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Single Parents and Displaced Homemakers

Single parents and displaced homemakers face many barriers in accessing education, employment, childcare and transportation.  It is vital that single parents and displaced homemakers are assisted in accessing preparatory services, both the career and technical education programs and support services needed to enable them to become economically self-sufficient.  To assure that all learners have the opportunity to meet the performance levels, it is critical that all learners who have barriers to success be identified, and that a continuum of quality support be coordinated to guide and reinforce improved performance.

Who are single parents and displaced homemakers?

A single parent is an individual who is unmarried or legally separated from a spouse, who has a minor child or children of whom the parent has either custody, or who is pregnant.

A displaced homemaker is an adult who has been out of the workforce, working to care for the home and children, has been dependent on public assistance or the income of a relative but is no longer supported by such income.

What do we know about single parents and displaced homemakers?

  • Approximately 46% of Illinois’ single mothers have incomes that are at or below the poverty level, and another 12% are near the poverty level.
  • Women’s low earnings have a direct impact on the number of children living in poverty in Illinois, currently one in five.
  • Seventy percent of women earn $35,000 or less in a year.
  • Women and men with specialized technical training can expect to earn half a million dollars more in their lifetimes than someone who is working at a low-skill, minimum-wage job.
  • Women continue to be over-represented in the lowest paid, lowest opportunity jobs in the economy.

(Gender Equity Advisory Committee and Statewide Nontraditional Leadership Team, 1999).

Why Career and Technical Education (CTE)?

Most Career and Technical Education classes are considered nontraditional for women.  Nontraditional occupations often provide higher paying jobs, better benefits, and a greater variety of work schedules.  This allows her to become economically self-sufficient and able to support herself and her family.  You can provide orientation and career counseling that includes information regarding nontraditional CTE programs with materials that feature photos and testimonials of single parents and displaced homemakers on the job. 

What can you do to help?

Contact the Special Populations Coordinator at P.E.R.F.E.C.T to help coordinate services.  Ensure that school staff provides a safe environment to single parents and displaced homemakers.  Contact community agencies that can assist learners with fees, transportation, childcare, books and tuition.  Contact the Local Workforce Investment Board to access employment opportunities.  To ensure success, learners must be linked with community agencies that help with parenting, social life, finances, education, and job training skills.

Whom do I call?

Special Populations Coordinator at P.E.R.F.E.C.T.


Child Care Connection


Child Care Connection Subsidy 679-0945
Children’s Home Association 685-1047
Crittenton Center and Crisis Nursery 674-0105
Easter Seals 686-1177
2000/Boys and Girls Club of Peoria 637-3691
Lutheran Social Services 671-0306
Planned Parenthood 673-0907
Tri-County Urban League 673-7474
Women’s Pregnancy Center 688-0202
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