UMass Amherst

Support

All Caregivers

On Campus

Dinner On Us is a parent education workshop series offered by the Office of Family Resources; free family dinner and supervised children's activities are included.

Off Campus

Amherst Family Center, a program of the Office of Family Resources, located in downtown Amherst, provides families with parenting education workshops, support groups, and respite from the pressures of parenting.

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 Journeys, a program of 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

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

Amherst Family Center, a program of the Office of Family Resources, located in downtown Amherst, offers support for fathers.

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

Grandparents Helping Grandchildren, a program of Franklin County Home Care Corporation, provides assistance for grandparent care givers of young children birth to six

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

Massachusetts Department 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

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, located in downtown Amherst, provides support and group meetings for mothers.

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.

Cradle is a new holistic maternal wellness center, located in Northampton, entirely mom-owned and operated, created for new and expanding families.

Mothers of Color Awareness Initiative offers groups and activities including a weekly support group cosponsored by MotherWoman and the Women of Color Leadership Network of UMass Amherst.

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. The Office of Family Resources 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 two 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, and 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.

Off Campus

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.

AFC Breastfeeding Group meets with Kate Bohn, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Kate has been supporting breastfeeding families since 2008 and we are thrilled to have her at the AFC. A baby scale will be available for weight checks. Breastfeeding group meets Tuesdays from 9:45am-11:15am.

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 in Northampton.

Stillbirth 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

Western Massachusetts Legal Services Office 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 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 parenting student, 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.