re mediated and c l i e n t s ' c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a r e tapped and/or enhanced t o promote t h e i r development. 4. E x t e r n a l F a c t o r s For some, p e r c e i v e d problems or p r a t i c a l d i f f i c u l t i e s ^ c o n s t i t u t e i n s u r m o u n t a b l e o b s t a c l e s . For o t h e r s whose i n d i v i d u a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a r e d i f f e r e n t or who have been i n f l u e n c e d by • the s t r a t e g i e s of the s e r v i c e , t h e s e e x t e r n a l f a c t o r s p l a y a l e s s i m p o r t a n t r o l e . In e i t h e r c a s e , e x t e r n a l f a c t o r s can be seen as a m e d i a t i n g v a r i a b l e between the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the i n d i v i d u a l and the s t r a t e g i e s of s e r v i c e . 5. Access or C l i e n t Empowerment The hoped-for outcome of an e f f e c t i v e b r o k e r i n g s e r v i c e f o r a c l i e n t who e i t h e r p o sesses or d e v e l o p s the q u a l i t i e s r e q u i r e d t o u t i l i z e the s e r v i c e , i s r e p r e s e n t e d by the i n t e r s e c t i o n of the o t h e r a r e a s . E x t e r n a l f a c t o r s can enhance an i n d i v i d u a l ' s r e a d i n e s s and/or be d e a l t w i t h by i n t e r v e n t i o n of t h e advocacy r o l e or by s t r e n g t h e n i n g the i n d i v i d u a l ' s r e s o u r c e s . When a l l t h r e e f a c t o r s i n t e r a c t i n a s y n e r g i s t i c manner and enhance each o t h e r , w i t h i n a r e c e p t i v e s o c i a l m i l e a u , the outcome may be seen as achievement of a c c e s s or c l i e n t empowerment. Those f o r whom the f a c t o r s i n t e r a c t i n a p o s i t i v e way seem t o f e e l i n c o n t r o l 203 of the di r e c t i o n of their l i v e s and the actions and plans they report show that they are moving ahead. 6. P a r t i a l Access When only two of the factors interact varying degrees of success may be achieved,, depending on the components. This model of access or empowerment has emerged gradually from the cummulative e f f e c t of the findings - both q u a l i t a t i v e and quantitative. It i s presented as a tentative, oversimplified representation of a multi-variate phenomenon. The model suggests a variety of p o s s i b i l i t i e s for further investigation including the following: 1. Replicate this study with a larger number of c l i e n t s , reduce the number of items on the questionnaire (those showing high inter-item correlations can be collapsed to a few items or one over a l l question), and/or use a di f f e r e n t setting. 2. Constuct a study to search for s p e c i f i c relationships between the three aspects - individual c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , strategies of service and external factors - (or two of them), in order to construct p r o f i l e s of potential learners. For example, c l i e n t s with similar learning needs and interests, service requirments, or barrie r s could be i d e n t i f i e d . This approach i s an alternative to the emphasis on common demographic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . 3. Refine the components of each of the three categories by using a subtractive reseach strategy which allows for the ommission of several factors in various combinations to get at inter a c t i o n a l e f f e c t s . 4 . Conduct a more in-depth case study investigation u t i l i z i n g an unstructured interview technique and a q u a l i t a t i v e 204 methodology. This type of study, conducted, by a s k i l l e d and sensitive interviewer could bring new insights and generate new hypotheses that would further move beyond description toward explanation. 5. Collect data about biodemographic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of c l i e n t s who use brokering services so that comparisions with those en r o l l i n g in educational programs can be made. There continues to be a need to ascertain whether or not these services are actually a t t r a c t i n g the educationally and/or socio-economically disadvantaged. Implications Some findings related to these particular c l i e n t s , their reasons for seeking out the services and the outcomes which resulted from their association with the Centre are s i g n i f i c a n t and transferable to other, settings and other similar c l i e n t groups. Two p r i n c i p a l conclusions have implications for the f i e l d of practice. 1. The findings of th i s study confirm Toombs' observation that, "For adults i t appears education may have less i n t r i n s i c value, but more instrumental and contingent importance" (1978,p. 21). That i s , c l i e n t s who have sought out the services are often most interested in the immediate job situation and their interest in education relates to t h i s . This has clear implications for the focus of the .service. 2. Counselling has also been reconfirmed as being a c r u c i a l aspect of the information service, not simply an adjunct to i t . "Impersonal f i l e s , computer terminal, print materials have their place, but the adults who have the i n i t i a t i v e to contact Centers 205 are looking for more than information" (Toombs, 1978, p. 21). This . finding i s possibly the most s i g n i f i c a n t outcome of this and other similar types of investigations, in terms of guiding the planning, development and i n s t i t u t i o n of brokering services. It is understandable in times of budgetary restraint that planners might discount the importance of the counselling function. Counselling services offered by individual educational i n s t i t u t i o n s which can be used on a r e f e r r a l basis may be seen as constituting an adequate alternative to on-site counselling service. The experience of brokering services indicates otherwise. The importance of offering each phase of the brokering process as part of a comprehensive on-site service in order to achieve c l i e n t empowerment has been demonstrated by th i s study and i s well documented (Heffernan, 1980). This study has emphatically pointed out that information alone i s not enough. This has immediate implications for the proposal of a consortium of educational i n s t i t u t i o n s in Vancouver, B r i t i s h Columbia. While this group has shown leadership by cooperatively planning and establishing a Downtown Education Centre and an accompanying educational information service, the absense of an on-site assessment and advisement component i s dissappointing. S i m i l a r l y , the long range plan for a province-wide computerized information access service i s commendable but again the counselling component is notably absent. Limitations Several l i m i t a t i o n s of the study can be noted: 1. It was not possible to obtain a control group who had not 206 u t i l i z e d the brokering services. Respondents and self-selected interviewees were probably more highly motivated to plan and i n s t i t u t e change. Therefore, generalizations about women, or adults as a whole cannot be made. 2. The small number in the sample (especially the c l i e n t s interviewed) prevented some of the tests for s t a t i s t i c a l s ignificance from being car r i e d out and consequently, some of the findings represent patterns characterizing certain types of c l i e n t s rather than res u l t i n g from the analysis of hard data 3. The sample represented a highly educated, upper middle class group of women. The study has not been able to assess, the a b i l i t y of the Women's Resources Centre to attract the educationally, economically or psychologically disadvantaged women of the Vancouver area and consequently cannot make judgements about how well the approach serves these groups. Therefore, generalizations about educational brokering and i t s s u i t a b i l i t y for serving the disadvantaged in general, cannot be made.. However, i t s effectiveness in serving the c l i e n t s in t h i s sample who may be seen as members of a disadvantaged group, because they are women, has been shown. Fi n a l Recommendations In aligning i t s e l f with the service-oriented educational brokering model, the future o the Women's Resources Centre w i l l be influenced by the directions in which such operations are evolving. By choosing paths and actions which are appropriate for i t s unique goals and purposes, the Women's Resources Centre has the potential to continue to adapt to the changing needs of i t s c l i e n t s as well as move on to address the d e f i c i e n c i e s which 207 have been i d e n t i f i e d . Since the services are presently being provided in the form of a low budget, volunteer run operation, t h i s model must accept r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for both the strengths and shortcomings of the service. The central issues raised by thi s c l i e n t - r e a c t i o n study center around the questions of how the Women's Resources Centre can retain the positi v e aspects of i t s approach while adapting i t s service to address the def i c i e n c i e s which have been pointed out. Considering the Centre's resources, are the goals r e a l i s t i c ? In order to address these issues i t i s useful to look at the directions in which other similar operations are going. There are many forces prodding the Centre and new services are springing up around i t . This makes i t necessary for the Women's Resources Centre to constantly redefine i t s services in re l a t i o n to i t s mandate. In order to continue to evolve in a way that allows the Centre to retain i t s relevancy, offering appropriate service to the women of Vancouver, and l i v e up to i t s po t e n t i a l , two p r i n c i p a l paths are suggested: 1. Implementation of the recommendations set forth in thi s report, including an examination of the organizational aspects of the Centre; and, 2. Re-evaluation of the Centre's role in rel a t i o n to the rest of the community. The present resources, philosophy and p r i o r i t i e s of the centre need to be considered. How these can be enhanced and supplemented by other emerging services such as the downtown consortium, Vancouver Women's Network and various community college programs and services needs to be explored. In fact, two c r u c i a l factors w i l l affect the future 208 directions of the brokering movement in general and can also guide the development of the Women's Resources Centre. These are: (a) Changing funding patterns; and, (b) The trend towards computerization of information services. The May/June 1981 issue of the NCEB B u l l e t i n reported that the $15 m i l l i o n appropriated for T i t l e I of the Higher Education Act, "Education Outreach Programs", which includes the Educatonal Information Centres program and continuing education programs in the United States, for the f i s c a l year of 1981, has been rescinded. This means that state goverments w i l l not receive the funds they were expecting for the coming f i s c a l year for these purposes. According to William Toombs, this cut in budget w i l l a l l but extinguish the brokering movement in the U.S. He feels that i t w i l l go on through e f f o r t s of individuals and of l o c a l resource support and reports that Pennsylvania plans to link counselling with manpower programs as a survival strategy (Toombs, 1981). The same issue of the B u l l e t i n includes an a r t i c l e by Marilyn Jacobson on "Delivering Career Information and counselling by Computer". Computerization of career counselling services i s a timely development that has potential for as s i s t i n g the individual in making informed choices when selecting or changing careers. The point that computers do not replace humans i s emphasized. "In essense, the computer frees the counselor from the task connected with information gathering and processing and permits ' him/her to focus on the more a f f e c t i v e aspects of career choice" (p.2). These two p a r a l l e l developments suggest directions for the lo c a l s i t u a t i o n in B r i t i s h Columbia. The main shortcomings of 209 the Women's Resources Centre i d e n t i f i e d by t h i s study were in the information exchange aspects of the service. This state of a f f a i r s could be a l l e v i a t e d by the Centre's a f f l i l i a t i o n with, the Downtown Education Centre's plans for a computerized information system. The experience of the Women's Resources Centre with the counselling aspect of the service which was i d e n t i f i e d as a strength, could also complement the consortium's proposal, contributing the c r u c i a l component which i s presently missing. Moreover, these two services are already located in close physical proximity. With some compromise on both sides, and with sensitive leadership, the province of B r i t i s h Columbia could demonstrate ^ how the use of computer technology, coupled with the support and encouragement of human contact can promote c l i e n t empowerment and lead to access for adults and youth to e career related learning opportunities. Contribution of the Study This study has attempted to provide timely, appropriate, r e l i a b l e information and insights into the operation of the educational brokering services of the Women's Resources Centre. Its intent was to provide a basis for making decisions regarding the future d i r e c t i o n of the Centre. These should be directed at retaining the positive aspects of the service which have been highlighted. At the same time, the def i c i e n c i e s which have been noted should be addressed. If so, i t i s l i k e l y that the Women's Resources Centre w i l l continue to meet the unique and changing needs of women in Vancouver and provide a model for the f a c i l i t a t i o n of adult learning and development. The study can also make a broader contribution to the f i e l d 210 of adult education and in par t i c u l a r to the dir e c t i o n of practice exemplified by the brokering approach. Several ways in which the interlocking relationships between employment, education and l i v i n g under various conditions of everyday l i f e can be investigated have been demonstrated. Instruments and methods of evaluating the brokering phenomenon have been developed. Based on guidelines provided by previous studies, these have been refined and extended. The use of a combined q u a l i t a t i v e and quantitative approach to study a complex problem has also been i l l u s t r a t e d . The method in.which the study was carried out provides a model of how pra c t i t i o n e r s and researchers can meet in the f i e l d s etting. Since this i s the most appropriate way in which to address questions about how learning and l i f e interact and examine the process by which adults learn and change, i t i s a timely contribution. By examining one model of educational brokering which focused on the needs of a s p e c i f i c group, the study was able to pinpoint p a r t i c u l a r strengths of the approach in a s p e c i f i c setting. For example, by pointing out that the c r e d i b i l i t y of the service for these p a r t i c u l a r c l i e n t s resulted from i t ' s relevance to their commonality of need, because they were women, services aimed at other c l i e n t groups can be s i m i l a r l y focused. 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Zimmerman, L. & Trew, M. A Report on Non-Traditional Learning Programs for Women at B.C. Post-Secondary I n s t i t u t i o n s . Information Services, Province of. B.C. Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, January, 1979. Zweig, F. The Quest for Fellowship. London: Heinemen 1965. Appendix Phase I Questionnaire 220 1 UNIVERSITY OF B.C. WOMEN'S RESOURCES CENTRE CLIENT - REACTION STUDY Code no. Part I — NEEDS AND SATISFACTION A. Please think back to the time of your first contact with the Women's Resources Centre and your visit to the "drop-in" services. ' v What were your reasons for coming to the Centre? How satisfied were you with the following? Please circle the appropriate number. Very Satisfied 1. The hours of operation. 2. The amount of time the staff gave to you. 3. The usefulness of the a) Vocational planning manual; b) Resume kit. 4. The location of the Centre. 5. The telephone contact. 6. The willingness of the volunteer to listen. 7. The amount of attention the staff gave. 8. The competence of the person who worked with you. 9. The opportunity to explain fully what your needs and interests were. 10. The specific information you expected to get. 11. The number of visits you made to the Centre. 12. The accuracy of the information you received. 13. The timeliness of the information. Was it up to date? 14. The services at the offices, agencies or persons to whom you were referred by the Centre. 15. The level of comfort you felt in discussing your needs with the staff. 16. The way it all turned out. (your visit and the results). in ".5 T3 CU CD CO = 2 2 "5 T3 ^ CO •- CO * '-a w 3 S .<» £ Q "5 o Z c CO IS Q = 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 2 Very Dissatisfied 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 Does not Apply to me N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. Please describe any other parts of your visit to the "drop-in" Centre about which you may feel Particularly Satisfied Particularly Dissatisfied When you first contacted the Women's Resources Centre, your needs for Information or assistance may have been one of the following areas. If so, please indicate how helpful the Centre was to you by placing a ^ in the appropriate space. If an item does not apply to you, ^ the first category. The Women's Resources Centre was Does not Extremely Very Moderately Slightly Apply to Helpful Helpful Helpful Helpful Career/Employment Interests Analyzing my job situation Clarifying my employment goals — Planning my employment goals _ Planning for a lifelong career — — _ Exploring aptitudes, interests and abilities Learning how to job hunt — Re-entering the job market > Writing a Resume Exploring part-time employment Exploring volunteer employment Other Educational interests Job-related training Completing high school Vocational or technical programs College or university programs General interest or personal development programs Financial aid for education — _ Credit for life experience (volunteer work, homemaking, etc.) Requirements to enter different programs Personal suitability for different programs. — Other _ Lifestyle Interests Dealing with stress Resolving a family situation . Personal development Coping with depression or loneliness Improving nutrition or exercise habits — — _ Resolving financial issues Finding out about Community Support Services (counselling, parenting, child care, groups for single parents, widows, etc.) _ Assessing my personal lifestyle Exploring life goals and life planning _ _ _ — Other 222 3 Part II — Results A. Please look over the following list of Results which might have developed from your association with the Women's Resources Centre. Indicate whether or not each result applies to you by checking "no" or "yes". Actions resulting from my association with the Women's Resources Centre. • no • yes 1. Started my first job. • • 2. Got a job after being out of the job market for a no yes period of time. • no • yes 3. Enrolled in job training program • no • yes 4. Improved my income. • no • yes 5. Enrolled in school, college or university. • • 6. Enrolled in general interest or personal no yes development program. • no • yes 7. Attended vocational planning group at the Cen-tre. • no • yes 8. Improved living arrangements. o no • yes 9. Had life-planning interview. • no • yes 10. Registered for life-planning workshop. • no • yes 11. Improved family or marital relationships. • no • yes 12. Improved diet or exercise habits. • no • yes 13. Attended noon-hour events at Centre. • no • yes 14. Took psychological tests. • no • yes 15. Sought personal counselling. • no • yes 16. Contacted a community resource to meet my need. • no • yes 17. nthfir Plans Underway ; as a result of my association with the Women's Resources Centre • no • yes 18. Making plans for job change. • no • yes 19. Making plans for further education. • no • yes 20. Making plans for lifestyle change. • no • yes 21. Still gathering information about alternatives. General Improvements resulting from my association with the Women's Resources Centre • no • yes 22. I now know where to find the information I need. • no • yes 23. I now know more about myself, my strengths, • no • yes and my alternatives. • no • yes 24. My life interests have broadened. 25. I feel more satisfied with my present situation. • no • yes 26. I now feel more in control of the direction of my • no • yes life. 27. My goals have been clarified. • no • yes 28. I am now more likely to seek assistance when I need it. B. Has your association with the Women's Resources Centre affected you in some way which has not been mentioned? If so, please describe how. c. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. The following is a list of possible barriers which may have prevented you from achieving some of the results you wanted or in moving ahead with your plans. Please read through them and indicate whether each applies to you by placing a ^ in the appropriate space. A real barrier for me Presents some difficulty 223 Not a problem for me Lack of counselling and information services for career or educational guidance Lack of self-confidence. Lack of knowledge about personal talents and goals. Lack of money. Transportation problems. Lack of support and encouragement from family or spouse. Lack of child care or other support services. Lack of flexible programs or part time opportunities. Lack of recognition for previous education or experience. Unhappy feelings about school. Lack of information about opportunities. Location of programs or employment. Not enough time. Other? Part III A. Knowing about the services of the Women's Resources Centre may be of use to others (Please circle one). 1. How often have you told someone about the Centre? Three or more times Once or twice Never 2. How often have you recommended that someone visit the Centre? Three or more times Once or twice Never B. Please add any recommendations that might improve the service the Centre could offer to others. Are you willing to help us further by participating in a 30 to 45 minute interview during June, July or August at a time and place of your convenience? f~1 No, I am not \Z\ Yes, please call me to set up an appointment. My name is My telephone is In considering this, please remember that your answers to this questionnaire, as well as those in the interview, wilt be seen and analyzed only by the survey project coordinator. Your participation is strictly confidential. Part IV — Background Information 5 224 Your responses are confidential In order to find out if the services of the Women's Resources Centre are being used by women from different walks of life, and so that we can find out which groups are not being served, we require some additional information from you. 1. What is your age? 2 Where do you live? Vancouver North Vancouver West Vancouver years 3. Are you: Burnaby Richmond Other Where? _ single (never been married)? married? separated or divorced? widowed? in a common law relationship? 4. What is the highest level of education you have completed? grade 8 or less grade 9, 10, or 11 grade 12 graduation one year of post-secondary, trade or technical school (What program/certificate? 5. two years of post-secondary, trade or technical school (What program/certificate? three years of post-secondary, trade or technical school (What program/certificate? One to three years of college or university (diploma? no ) yes, in Four or more years of college or University (Degree? no ) yes, in Some post graduate University Education (Advanced Degree? no ) yes, in . Do you have any children? • no • yes How many? What are their ages? Are you the sole supporter of any: children? no parents? no others? _! no yes yes yes How many? How many? How many? Are you in paid employment at this time? CU yes What is your job? part time full time • no What is your current status? Unemployed? (seeking employment) Student Volunteer employment Homemaker other Please ^ the level of your family income in 1979. less than $5,000 $ 5,001 — $15,000 $15,001 — $25,000 $25,001 — $35,000 $35,001 — $50,000 over $50,000 Please the level of your personal income in 1979. less than $5,000 $ 5,001 — $15,000 $15,001 — $25,000 $25,001 — $35,000 $35,001 — $50,000 over $50,000 One final Question! How do you feel about your Life as a Whole? Delighted 1 Pleased 2 Mostly Satisfied 3 Mixed Mostly Dissatisfied Unhappy Terrible 4 5 6 7 Thank you very much for taking the time to complete this questionnaire. In order for this study to provide us with information which can result in improved services for women in our community, it is important to have as many questionnaires as possible completed and returned. Please return yours as soon as you can, in the enclosed postpaid envelope so that your opinions will be included in our study. Good luck! Appendix B Phase II Instruments and Interview Schedule Code Number WOMEN'S RESOURCES CENTRE Client-Reaction Study INTERVIEW SCHEDULE Your answers on the questionnaire were helpful in telling us how the Centre operates. However, this kind of service is quite new and we would like to know how the experience with the Centre fitted into your own l i f e . We are not trying to evaluate anything you did. We do need information about how useful the contact might have been to you. 1. What were your reasons for coming to the Centre? a) Did some change in the pattern of your l i f e influence your decision to contact the W.R.C.? (Ask about crisis such as health problems, family, job change etc.; natural transitions-change in role or family structure; chronic dissatisfaction; or state of "readiness".) Yes No. What did motivate contact with the Centre? (Ask about net-works leading to Centre.) 2. Did you visit the Centre more than once? Yes. How often? No. (go to 3) 3. Did you expect further association with the Centre? Yes. Why?, Who should have taken the initiative for this? No. 4. Did you contact other sources for assistance before calling the Centre? No. (go to 5) Yes. Which sources? . . Were they helpful? No. (go to 5) Yes. In what ways? 5. After contacting the Centre did you get i n touch with other offices, agencies, or persons? No. Why not?_ t Yes. Were these offices suggested by the Centre Counsellors? Yes. No. What prompted your decision to contact them? 6. After v i s i t i n g the Centre did you talk over the information you received and the experience you had with anyone? No, (go to 7) Yes. Who? Did he/she offer any additional information or suggestions? No. (go to 7) Yes. What were they? 7. Did you act on any of the suggestions that came out of the experience with the Centre? No. (Go to 8) Yes. How? 8„ Have you faced other Important challenges or decisions since you contacted the Centre? No. (go to 9' ) Yes. What were they? What did you do? Did your experience with the Centre counselling have anything to do with your handling of those challenges or decisons and your a b i l i t y to deal with them? no. (go to 9) yes. In what way? 9 Are there s t i l l other problems to be s o l v e d before you can act on any o f y o u r plans or the suggestions given to y o u by the Centre or r e f e r r a l agencies. (Explore issue of money) No. (go to 10) Yes. What are they? 228 10. Do you feel that there are other services the Centre should offer to people who come in for information or counselling? no. (go to 11) yes. What would these be? 11. Would you like to share any other ideas, feelings, or suggestions about how the Centre fitted into your recent experiences? no. (go to 12) yes. 12. Reactions to Goals of Women's Resources Centre The following is a l i s t of some of the Services offered by the Women's Resources Centre. a) Please indicate whether or not you received each of these services by checking "yes" or "no". b) If your answer was "yes", please indicate how helpful that particu-lar service was to you by placing a check in the appropriate space. Service Rec'd Very Helpful Mod. . Helpful Slightly Helpful ' Of no help A. 1. To provide information about yec. community resources (pamphlets, n o calendars of educational institutions, etc) 2. To provide materials such as JRR the Resume kit and Vocational n 0 Planning Manual. 3. To provide Services such as y P R peer counselling (with volunteer) n o lifeplanning interviews, psycho-logical testing. k. To offer referral to com- y P C ; munity resorces for information n o or assistance. 