Resources for Student Parent Families

There are several places on the UMass website that you can find listings of a variety of resources.  

Student Life has a Single Stop Resources page and the Dean of Students office has a Basic Needs Resources page.  

We know that students who are parenting have specific resource needs.

Below we have highlighted the resources we think are most relevant to families.

 

►Pregnant and Parenting Student Rights

►Family Health & Wellness

►Basic Family Needs (Food, Housing, Supplies, etc.)

►Parenting Support and Connection

►Family-Friendly Activities & Places

 


PREGNANT & PARENTING STUDENT RIGHTS

Lactation Rooms: Breastfeeding is not limited to specific areas on campus. For those who would like more private space for breastfeeding or pumping, however, the campus has a number of specifically designated lactation rooms that can be seen on the lactation room map. If you encounter difficulty accessing campus lactation spaces or have questions about finding a space that is more convenient for you on campus, email studentparent@umass.edu.

Title IX Protection for Pregnant and Parenting Students: The Title IX at UMass Amherst website has created a page specifically for Pregnant and Parenting Students, click here to learn more. See here for additional information about how Title IX protects pregnant and parenting college students from discrimination and guarantees leave and accommodations.


FAMILY HEALTH & WELLNESS

University Health Services: UHS is the on-campus health care center of UMass Amherst, serving UMass students, faculty, and staff, and their domestic partners, spouses and dependent children.  They are open 7 days a week during the academic semester, and Monday-Friday during intersession.  UHS has Pediatric Services and accepts various health insurance plans, including Mass Health.  

John P. Musante Health Center JPMHC is a Federally Qualified Health Center site, providing one-stop, affordable primary medical and oral health/dental care to everyone, regardless of ability to pay. For those who do not currently have health insurance, our insurance Navigators will assist with insurance enrollment prior to scheduling an appointment and becoming a patient. For more information please call: 413-835-4980.


BASIC FAMILY NEEDS (Food, Housing, Supplies, etc.)

Amherst Survival Center (ASC)  The ASC is a wonderful resource for the Amherst community – they have a variety of programs but the one that many families utilize to help stretch their budget is their food pantry – about a week’s worth of groceries every month, including diapers. You can shop in person, pick up curbside, or schedule delivery. The food is fresh and can be customized based on dietary needs - and families with small children can also request diapers. More info here.  

WIC  Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program is run by the dept of agriculture and IS NOT subject to the public charge ruling – if you are pregnant and/or have a child under age 5, it can help stretch your food budget by providing some funds for nutritious foods. WIC eligibility may also automatically qualify you for other programs and resources. 

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal nutrition program (formerly known as Food Stamps) that provides eligible residents with monthly financial assistance to purchase food and other benefits that help you save. Eligibility for SNAP benefits depends on financial and non-financial criteria. SNAP is not part of a public charge test. If you are not a U.S. citizen or eligible immigrant, it is safe for you to apply and get SNAP for an eligible family member (like a U.S. citizen child).  Once enrolled, you will receive a monthly cash benefit on an EBT card that can be used just like a debit card for food shopping. 

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts website offers information on Food Pantries and other Meal Programs including Mobile Food Bank sites all over the region, including Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden and Berkshire Counties.   To find resources in your area, click HERE.  

Student Care Supply Closet: UMass has a student care supply closet where you can request many household toiletries, including diapers and wipes –see here for more info.  

Dean of Students Office (DOSO) Financial Assistance: The Dean of Students office has two programs to combat the impact of unexpected financial emergencies on academic success. Short Term Loans: Up to $500 for undergraduates and up to $1000 for graduate students (repayment within the established due date, typically 30 days - can be extended on case-by-base basis) and Microgrants: Up to $500 for unforeseen financial emergencies once per student per academic year.

The Village Closet is a donation center in Huntington, MA full of free maternity, baby, and children’s clothing, supplies, and diapers. 

Available to both homeowners and renters, Community Action’s Fuel Assistance Program helps income-eligible participants afford their home heating expenses. Program eligibility is determined by family size and gross annual household income.  

The Affordable Connectivity Program will offer more info about how you can access lower cost internet service. 

Family Housing at UMass - University Village is a community specifically designed for UMass Amherst students with dependents.  

The Accessing Affordable Textbooks page on the UMass Student Success website provides tips for reducing costs.


    PARENTING SUPPORT & CONNECTION

    The Bridge Family Resource Center

    The Bridge is a community-based, family driven program supporting families and their children ages 0-18 years old. The Bridge is one of a network of eighteen Family Resource Centers across the Commonwealth. All services are free and available to any child or family. The monthly calendar outlines available programs. Watch the Bridge overview video here.

    Collaborative for Educational Service's Early Childhood Programs

    The Collaborative for Educational Service's Early Childhood program offers free workshops for parents, resources and support, early literacy programs, consultations in social-emotional health and early childhood mental health, and more.

    Head Start at Home  (Community Action Pioneer Valley)

    Head Start at Home provides weekly home visits for income-eligible expectant parents, pregnant women, and families with children birth to three.  Staff provide support and information on pregnancy and child development, help families access services and resources and provide opportunities to connect with other families.

    Healthy Families (Community Action Pioneer Valley)

    Healthy Families is a free and confidential program that provides ongoing parenting and life support to first-time parents, who are under the age of 24 (at the time of program enrollment).  Students can be pregnant (or their partner is pregnant) at time of enrollment, OR the student's child can be under 1 year old.  Once enrolled, parents can receive support in the program until their child turns 3.   

    Round the World Women For over 50 years, the focus of Round the World Women (RWW) is to connect international women, students, and non-students with volunteers from the greater Amherst community. This program has been an essential resource for international women and their children who accompany a spouse, partner, or family member to Amherst. RWW volunteers provide information about local customs and answer questions about life in the U.S.  Together, the group visits local places of interest and meets for fun group activities while sharing encouragement and friendship.


    FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES, EVENTS and PLACES! 

    WEBSITES - 

    Hilltown Families - Western Mass regional family-friendly events, summer programs, classes, preschools, and children's learning activities

    Hampshire County - Family Fun - Suggestions, Blog posts and Calendar

    Amherst Bulletin - Events  - Calendar of regional events for all ages

    LIBRARIES - Local libraries offer more than great books!  Library services often include lending electronic and other equipment, ESL & Citizenship support, income tax information, meeting rooms, and free or discount museum passes.  Check out their events and activities too, which often include book clubs, art programming, and programming specific for different age groups of children and youth.                   

    Jones Library in Amherst               

    Sunderland Public Library in Sunderland         

    Forbes Library in Northampton           

    Greenfield Public Library in Greenfield        

    Springfield City Libraries in Springfield             

    Clapp Memorial Library in Belchertown     

    Emily Williston Memorial Library in Easthampton

    PARKS & NATURE CENTERS- 

    Parks in Amherst               Look Park in Northampton               Springfield Parks & Recreation               

    Hitchcock Center in Amherst                Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls                  Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton