Career Empowerment Tools

Domestic violence survivors, like anyone else, need family-sustaining wages, benefits, and opportunities for advancement along with support and encouragement during the process of finding or keeping a job, and making a career.

These tools can be used to help survivors locate jobs and investigate education and career paths.

Federal Student Aid

Survivors can use this website to apply for student aid and get information on loan repayment programs. Provides answers to questions such as:

  • how do I apply for financial aid?
  • what types of aid can I get?
  • do I qualify for aid?
  • how do I apply for aid?
  • how do I manage my loans?

Allstate Moving Ahead Career Empowerment Curriculum

logo_AllstateFound150x Allstate Moving Ahead Career Empowerment Curriculum

designed by Women Employed and The Allstate Foundation particularly for survivors of domestic violence, to help them feel safe and confident throughout the process of getting a job, to help them elevate their thinking from "just getting a job" to "starting a career," and to do so in a way that fully acknowledges the particular challenges that survivors often face. The curriculum refers to many different career types - blue collar and white collar - and is relevant for survivors with any skill set.
The curriculum covers five key topics:

  • Being Safe During the Job Search and at Work
  • Choosing and Planning for the Career You Want
  • Getting Started in Your Career
  • Preparing for Your Job Search
  • Sharing Information and Communicating throughout the Job Search and at Work

Dress for Success Worldwide

is an international non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of women. Through professional clothing, employment retention programs and ongoing support, Dress For Success empowers women to be self-sufficient and successful in their careers.

Pennsylvania CareerLink

Offices provide career services to job seekers and employers. Services range from General Education Development (GED) preparation, Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes designed to teach clients job skills for today’s competitive job market, and online job searches.

Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW)

WOW promotes the empowerment, equity and economic security of women through financial education and career preparation, technical and non-traditional skill training and career development. WOW also advances equal education and employment opportunities, freedom from financial abuse and secure retirement through its advocacy, research, training, and technical assistance.

Responsible Decision Making Curriculum

Developed by YWCA Northcentral PA/Wise Options/Liberty House, the Curriculum is designed to help survivors develop healthy decision making skills and teach women about options on how to utilize different skills to cope with difficult situations and emotions. (used with permission)
Ethical Decision Making
The Roots of Decision Making
Managing Time and Making Decisions About Priorities
Understanding Decision Making Characteristics
The Game of Life
Empowered Decision Making
Sample Mock Interview Questions
Questions are designed to help survivors determine their employment interests, anticipate interview questions, and address how to answer sensitive questions during an interview that relate to a criminal background.

Keystone Education Yields Success Programs (KEYS)

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) clients, who enroll in a Pennsylvania Community College, may be eligible to participate in the KEYS program. KEYS helps participants pursue a degree or credit or noncredit-bearing certificate. Research demonstrates that TANF participants who earn a certificate or degree are better able to get jobs with family-sustaining wages, benefits, and opportunities for advancement.

KEYS is operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare working in partnership with Pennsylvania's Commission for Community Colleges.

Domestic violence survivors are encouraged to speak with their County Assistance Office caseworker for details.

Students enrolled in KEYS may be eligible for financial assistance to cover:

  • Child care
  • Transportation
  • School/training registration fee (not tuition)
  • Books and school or training supplies
  • Test fees
  • Clothing
  • Equipment/tools needed for school/training
  • Car purchase
  • Car repair
  • Motor vehicle operator fees
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