5. To provide advocacy (to act y P R on your behalf) when you require no direct, practical assistance to approach an agency or person. 6. To provide programs such as yep; lifeplanning groups, vocational no planning groups, assertion training, noon-hour events,etc. . 229 E. Was there some other service which would have been helpful to you? No. Yes. Please indicate below. Some of the Ways in which the Women's Resources Centre tries to offer i t s services are listed below. a ) Please indicate whether or not you received each of these kinds of assistance by checking "yes" or "no". b) If your answer ls"yes" please indicate how helpful that particular assistance was to you by placing a check in the appropriate space. Service Rec'd A. 1. Showing acceptance of a client's concerns. 2. Helping a client explain and clarify her heeds. 3. Helping a client see her strengths and abilities and make plans to build on these. Encouraging a client to make her own decisions. 5. Pointing out alternative  courses of action and exploring options with her. 6. Encouraging a client to begin a process of self-directed learn- ing which she can carry on in the future. 7. Assisting a client in gaining more control of the direction of her l i f e . yes no yea no* _ j e s no yes no es _no _yes no yes no Very Helpful Mod. Helpful Slightly Helpful Of no help B. Was there some other way in which the staff of the Centre could have been more helpful to you? no. , yes. Pleas describe below. 230 The Way you Look it Things or your feelings towards yourself and your life may have been influenced by your contact with the Centre. If so, please indicate In what way by scoring each Item above or below 100. If you feel the same as you did when you first visited the Centre, give yourself 100. For example: Decreased to Stayed the Same (100) Increased to If your self-confidence has increased, you may want to score ynnrsull Ilk* thu ^ 155 or If vou now feel less sell-confident, it might look hkm 75 or If there has been no change, you might mark it like this [> 100 Using any numbers you wish between 0 and 200, please con-sider the following: -Decreased to Stayed the Same (100) Increased to 1. Your feelings of Self-worth have 2. Your Self-confidence has 1 3. Your Self-understanding has 4. Your knowledge has 5. Your Contentment has 6. Your Assertiveness has 7. Your Optimism has 8. Your Enthusiasm has 9. Your Realistic outlook has 10. Your general feelings of Wellbeing have DOORKNOB COMMENTS (Recorded immediately after interview) 232 QUESTIONNAIRE INSTRUCTIONS: This is a questionnaire designed to gather data on learning preferences and attitudes towards learning. After reading each item, please indicate the degree to which you feel that statement is true of you. Please read each choice carefully and circle the number of the response which best expresses your feeling. There is no time limit for the questionnaire. Try not to spend too much time on any one item, however. Your first reaction to the question will usually be the most accurate. R E S P O N S E S ITEMS: 1. I'm looking forward to learning as long as I'm living. 1 2 3 4 5 2. I know what I want to learn. 1 2 3 4 5 3. When I see something that I don't under-stand, I stay away from it. 1 2 3 4 5 4. If there is something I want to learn, I can figure out a way to learn it. 1 2 3 4 5 5. I love to learn. 1 2 3 4 5 6. It takes me a while to get started on new projects. 1 2 3 4 5 7. In a classroom, 1 expect the teacher to tell all class members exactly what to do at all times. 1 2 3 4 5 8. 1 believe that thinking about who you are, where you are, and where you are going should be a major part of every person's education. 1 2 3 4 5 9 1 don't work very well on my own 1 2 3 4 5 10. If I discover a need for information that I don't have, I know where to go to get it. 11. I can learn things on my own better than most people. 12. Even if I have a great idea, I can't seem to develop a plan for making it work. 13. In a learning experience, I prefer to take part in deciding what will be learned and how. 14. Difficult study doesn't bother me if I'm interested in something. 15. No one but me is truly responsible for what I learn. 16. I can tell whether I'm learning something well or not. 17. There are so many things I want to learn that I wish that there were more hours in a day. 18. If there is something I have decided to learn, I can find time for it, no matter how busy I am. 19. Understanding what I read is a problem for me. 20. If I don't learn, it's not my fault. 21. I know when I need to learn more about something. 22. If I can understand something well enough to get a good grade on a test, it doesn't bother me if I still have questions about it. 23. I think libraries are boring places. 24. The people I admire most are always learning new things. 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 * 2 3 4 t 5 1 2 3 4 5 -1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 25. I can think of many different ways to learn about a new topic. 26. I try to relate what I am learning to my long-term goals. 27. I am capable of learning for myself almost anything I might need to know. 28. I really enjoy tracking down the answer to a question. 29. I don't like dealing with questions where there is not one right answer. 30. I have a lot of curiosity about things. 31. I'll be glad when I'm finished learning. 32. I'm not as interested in learning as some other people seem to be. 33. I don't have any problem with basic study skills. 34. I like to try new things, even if I'm not sure how they will turn out. 35. I don't like it when people who really know what they're doing point out mistakes that I am making. 36. I'm good at thinking of unusual ways to do things. 37. I like to think about the future. 38. I'm better than most people are at trying to find out the things I need to know. 39. I think of problems as challenges, not stopsigns. 40. I can make myself do what I think I should. 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 2 I 3 Appendix C Clients' Reasons for Visiting 236 Appendix C C l i e n t s ' Reasons for V i s i t i n g the Women's Resources Centre.  Respondents to Questionnaire  A. Career/vocational Guidance 1. Identifying a career path or suitable vocation: "looking for help in choosing a career"; "I was confused about career planning"; "I needed guidance in job ' a v a i l a b i l i t y ' to me and what kind of jobs I would enjoy". 2. Exploring the job market and personal s u i t a b i l i t y for d i f f e r e n t vocations: "To find out about what jobs or further education was available, suitable for my interests and background"; "I wanted to know whether I am in the right track or career"; "For job focusing"; "Looking for help assessing job market and in finding out what type of job I might be able to get and might want"; "To get an idea of the kind of jobs open to my q u a l i f i c a t i o n s " ; "To try to explore further avenues to obtain work in the areas in which I have training and experience". 3. Specific assistance in securing employment: "I was t o l d that the Centre could possible help me in finding work"; "I required assistance in being more creative in the job-searching process that I was beginning"; "I was having d i f f i c u l t y finding a job"; "Trouble finding employment, had just quit an u n f u l f i l l i n g job, now what do I do?" 4. Assistance in re-entering the work force: "As a secretary just starting into business after 20 years of looking after a family I would l i k e information on improving my career and myself to make my budget balance"; "I thought I might l i k e to re-enter the work force"; "Attempting 237 to get back into the work force and requiring a buildup of sef-conf idence"; "Returning to work force after 17 years absence. Recently separated and need moral support". 5. Guidance in making a career change: "I wanted help and guidance in making a job change"; "Looking for a career change"; " Career counselling"; "To seek information about changing my career"; "To obtain ideas on career change and more personal involvement in helping others"; "I heard about i t ' s existence from my Doctor - at that time I was thinking of changing my li n e of work"; "To discuss career plans - how to get into another f i e l d as I didn't enjoy being a secretary afer 10+ years and f e l t limited as far as advancement opportunities"; "Was unsat i s f i e d with my present job but unsure of what to do as a replacement"; "Search for information regarding new career directions"; "Career change due to boredom and stagnation - dire c t i o n , guidance, education and information resources"; "I was d i s s a t i s f i e d with my job and my attitude towards my job and l i f e . I f e l t I had no 'career' d i r e c t i o n in my l i f e " ; "I was thinking of changing jobs from science to s o c i a l work or ?". B. Educational Information and Guidance "Career counselling, assertiveness training";"I wanted some guidance re continuing my education and some d i r e c t i o n a l guidance"; "Looking for information regarding psychology test i e . aptitude etc. to help me make a decision about my major for my university degree"; "Changing my career wondering what was available - education etc., referred by a g i r l friend"; "mainly to get some information about courses but more important, I think, to get some support from other women who might understand what I was going through"; "To find out about further education (as a mature student)"; "Needed to compile information on women and non-traditional occupations, equal employment opportunities"; 238 "Find out about schooling, also what f a c i l i t i e s in Vancouver as new to c i t y " . C. P e r s o n a l / l i f e s t y l e Guidance "I needed a more objective view and feedback from someone who had nothing (I hope) to gain or lose from th i s exchange. Too many subjective friends and opinions. ' I t o l d you so' complex"; "I had some problems in my job"; "Limbo - took the job-hunting course to get ideas. Came to see i f there was such a thing"; "Emotional d i s t r e s s " ; "Having l e f t my home, friends and an excellent job in Europe to marry a Canadian, I arrived here to find that he had, for some reason s t i l l unknown to me, changed his mind"; "Need to speak with somebody able to help me c l a r i f y my p r i o r i t i e s in l i f e , and cope with them in an ordered and reasonalbe way. Also, because I f e l t very depressed and l o s t " ; "I f e l t a need to change some facets of my l i f e and did not know what options - on career and personal levels - were available in Vancouver for women"; "Personal counselling"; "A desire to change my vocation and l i f e - s t y l e but l i t t l e sense of d i r e c t i o n " ; "Contact. I was new to Vancouver and wished to find out about discussion groups and miscellaneous information"; "A lack of knowledge about the di r e c t i o n my l i f e could/should take"; "Looking for work or volunteer work, could not stand retirement"; "So that you would help me appraise my l i f e s t y l e and work out ways to change i t " ; " Curiosity. Wished to compare with other centers I had looked into in Oakland and Concord, C a l i f o r n i a " ; "Heard about job hunters program. Signed up for ' l i f e support' group and job hunting"; "I just arrived back in Vancouver after 6 years t r a v e l l i n g in the far east. I need work."; "New in the c i t y , looking for a job, have referred many women to many Women's Resource Centres across Canada - t h i s time i t was my turn to go for help." 239 Interviewees in Transition 1. Life-stage or Career Transition "Unemployed after an extended holiday. Opportunity to re-examine career directions before seeking employment. Recently married". "Empty nest syndrome. Finished involvement with children's a c t i v i t i e s . " "Children are older and a l l in school now. Looking for involvements outside the home." "Widowed 5 years ago, recently moved here from the East to make a new s t a r t . " "Was on s o c i a l assistance for years. F i n a l l y completed B.A. part time while caring for two children. Decided i t was time to get out and do something rather than continue on s o c i a l assistance." "The f i r s t step back to normal l i v i n g for me after a bout of depression." "Going through a process of consciousness-raising regarding women's issues resulting from the job I have been doing. I've been a day-care supervisor, l i k e the work but resent the low pay and low status in society. I also see the single parent mothers struggling. I want to explore the trades, they offer better pay. " 2. Chronic D i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with Present Situation "Unsatisfactory work relationships, career muddle." "Felt unsettled about d i r e c t i o n of my work. It was a time of my l i f e when I was unsure about where to go." "Was bored with c l e r i c a l job, d i s s a t i s f i e d , became i l l , decided to go back to university." "Career change, have been in s e c r e t a r i a l for for 10 years and want to move into a management pos i t i o n . I'm trying to become q u a l i f i e d for t h i s in a r e a l i s t i c way." 3. Upheaval and Changes in Pattern of L i f e "My husband i s now a student, my children are in school. I f e e l I should take some f i n a n c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . " "I'm enemployed, was depressed after abortion." "I was in c r i s i s after my marriage plans f e l l through. I had l e f t a well paying job and my home in Europe to relocate." "I was divorced and moved here from the East. I needed to get 240 re-employed. I was a teacher. What else can I do? "I was a new resident to the West End. I had quit my job and was taking time to look around." "I was widowed for the second time a year ago. I moved to Vancouver from the Island recently. I'm f i n a n c i a l l y well off but want to be involved in some meaningful pursuit." "I was feeling very low - depressed about two dead-end directions over the last few years. I needed to find a suitable d i r e c t i o n for a career and education." "Recently moved here from Alberta. Was a new star t for me, freed from s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , children in school, time to develop me." "Moved here from New York two years ago because of my husband's career t r a n s i t i o n . Have been trying to sort out my career directions and become employed ever since. There are fewer opportunities for me here. Cultural and s o c i a l differences s t i l l are a problem for me." "I'm going through a divorce. I began preparing myself for work a few years ago, I saw the writing on the wall. I need to evaluate my job po t e n t i a l . " "I was trying to decide whether to carry on with grad school or look for work. Wanted to find out what opportunities were available for a B.A. in psychology." "Recently returned after l i v i n g in C a l i f o r n i a for 11 years. Divorce. Knew Women's Resources Centre could help me with 'red tape'." "I have personal problems and was d i s s a t i s f i e d with my career d i r e c t i o n . " 241 Appendix D Responses to Part I, B Question: Please describe any other parts of your v i s i t to the "drop-in Centre about which you may f e e l p a r t i c u l a r l y s a t i s f i e d or p a r t i c u l a r y d i s s a t i s f i e d . Responses: A c c e s s i b i l i t y "I would l i k e to have f e l t I could come in and s i t around, find someone to talk to. The staff seemed busy and I f e l t in their way. " "It was great to be able to drop in to a place one knew was staffed with friendly people, who were aware of the 'status of women'." "Too much of an upper middle calss university professor's wife emphasis to the environment. The Volunteers appear to be l i v i n g comfortably off husband's income. Almost no p o l i t i c a l consciousness." "I got sort of a 'Tower of Babel Feeling'. ( P r o l i f i c duplication of information, overwhelming, too much a c t i v i t y , cold atmosphere). " I n i t i a l telephone contact - p a r t i c u l a r l y s a t i s f i e d . " "Most recently, having found myself without a place to l i v e , I dropped in and got coffee, sympathy and the chance to get somewhat calmed and organized." "Lack of privacy. F e l t that everyone in the Centre would be aware of my problem. This did not r e a l l y occur on my f i r s t contact but i f I was very sensitive about something I would f e e l uncomfortable and hesitate to say freely what was going on. This may only be my misunderstanding - I do not know i f there are smaller private areas in which to discuss problems." "More privacy needed - overheard by others." "Atmosphere could be warmer, brighter, - a b i t d u l l , l i k e an o f f i c e . " " A v a i l a b i l i t y of coffee, tea, reading and informational materials, welcomeness." "The Centre i s a very 'unprivate' place for discussion." "The Centre should be used more often in the evenings so that people who work during the day can use i t . " "Longer hours." 242 "The hours are not geered to working women." "I wish the Centre could stay open after 4 p.m. u n t i l 7 p.m. on weekdays." "More private areas for conversing with volunteer i f drop-in i s seeking privacy and c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y . " Interaction with the Staff "If my r e p l i e s seem inconsistent, i t i s because the f i r s t person I spoke to was unsatisfactory.. Only by my own persistence did I f i n a l l y get on the right track. Since that poor beginning, I have found everyone else at the Centre excellent. Thus I have discounted my experience with that f i r s t person in my present feelings about the Centre." "I found the staff to be generally enlightened interested people who wanted to help. The f i r s t time I dropped in the assistant seemed to be annoyed that I asked for a p a r t i c u l a r pamphlet and didn't seem to want to bother looking for i t . " "The pos i t i v e moral support and f r i e n d l i n e s s of the counsellors was of infintesimal help at a c r i s i s point." "The second counsellor I spoke to had too much of an expressed bias when I discussed my c o n f l i c t with my superior. I f e l t I was being manipulated somewhat and the advice given was not appropriate to my present assertiveness l e v e l . I f e l t more distraught after that." "My i n i t i a l v i s i t , dropping in to see what the Centre was about was very pleasant and informative. Kathleen i s a lovely person." "Receptive s t a f f , wanting to be of assistance." " I n i t i a l contact volunteer was very encouraging and well informed." "It was important to me that I was made to f e e l welcome at the Centre and that my concerns were legitimate." "I had just started to look for work when I dropped in at the Centre. I had a lovely chat with one of the g i r l s and she seemed to think I was going about my job hunting in the right manner. The only thing she recommended I do was go and v i s i t an employment agency which I did." " I n i t i a l interview with Sandra". ( p a r t i c u l a r l y s a t i s f i e d ) Further v i s i t - lack of assistance and information. Usefulness of Centre depends on counsellor?" "Very f r i e n d l y s t a f f " . " The contact with the volunteers was p a r t i c u l a r l y important to the professional s t a f f , i . e . I f e l t a b i t of a nuisance and a 243 b i t s i l l y . " Compasion and understanding given by those who work at the Centre." "Took time to put you at ease with coffee." " I did not l i k e i t when a t h i r d person was l i s t e n i n g , without p a r t i c i p a t i n g much in the conversation. I f e l t a l i t t l e uncomfortable." "The woman whom I talked with gave me a l o t of encouragement about the new job I was going to start and advice on what to do." "The lady I spoke to was interested in the same things as I had learned in the East and i s the only person in Vancouver who understands me." "A good l i s t e n e r , pleasant personality, an understanding, kind woman." "The staff member who I talked to made me f e e l very comfortable and I f e l t she was giving me 100% of her attention." "The counsellor didn't mind i f I c r i e d . " "It was very nice talking to unbiased people." "Some of the counsellors weren't what I needed — couldn't l i s t e n . " "Matching up ages between the c l i e n t and volunteer would improve empathy." "If the woman had actually listened to what I wanted to say instead of t e l l i n g me what she wanted to say I would have received better service." "Try to match ages. At 59 one doesn't f e e l comfortable discussing one's l i f e with a 20 year old." "For the f i r s t time in my l i f e , I have been able to discuss any problems with r e l a t i v e strangers, and have discovered the enormous benefits of objective support backed up by experiences similar to my own." Information and Referral "There was access to a wide variety of pamphlets, easy to browse." "I v i s i t e d an employment agency which was recommended. I was dissappointed with them. I was there for maybe 10 minutes and was l e f t with the impression that I had very l i t t l e to offer in the job market. Since then I have been to a few other agencies where I received more attention and help." 244 "Recommended reading, What Color i s your Parachute? very useful." "Lack of information about jobs and the situation for women in the a r t s , especially fine a r t s . " "Got more information than expected." "Information on resume writing from The College and University  Placement Guide was excellent. This was extra information apart from the resume k i t , which did not f i t my needs." "The amount and variety of brochures were of p a r t i c u l a r value to me." "Received the information I needed." "They did not t e l l me about other programs and services at the Centre." Overall Reactions "I was p a r t i c u l a r l y s a t i s f i e d with the whole Centre. What i t did most for me was to make me r e a l i z e that many women have the same problems that I have. I was not alone." "I received the information I needed, was p a r t i c u l a r l y s a t i s f i e d with the willingness of the staff to help. I f e e l that the services provided by the Centre were very h e l p f u l . I would probably return i f I was looking for further assistance." "I have only v i s i t e d once and gained the impression that i t was primarily useful for women who needed help planning a career outside the home. I have already done a l l of the things recommended. i.e. returned to university to obtain B.C. teaching degree, used my experience in helping refugees etc., teaching emotionally disturbed teenage boys, a u t i s t i c children etc. to try to obtain paid work. No luck." "In my i n i t i a l v i s i t I was immediately made to f e e l comfortable and hopeful, which was very important to me at that time as I was very depressed and lacking in confidence. After accepting a few helpful suggestions I remember leaving the place with high anticipation of the f i r s t session of the course offered." "The Centre p a r t i c u l a r l y acted as my basic support system when I f i r s t came to Vancouver, that i s , I found sympathy,understanding and a supportive ear that I could not find through my family or work acquaintances." "Thoroughly enjoyed any lectures, workshops or sessions that I attended. The Center usually was able to give me just the stimulus I would need at the time. Sometimes the coffee ran out before I got there." 245 Appendix E Reactions to Goals Staff A. Services Question: Was there some other service which you think you could have offered which would have been useful to c l i e n t s ? Responses: 1. A follow-up phone c a l l . 2. I have only limited knowledge of the resources available therefore, several times I learned about services that could have been helpful after the fact . 3. More follow-up on certain s p e c i f i c c l i e n t s . 4. Although the above mentioned services indicate " r e f e r r a l " , the suggestion i s that such r e f e r r a l i s only for "information and assistance". One of our important services i s emotional support for women who are depressed or disturbed, and, i f necessary, r e f e r r a l to appropriate therapeutic services. 5. Information about possible careers, i . e . a l i s t ; teaching relaxation, body awareness. 6. With Heavy emphasis on non-traditional (vocational) career options for women and a desperate need for trained trades people, I'd l i k e to see us offer group counselling in non-t r a d i t i o n a l areas ( i . e . a series of exposure lecture/discussions on various trade areas.) Also, I think we should try to get a terminal link with Canadian Employment and Immigration Commission's CHOICE self- c o u n s e l l i n g computer program. Many schools now have these. How about WRC? 7. A Hook-in to jobs available in c l i e n t s ' area, i . e . a direct contact with Manpower (C.I.E.C.). A network of contacts for dir e c t direct r e f e r r a l at a l l major agencies, educational i n s t i t u t i o n s , etc. — b o t h bridges that would make the connection from 'now' to the future so much easier for c l i e n t s . 8. Job placement. 9. Looking at the c l i e n t ' s health aspect which I find lacking. I think this w i l l improve when we start the Health Group. 10. L i f e s t y l e planning - including n u t r i t i o n and exercise. 246 B. Approaches Question: Is there some other way in which you think the staff of the Centre could be more helpful to c l i e n t s ? Responses: 1. I f , instead of being so thoroughly middle cl a s s , the associates were more of a mix, socio-economically and et h n i c a l l y . We have lost promising newcomer associates because of our overtly middle-class image. I d e n t i f i c a t i o n for disadvantaged c l i e n t s isn't made easier by the fl a s h of diamonds around the Centre. 2. A number of times I've been inadvertently interrupted during an interview with a c l i e n t . These interruptions come from classes during coffee breakds and other drop-ins. I believe i t would be helpful to designate and physically separate the private counselling spaces from the coffee areas, b u l l e t i n boards and phones. If you're considering a new space or location I'd suggest t h i s be taken into consideration. Likewise, easy street access might make the Centre more physically and psychologically accessible to would-be c l i e n s t . (If not, could we rearrange the present space a bit?) 3. I'm sure there are other was of helping and these w i l l evolve through time. 4. By advertising we could reach more potential c l i e n t s , and therefore be 'more he l p f u l ' , period. 5. Information available about di e t , exercise, stress, relaxation and their i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s h i p . I r r a t i o n a l b e l i e f s awareness. 6. A l l of the answers above can be very h e l p f u l . To be so i s largely dependent on the c l i e n t ' s willingness and a b i l i t y to be open to new (to her) ways of seeing her problems. This can be encouraged by the counsellor, but the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y rests with the c l i e n t s . 7. More follow-up on certain s p e c i f i c c l i e n t s . 8. I am not sure how i t could be done - but - some follow-up with c l i e n t s who have been in c r i s i s (even just a phone c a l l ) . C l ients A. Services Question: Was there some other service which would have been helpful to you? Responses: 1. Direct confidence building, more extensive in job hunting course. 247 2. Possible legal advice of an objective nature. 3. Access to a math anxiety c l i n i c . v 4. Fe l t there should have been some ongoing group contact after completing the job hunting course. 5 . 1 was able to use resume k i t as a r e f e r r a l tool for the Women's Resources Centre. 6. A group for people who don't have problems (in present job, with money, with relationships) but feel that something intangible i s wrong. 7. Vocational advice. 8. Courses overpriced. $80 - $100 not easy for a l o t of people eg. basic English. (This does not refer to WRC o f f e r i n g s ) . 9. " E n t r y - l e e l " group or service for those wanting to get into management posions. 10. Needed additional assistance with knowledgable person. 11. More p r a c t i c a l information about them. (services) B. Approaches Question: Was there some other way in which the staff of the Centre could have been more helpful to you? Responses: 1. Taken a b i t more time with me personally. • 2 . By providing more viable alternatives to career problems, possibly more leaders who were more knowledgable of the work place. 3. It i s helpful to be r e a l i s t i c and steer people into things they can use their background and experience for. 4. More exploring before signing up for a program. 