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Diversity & Climate

UWM Work/Life Balance Implementation Team Review of WorkLife Resource Centers at Other Universities

The UWM /Life Balance Implementation Team is reviewing the operations of work/life resource centers at other major universities to identify additional programs and services that would assist the UWM community in maintaining a balance between their work, study, personal and family lives. Below are descriptions for:

Work Life Resources at Virginia Commonwealth University

University: Virginia Commonwealth University

Name of Center: Work/Life Resources


Services offered:

  • On-campus Child Care Center
  • Referrals and resources for off-campus child care
  • Referrals and resources for elder/adult care
  • Lunchtime seminars on work/life topics
  • Relocation services for prospective and/or new employees
  • Library with work/life references
  • Health and fitness opportunities
  • Other services to help balance work and home responsibilities throughout the life cycle.

Administrative structure within the university and staffing: I emailed VCU Work/Life Resources for clarification of their administrative structure and staffing (it wasn't clear from their website), and received the following information. Work/Life staff includes: one coordinator, and one part-time assistant that helps with requests, referrals, etc. Work/Life Resources is a part of the VCU Division of Human Resources. The current W/L Resources Coordinator also administers the workers' compensation and unemployment compensation program and assists the Employee Relations Director with employee relation issues.

Innovative programs

  • Child Care Services: VCU has a Child Care Center on their academic campus, as well as 3 locations at the medical campus component of VCU. A limited number of reduced tuition fees are available. Also, employees can request information on locating various child care providers and receive child-care referrals. Their referral database is updated quarterly from the Virginia Department of Social Services and includes licensed centers, in-home care providers, and religious-exempt (church-run) centers.

  • Elder/Adult Care Services: Work/Life Resources can help employees access resources for the elderly in the Richmond area, across Virginia, and throughout the United States. They provide information on long-term care options, in-home care, elder law, nutrition, social activities, and more.
  • Sitter Roster: Available to students, faculty, staff and alumni of VCU, the VCU Sitter Roster is a referral listing of students and staff members at VCU who can sit with the children or elderly relatives of VCU employees.
  • Work/Life Resource Library: Contains books, videos and pamphlet available to borrow on such topics as childcare and eldercare to wellness, drug prevention, and relocation. Information and educational packets are also available on eldercare, grief and loss, recognizing sexual abuse/assault, and other topics.

  • Relocation Services: The Work/Life Resource Program provides relocation assistance to prospective or newly hired faculty and staff from outside of Richmond.?Relocation packets provide information on area school systems, the local real estate market, eldercare, childcare, and other special needs as needed. HR staff can also provide information on local employment opportunities, access to referral services, and ongoing relocation support to spouses or partners of new hires

  • On-Campus Seminars and Group Meetings: Noon-time seminars are offered on various topics of interest, such as health and wellness issues, child and childcare issues, community programs, etc. There are also weekly Weight Watchers Group meeting at two locations on campus, and a Reading/Book discussion group that meets monthly.

  • The VCU Work/Life Line: Every semester, VCU Work/Life Resources publishes, on their webpage, a newsletter containing information on campus programs, articles, tips and available resources relating to work/life issues.
  • VCU Faculty and Staff Discount Book: A compiled listing of discount offerings (covering a wide range of service providers, such as childcare, bookstores, fitness centers, housekeeping/cleaning services, lawncare, museum discounts, etc.) for faculty and staff, available when they show their VCU ID Card. VCU is also a member of the Working Advantage Discount Program, which offers VCU employees a wide range of discounts for recreation activities throughout the U.S.

[Prepared by Sue Podgorski, October 4, 2002]

Johns Hopkins University WORKlife PROGRAMS

University: Johns Hopkins University

Name of Center: Human Resources Office of Human Services WORKlife? PROGRAMS


Services offered: information, consultation and referral for child care, elder/adult dependent care, and for other issues blending personal and work life

  • Dependent Care Voucher Program This program will pay eligible faculty and staff up to $5,000 per year to help cover dependent care expenses that are necessary to enable parents and caregivers to work. To be eligible, an individual must be a full- or part-time fully-benefited employee with a total net family income of less than $50,000. Temporary, limited and casual employees and?students are not eligible for the voucher program.

  • Adult/Elder Dependent Care Services WORKlife Programs offers resources for caregivers including information on housing options, in-home care services, financial assistance, legal services, and other services.

  • On-site Child Care Center-? also the Tuition Discount Programs offer a 10% discount when enroll children in Children's World Learning Center, Kiddie Academy, The Goddard School, or La Petite Academy. This discount is available for faculty, staff, and students.

  • Flexible Work Schedule

  • Library Books available for borrowing with various topics from adoption, adult health and wellness, faculty issues to pregnancy, work options and sexual orientation.? The site includes an index of all books available

  • Family Disaster Planning Resources links to Federal and MD Emergency Management Agencies

  • Discussion Groups and Educational Programs

  • Relocation Assistance Program The Johns Hopkins University Office of Human Services offers a variety of services to meet the relocation needs of newly hired or recruited faculty and staff and their family members. These services, provided by WORKlife Programs and the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, include child and elder/adult care referrals, information on housing and schools, referrals to companies providing relocation services and counseling support to families in transition.

Administrative structure within the university and staffing:? The offices are located at Johns Hopkins at Eastern and has six staff members including a director, program manager, program specialist, program coordinator, secretary and a user support specialist.

Innovative programs:

  • Live Near Your Work Johns Hopkins University, the City of Baltimore and the State of MD have joined hands to offer incentives to employees who buy homes in areas near the campuses.? Qualified applicants who purchase a home within one of the designated areas will receive a $3000 grant ($1000 from the university, matched by $2000 from the city and the state) that can be used to offset closing costs.
  • Sick, Emergency and Back-Up Care This program provides in-home sick, emergency or back-up care at a reduced cost for dependents of benefit-eligible faculty and staff. Because funds are limited, eligibility is on a first come, first serve basis.

  • Car Seat for Rent The Johns Hopkins Children's Safety Center offers several plans for low-income parents to obtain car seats. The parent must be able to show identification, proof of income or financial need and a $20 deposit, $10 of which is returned if the seat is returned in an excellent condition at the end of the one-year contract. Parents may also purchase convertible, toddler and/or booster seats at discounted prices. One additional service provided by the Center is on education in the use of these seats.

  • Adoption Assistance Program The University reimburses full time faculty and staff with at least two consecutive years of full-time service immediately prior to adoption for eligible expenses a maximum of $2,500 for a single adoption per family.

[Prepared by Tammy Howard, October 1, 2002]

Stanford University WorkLife Office

University:?Stanford University

Name of Center:?WorkLife Office


Services offered:

  • On-site child care
  • Child care resource and referral services
  • Parent education and consultation
  • Emergency and backup child care program
  • Adoption assistance
  • Elder care assistance
  • Individual consultation and group presentations on personal work/life balance
  • Lending library (on adoption, child development, parenting, step parenting, grandparenting, autistic children, children?s play, preparing for childbirth, birthing, divorce, grief in young children).

Staff provide personal appointments, small group and departmental presentations, and noon time brown bag programs.

Administrative structure within the university and staffing:

The office has three staff persons: a director, a resource and program specialist, and an administrative associate.? Four of the six Stanford child care centers are also under this office.? The WorkLife Office ?supports the university?s academic mission through direct services and by developing collaborative partnerships within Stanford and the surrounding community to assist faculty, staff, and students in reaching a comfortable balance between their work, study, personal and family lives.?

The office is one of five centers in the Office of Campus Relations: Diversity and Access, WorkLife Office, Help Center, Ombuds, and the Sexual Harrassment Policy Office.

Innovative programs:

  1. Emergency and Back-Up Child Care Program.? The WorkLife Office uses a non-campus agency (Family Care Inc.), who is available to make referrals for emergency and back-up child care for faculty and staff whose regular caregiver is ill or on vacation or whose child is mildly ill.? The agency identifies in-house agencies, centers and family day care houses that provide back-up child care.? Stanford pays up to $160 a year toward that care (80% of the cost of care up to $10 an hour, for up to 16 hours of care a year).
  1. Elder Care.? The WorkLife Office partners with a non-profit agency to aid employees caring for older relatives.? The agency provides information and referral services on community resources, social worker consultation, support groups, assessment and planning services, and day care services.? The Agency staffs a noontime campus support group (meeting monthly) for community members who are caregivers or dealing with caregiver issues.?
  1. Parent Education and Consultation.? WorkLife Office staff are available to help identify information on public and private schools, summer camps, parenting classes, adoption resources, support for breastfeeding mothers, resources for new fathers, support during separation and divorce, etc.
  1. Adoption Assistance Program.? The University reimburses employees for qualifying adoption expenses up to $5,000.

