UMass Amherst

Support

All Caregivers

On Campus

Dinner On Us (DOU) is a parent education workshop series for campus and Amherst Family Center (AFC) affiliated families offered by the Office of Family Resources (OFR); free family dinner and supervised children's activities are included.

Off Campus

Amherst Family Center (AFC), a program of the Office of Family Resources (OFR), located just a mile off campus in North Amherst (easily accessible by a free bus), provides families with parenting education workshops, support groups, and respite from the pressures of parenting.

Bridge Family Resource Center The Bridge Family Resource Center 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.

Healthy Families of Hampshire County, a program of Community Action!, located in Northampton, is a strength based home visiting program for first time parents under age 21.

Parent Aide Volunteers are Parent Aides who offer support to parents who are living in stressful situations and who are trying to be the best parent they can. A Parent Aide is matched one-to-one with a parent and visits regularly with the goal of forming a trusting, nurturing relationship while offering a positive role model for the parent. For more information on how you can become a Parent Aide volunteer contact: Berkshire Children and Families at (413) 584-5690.

Especially for Adoptive Families

Off Campus

Adoption Services Berkshire Children & Families, located in Hadley, provides families with post-adoption support services, including support groups, liaisons, and limited respite services.

Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services provides information regarding adoption and foster care within the Commonwealth.

Especially for Children

Off Campus

Amherst Regional Public Schools ARPS Family Center. The ARPS Family Center's mission is to connect students, their families, and the community to partner for student academic achievement and overall success.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County, a program of Center for Human Development provides one-to-one mentoring relationships to local children in need of positive adult influence and friendship.

Especially for Fathers

Off Campus

Children's Aid and Family Services of Hampshire County is in the process of developing Father's Connection which will offer support to fathers of young children.

Men's Resource Center for Change, is an Amherst based organization for men including support to fathers.

Especially for Grandparent Caregivers

Off Campus

Bridge Family Resource Center The Bridge Family Resource Center 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.

Highland Valley Elder Services provides funding to the Amherst Family Center for grandparent directed programming.

Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs, provides a resource guide for grandparent caregivers.

Grandparent Raising Grandchildren of Massachusetts, provides helpful links, resources, and support groups for grandparent caregivers in Massachusetts.

Especially for Military Families

On Campus

UMass Extension 4-H Military Partnerships create opportunities and provide support to military connected youth whether they live on or near an installation, in our communities, or on overseas installations. The 4-H Military Partnerships rely on Land Grant University Extension faculty, the “Extension 4-H Military Liaison” to serve as a link between the State Cooperative Extension System, Military Service Branches, and 4-H National Headquarters at USDA.

UMass Veterans Resources UMass Amherst is committed to offering quality services and support programs for student veterans, active military, and their families.

Off Campus

The Veteran Education Project, located in Amherst, has an ongoing group for military family members and loved ones to connect, share experiences and learn about community resources.

Especially for Mothers

Off Campus

Amherst Family Center, a program of the Office of Family Resources (OFR), located in downtown Amherst, provides support and group meetings for mothers.

Bridge Family Resource Center The Bridge Family Resource Center 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 Childbirth Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton offers pre-natal and postpartum support. View their calendar of events to find classes and/ or support groups being offered for you and your family.

MotherWoman is an Amherst based organization that supports and empowers mothers through groups, postpartum support and political advocacy.

Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding is a natural activity with health, emotional and economic benefits for both mother and baby. OFR is dedicated to providing support and increased access to adequate pumping and nursing spaces across campus for breastfeeding mothers. Please help us in our efforts by letting us know by phone or email if you are aware of any formal or informal identified pumping or nursing spaces in your area or department. We welcome your suggestions and participation.

On Campus

There are currently three breastfeeding and pumping areas on campus:

Student Union, 4th floor Women’s Restroom: A separate area off the entry hall of the restroom provides a comfortable and discrete area for nursing or pumping. Decorated with a beautiful mural by local artist, Becky Wheeler, the area has a glider chair, shelf, electrical outlet, and locking door. No sign-up is required. A changing table is available in the restroom. The OFR office is just down the hall so stop in to access our additional services and resources.

Whitmore Administration Building, 3rd floor women’s bathroom: A separate area of the restroom provides a quiet and discrete area for nursing or pumping. There is a comfortable chair, table, electrical outlet, refrigerator for milk storage, and literature on breastfeeding and parenting. A curtain is drawn across the doorway for privacy. No sign-up is required. A changing table is available in the restroom.

Integrative Learning Center (ILC), 3rd floor, separate room: Down the hall from the restroom, the Lactation Room is located in S335 and provides a quiet space for nursing or pumping. The door locks for utmost privacy. There is a comfortable arm chair, rolling chair, small table, and electrical outlet. No sign up is required.

New sites opening soon in both Lederle Tower and the Goodell Building!

Off Campus

Amherst Nursing Mother's Council NMC Are you pregnant or currently breastfeeding? All new and experienced mothers are invited to come and support one another at a Nursing Mothers’ Gathering. An accredited Counselor will be present to facilitate discussion and provide evidence-based information. The topics are based on the needs and interests of attendees. Meetings are facilitated by Nursing Mothers’ Counselors.

Cooley Dickinson Hospital's Childbirth Center offers a variety of breastfeeding support services including classes and groups.

La Leche League of Northampton is the local affiliate of the International organization and provides breast feeding information and resources.

Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition coordinates the efforts of many diverse breastfeeding advocacy groups in the Commonwealth.

The Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services provides resources and information on breastfeeding.

Postpartum Support

Off Campus

MotherWoman is an Amherst based organization that offers a Postpartum Stress Support group locally.

Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss Support

Off Campus

Empty Arms Group meets at Cooley Dickinson Hospital and is for families who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss at any stage.

Legal Services

On Campus

Student Legal Services Office provides free legal advice and representation to fee-paying UMass students.

Off Campus

Community Legal Aid provides free legal services to low-income residents- specializing in welfare-benefits and family law issues.

The Office of Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan's primary function is to prosecute criminal offenses in the Northwestern District, which includes Hampshire and Franklin counties and the town of Athol. There are specialized units for prosecution and community outreach initiatives including Community Prosecution; Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, and Elder and Disabilities Abuse prevention; Juvenile Justice, Consumer Protection, Victim and Witness Assistance and Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Cyber-Bullying prevention.

Massachusetts Bar Association provides a lawyer referral service for help finding a lawyer.

Pregnant and Parenting Students' Rights Frequently Asked Questions for College and Graduate Students: If you are a pregnant or a student with children, you should know that under Title IX, you have a right to stay in school so you can meet your education and career goals. This article addresses questions from students in post-secondary schools, including colleges, community colleges, universities, for-profit institutions, trade schools, etc.