5. When I told them I hate my job, don't know where to go or what to do, i t was most helpful when someone said, "Everybody feels that way sometimes." I didn't feel alone and could then deal with i t . 6. Follow-up would be useful. 7. To help a person who cannot specify one certain problem or a r t i c u l a t e exactly what she wants (to do, to change e t c . ) . 8. Would l i k e to have seen more continuity of s t a f f . 9. Dwell more on alternative courses of action 248 10. I did not need most of the above services but glad they are available to women. 249 Appendix F The Larger Context of the Women's Lives Meaningful Goals Pam Pam's account of her search for directions i l l u s t r a t e s the importance that she attributed to having a meaningful goal. For her, i t was the appropriateness of her goal in her own estimation that gave the process of working towards i t meaning for her. At 47, she had come to an acceptance and understanding, not so much of a s p e c i f i c goal she wanted to persue, but of other paths she no longer needed to be concerned with. Her explanation was, I now know what I don't want to do. It's a r e l i e f not to f e e l that I should work towards being a s o c i a l worker or teacher. My parents were both in business and I've come to r e a l i z e that's where my s k i l l s are. I'm r e a l l y enjoying the experience I'm getting in d i f f e r e n t o f f i c e s now with 'Temporary Services'. Because she wants to contribute to the family income on a more regular basis while her husband attends graduate school, Pam has becme more economically oriented. Since some of her acquaintances have had a lack of success in finding employment in spite of academic credentials, she has stopped taking academic courses and is concentrating on learning business procedures. She i s earning needed income at the same time. More importantly, she feels that her goals are now more r e a l i s t i c and although she does not want to remain in her present work situation permanently, i t is a stepping stone in in the right d i r e c t i o n . Molly Being able to free herself from internalized role expectations as well as from those of others also resulted in a c l a r i f i c a t i o n of the meaning behind the goals which Molly i s pursuing. She described two dissappointing attempts to est a b l i s h herself on a career path, and the discouragement she f e l t at embarking on any new plans. When sheMolly v i s i t e d the Centre that grey March day Molly was in a depressed state and found support and understanding from the volunteers. She also had an opportunity to talk with Ruth S i g a l , coordinator of volunteers at the Centre. Her gently confrontative approach which included the admonishment that Molly was the only one who could ultimately decide what to do, was not well received at f i r s t . This had been noted on the questionnaire which Molly returned. At the time of the interview, four months l a t e r , however, Molly reported, "It was r e a l l y what I needed at the time to shake me out of my depression and get on with making plans". She had been back to the Centre to thank Ruth. 250 Molly also changed her answer to the question about "Life as a Whole" from number 6 (unhappy) to number 3 (mostly s a t i s f i e d ) . She described her present direction and goals as "feeling r i g h t " and thus having real meaning for her. Furthermore, she reported that she had learned a great deal about herself in the process and that the association with the Women's Resources Centre has been a catalyst for t h i s . Molly has now embarked on a program of graduate studies that she feels very good about and was able to r e f l e c t back on the two previous ventures with which she had been unhappy. Her most useful learning centered around the need to l i s t e n to her own i n t u i t i o n . She described the physical and mental discomfort she experienced each morning when she faced the task of running the business which she had started. She said, "I now know what fear feels l i k e and w i l l l i s t e n to t h i s kind of sensing in the future. When she did pay more attention to what she was feeling and began to examine why she was persuing certain goals, Molly, l i k e Pam, came to a l i b e r a t i n g discovery. In her words, "I found that when I did stop doing the things that were expected of me (mostly by my mother in England, so I thought), and being more 'myself, no one r e a l l y cared. The consequences were not as formidable as I thought they would be." This newly gained self knowledge and self confidence resulted from l i s t e n i n g to her i n t u i t i v e feelings about the di r e c t i o n in which she was going and acting on them. Rose For those l i k e Molly, and Pam who have made a committment to a goal which they see as worthwhile and appropriate, the process of working towards that goal takes on meaning. Because the nature of their goal i s an evolving one, and their directions are more general than s p e c i f i c , they tend to be able to pursue i t in creative and f l e x i b l e ways. Rose i s another woman who described herself as "feeling good about what she i s doing" and even though she i s not altogether sure where she w i l l end up, she i s convinced that her present pursuit i s worthwhile and appropriate for her at t h i s time. Rose's personal networking resulted in a job helping a friend run a photography business. Since her husband has enrolled in graduate school, and th e i r children are schoolage, she feels that i t i s appropriate for her to contribute f i n a n c i a l l y at t h i s time. Even though her long term career goal i s to e s t a b l i s h her own business, she sees t h i s job as being a useful learning experience towards that goal. Sybelle As we have seen, when the goal feels right, the process of working towards i t seemed to take on meaning. For Sybelle however, the goal was unclear and seemed incongruous with her l i f e . Her process c l e a r l y lacked meaning and committment. Having completed her Bachelor's degree, and winning the Governor General's Gold Medal, she was faced with the task of deciding 251 whether to continue on to graduate work or seek employment. Because she has family r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and i s not geographically mobile, she doesn't have the option of carrying on her studies at another i n s t i t u t i o n as she was advised to do. Sybelle came to the Centre for some assistance in exploring employment p o s s i b l i t i e s in her f i e l d so that she could make her decision. She wanted help with goal c l a r i f i c a t i o n but unfortunately was prematurely steered into a job finding group. Having learned that she needs to be more assertive about her needs, and being unsuccessful in gathering information about opportunites her f i e l d , she returned to graduate school, u t i l i z i n g the fellowship she had been awarded. She is continuing her explorations in a limited way while putting most of her time and energy into a task which has l i t t l e meaning for her. Sybelle's studies are in a very circumscribed f i e l d and, as she put i t "There's not much demand for an expert in animal experimental psychology, except in an academic setting in a large Center." She r e a l l y doesn't know what she w i l l do when she graduates because of her domestic r e s t r i c t i o n s and continues to wonder i f her sights should be redirected in a manner more congruent with the r e a l i t y of her l i f e . Since her male academic advisors do not understand her dilemma, she was especially dissappointed that the service she received at the Women's Resources Centre was not more exploratory and empathic. Consciousness of Women's Status Melan ie For 26 year old Melanie, the association with the Women's Resources Centre was very timely. She has a degree in Family Science and was working in a daycare centre to gain experience with children and sort out future career goals. She became increasingly discontent with the low pay and low status of the job. Says Melanie, "I l i k e d the work i t s e l f and f e l t that I was doing something important but came to re a l i z e i t wasn't going to get me anywhere. The experience has r e a l l y contributed to my consciousness being raised about the role of women in our society and the ine q u a l i t i e s which exi s t . " She became aware of the f i n a n c i a l and other hardships of the parents of the children, most of whom were women on their own, as well as the r e a l i t y of her own career s i t u a t i o n . This experience, along with the opportunity to discuss women's issues at the Centre have influenced Melanie's d i r e c t i o n s . She has become interested in the f i e l d of women's studies and plans to pursue t h i s area of study. (The man she l i v e s with has taken some courses in t h i s f i e l d and their discussions have added to her interest.) Her more immediate plans center' around getting into a trade. She has l e f t her job and applied to the Women's Exploratory Apprenticeship Training (WEAT). Another action she plans to take which has resulted from her growing awareness of the status of women i s to write to 252 companies whose advertising represents both a positive and negative influence on women's images. In order to establish a connection between Melanie's goals and directions and her association with the Women's Resources Centre, she was asked to consider how t h i s may have happened. Her response was, "I got the idea that