Family Resource Center adds work, personal life to name


In recognition of its expanding scope and services, the MIT Family Resource Center has changed its name to the MIT Center for Work, Family and Personal Life.

The new name reflects the center's increasing role in programs and projects on campus designed to enhance quality of life at MIT, as well as its more traditional role in offering services for families.

"The center has broadened its mission and outreach dramatically in the past few years in order to support the full diversity of lifestyles that enrich the MIT community. We're pleased that the center has a new name that mirrors this ongoing commitment and growth," said Laura Avakian, vice president for human resources.

While continuing to provide information on child care, parenting, schooling and other family-related issues, the Center for Work, Family and Personal Life also conducts a number of initiatives to highlight and strengthen the wide range of activities across the Institute that support the personal lives of all members of the MIT community.

For example, the center spearheaded the creation of a new web site called LifeSites that offers a single portal to the more than 60 human service offices and activities at MIT. Collectively, MIT's work/life services have won several local and national awards, and the center has been cited as a national model among offices of its kind.

The center also staffs the Council on Family and Work, which is in the process of conducting a survey of quality of life issues among faculty and staff at MIT. Results and recommendations from the survey will be announced by the council this spring.

At the same time, the center is overseeing MIT's new child care initiatives, including the design of the new child care facility opening in the Stata Center in early 2004.

Brochures announcing the center's new name and describing its broadened mission are being circulated around campus, and a calendar of spring programs will be mailed this week.

In keeping with its broadened mission, the Center for Work, Family and Personal Life is offering programs this spring on such topics as "Making Financial Ends Meet," "Communicating in Difficult Situations" and "Taking Time Out from School," as well as on topics for families such as "Raising Bilingual Children," "Helping Children with Separation and Divorce" and "The New Generation of College Students." Briefings are also scheduled on a variety of child care issues, and discussion groups are available on topics including adoption and parenting children with ADD/ADHD.

Operating within the Human Resources Department, the center is staffed by Kathy Simons and Rae Simpson, who have headed the center (known as the Child Care Office before becoming the Family Resource Center) for almost 15 years, and by Erika Simmons, administrative assistant.

Further information, including descriptions of the center's spring programs, is on the center's web site or by visiting Room 16-151, calling x3-1592 or e-mailing worklife@mit.edu.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 6, 2002.


Topics: Campus services

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