one could make contacts for b e n e f i c i a l purposes." She explained that in the vocational planning group she became aware that such a process existed and then began . to use i t . When asked i f she thought that she had previously done so without being aware of i t , she said, "No, didn't know I could and didn't do i t . Now I am aware and do i t . " Melanie's experience reinforced the idea that the networking concept can be a s i g n i f i c a n t link in connecting needs to resources and that the awareness of the networking idea was important. Empowerment Jan Jan's personal power consisted of a newly found feeling of autonomy and a developing competence in her work. At 23 she was on her own again after having l i v e d with a man for the past four years. She was making her own decisions and t h r i v i n g on her newly found freedom. While completing the s e l f - d i r e c t e d learning readiness scale during our interview Jan recognized the changes she had experienced and remarked, "I wouldn't have answered these questions l i k e t h i s a year ago." When encouraged to elaborate, she described the process of regaining her autonomy which included not only the break up of her commonlaw relati o n s h i p but also the struggle to enter a male dominated occupation. Jan recounted her experiences in applying for admission to the painters' apprentice program at Vancouver Vocational I n s t i t u t e . She lost three months waiting to be accepted for the program due to an error by one of the male counsellors at "manpower" (C.E.I.C.), who put her name down for the hair dressing program. "There was nothing further from my mind", said Jan. After completing the t r a i n i n g program, her struggles began again. She had a d i f f i c u l t time finding employment as an apprentice because she was a woman. F i n a l l y , an employer took pit y on her and referred her to a friend who needed a painter and she was hired. Growing up in a small northern B.C. Community, where she didn't complete high school, Jan- was not p a r t i c u l a r l y knowledgable about the women's movement. Now she i s well schooled in the p r a c t i c a l r e a l i t i e s of being a woman in a male dominated f i e l d of work. She is beginning to address some of the delemas that t h i s situation presents for the future. One has the fe e l i n g that Jan i s on her way to becoming a strong woman whatever path she chooses. Her charming lack of sophistication about feminist issues, coupled with the fact that she i s an example of the need for equal opportunities for women, 253 made this interview a delight and opened up an awareness for the interviewer that there are a host of similar minded women in non t r a d i t i o n a l pursuits who are coping with these p r a c t i c a l issues on a da i l y basis. Jan's learning process and her present outlook brings to mind the idea that, "Every step we take on the road of freedom and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y makes the next step easier. Goals, programs, and time tables are less important than the engagement i t s e l f " (Fergusen, 1980, p. 224). Sally Sally i s another young woman who demonstrated an enviable newly gained sense of "being her own person". At the time of her v i s i t to the Women's Resources Centre, she was unemployed and looking for work. She had recently undergone an abortion and was at a cross-road in several areas of her l i f e . She recalled her experience in the vocational planning group at the Centre. "I was so depressed at the time; each time I went I f e l t so much better as I came out. I realized that I was not the only one who had problems." Her learning included the re a l i z a t i o n that she could set longterm goals as well as seek employment for the short term. She began to r e a l i z e that she could save to take t r a i n i n g . She gained confidence in her own ideas and now feels that her plans to take a Real Estate Sales Training Program w i l l be possible. Sal l y also referred to "shining moments", s i g n i f i c a n t events which occurred in the group. These constituted meaningful learnings for her. One outcome was "I'm more aware of g u i l t traps now and can be more assertive with my mother." Her optimism about the future and her increased confidence in her a b i l i t y to influence her l i f e ' s d i r e c t i o n i s reflected by her statement that, "Day to day problems seem less c r u c i a l , l i f e ' s a b i t easier now. I'm writing down my ideas, (a strategy learned in the group) and I have more confidence to act on my own ideas." K r i s t i n The association with the Women's Resources Centre helped K r i s t i n i n i t i a t e actions which resulted in her getting a job after being unemployed and on s o c i a l assistance for the past 12 years. "The job i s not exactly what I want but I'm now working towards where I want to go. I've stopped waiting." At 37 K r i s t i n i s s t i l l in the emotional turmoil which often characterizes the f i r s t half of a woman's l i f e . She has received psychiatric help in dealing with her depression and i s beginning to confront her relationships and deal with her feelings about her parents and the men in her l i f e . She l i v e s with her two teenage sons and has been a single parent since they were very young. While r a i s i n g her children she completed her B.A. and now feels that i t is time to "do something with my l i f e " . K r i s t i n came to the Women's Resources Centre at the suggestion of friends and the association, including 254 p a r t i c i p a t i o n in two groups came at the right time for her. She says that the experience "got me going". Afterwards she drew up a resume and made i t known to friends and acquaintances that she was job hunting. Her present employment resulted from t h i s networking. Says K r i s t i n , "I'm s t i l l not sure of my d i r e c t i o n s . It's not the Centre's f a u l t , they did as much as they could." One gets the feeling that this woman is at l a s t on her way to overcoming the obstacles she has been dealing wih and her growing self understanding is most apparent when she acknowledges that "I s t i l l have down periods, but confront them more d i r e c t l y now." L i f e Stage Transitions Eileen Eileen has been widowed twice. The f i r s t time her youngest c h i l d was 5 years of age and she knew what she had to do. Finding a job, being both a mother and father to her children and coping were d i f f i c u l t , but her options were clearcut. This time her youngest daughter i s 16 and she is 59. She has more choices now about how to spend the rest of her l i f e and in a sense, that makes i t more d i f f i c u l t . In her words, "I can become a l i t t l e old lady and do 'petite point' or find some more meaningful a c t i v i t y . " The r e a l i t y of Eileen's situation i s that she does have a variety of options since she is f i n a n c i a l l y secure. The problem is that she is b a t t l i n g depression, coping with a weight problem and having d i f f i c u l t y making decisions. Having recently moved to Vancouver she has made several contacts and explored a variety of resources. Her v i s i t to the Women's Resources Centre for guidance with l i f e s t y l e planning was unfortunately, not a f r u i t f u l experience. In her words, When I went to the Centre I was depressed and s t i l l grieving my husband's death, and very negative about everything. I didn't know what I wanted or what I r e a l l y was looking for. Perhaps i f I went to the Centre now i t would be a positive encounter. However, i t might be of interest to you that I didn't come away with the impression that the Centre could be a valuable aid at some future time. There was no stimulus or incentive to go back. O l l i e O l l i e i s 55 and was widowed five years ago. She came west to make a new s t a r t . She i s very proud of her adult children and recounts with f e e l i n g , her many past envolvements in school, community and homemaking a c t i v i t i e s . She has also been active in the f i e l d of Family L i f e Education and in the Women's, movement. A l l of these have been on a voluntary basis. O l l i e describes herself as "self-educated". "Twenty-five 255 years of continuous education courses, a l l non-credit." After she found herself on her own, she decided to make a complete break and come to Vancouver. She came to the Women's Resources Centre because, "I was new in the c i t y , looking for a job, have referred many women to many women's resources centres accross Canada, t h i s time i t was my turn to go for help." Within three weeks of her v i s i t to the Centre she had found a s e c r e t a r i a l job and i s looking forward to pursuing new interests. Underneath the bravado that O l l i e presents, a kind of disillusionment i s apparent. Perhaps this i s related to her decision to sever a l l her previous connections and start anew. In any case, her self imposed i s o l a t i o n after such a long period of family and community invovement, seems somewhat incongruous. For many women in t h i s age group, the return to being alone after r a i s i n g a family i s the r e a l i t y of thi s time of their l i v e s . Perhaps O l l i e w i l l decide to pursue past interests here and become involved with community projects. Perhaps she r e a l l y wants a revised l i f e s t y l e . In either case, even though these times f e e l strange and unfamiliar for her, O l l i e gives the impression that this i s okay for now. 

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