[Prepared by Lois Quinn, September 24, 2002]

Work Life Resources at Pennsylvania State University

University:?Pennsylvania State University

Name of Center:?The Center for Work and Family Research at Penn State


Services offered:?The mission of the Center for Work and Family Research (CWFR) at Penn State is to promote excellence in research and education on issues at the intersections of work, family, and community.? This center focuses on research as it relates to work and family issues, and offers an annual symposium on family issues, work/family seminars for faculty and staff and a faculty fellows program.? The Center is also involved in various research projects and proposals.? Their website provides a wide range of links relating to work and family issue (child & elder care, benefits, etc.) as well as work/family research, activism, governmental agencies, professional organizations and publications

Administrative structure within the university and staffing:?

The Center has six staff members: a director, a staff assistant and four research assistants.? Also listed are 4 SSRI staff directors, and 9 SSRI administrative staff.? Established in January 2002, the Center is one of five in the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI): Center for Health Care and Policy Research, Center for Work and Family Research, Institute for Policy Research & Evaluation, Population Research Institute, and Survey Research Center.? The SSRI is a university-wide organization designed to strengthen social science research at Penn State.

Innovative programs (the majority are very much research-related)

  • Annual Penn State National Symposium on Family Issues:? A two-day conference on a family topic of interest to scholars from multiple disciplines, program development staff, and staff from state and federal agencies.

  • Work/Family Seminar Series:? On-campus seminars are held, relating to work/family issues.? They?ve included such topics as: work/family challenges for low-income families, the future of family studies, the balance of work and family in other countries, etc.

  • Faculty Fellows Program:? An opportunity for faculty to have a reduced teaching load in order to prepare a research proposal. The Center provides space for the fellow and consultation on proposal development.

  • Connecting Faculty and Graduate Students to Companies and Organizations Interested in Work-Family Issues:? As the CWFR grows, it seeks relationships with companies, consulting firms, unions, community organizations, policy makers, and state and federal agency staff with interests in work and family issues. Developing these relationships helps the Center identify important areas of future work-family research, explore possible sites for field research, and communicate their knowledge.

  • Research Projects and Proposals:? The Center is involved in various research projects and proposals:
    • Family Relationship Project, which seeks to understand the family context of socialization in adolescence
    • The Mapping Project, which seeks barriers to family commitments in faculty
    • The Work and Family Life Study, which seeks information on marital quality and interaction
    • Women in the IT Workforce: A study of institutional contexts that affect the work-related outcomes of women after they enter the information technology workforce

[Prepared by Sue Podgorski, October 4, 2002]

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign WorkLife Website

University:??University of Illinois ? Urbana-Champaign

Name of Center:?none


Services offered:

A campus website has links with the following areas:

  • Campus services and conveniences (faculty/staff assistance program, ombuds office, benefits center, personnel services office, academic human resources, LGBT concerns office)
  • Recreation and entertainment opportunities (area parks, performing arts, assembly hall schedule)
  • Education/schools (public, private and university schools ? K-12)
  • Child care and elder care services (child care resource services, campus preschool)
  • Health care (clinic, medical centers and hospitals)
  • Community resources (united way, chamber of commerce)

Administrative structure within the university and staffing:


Innovative programs:

The website also includes the UIUC Work Life Committee Final Report 2000-2001.

[Prepared by Lois Quinn, September 24, 2002]

University of Michigan Work/Life Resource Center

University: University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Name of Center: Work/Life Resource Center (WLRC)


The Work/Life Resource Center (WLRC) helps University of Michigan families achieve that balance through connections with campus and community resources that help integrate their personal life and work life. Through these programs, their goal is to help recruit and retain the best faculty and staff members at the University.
Services Offered:

  • Child care
  • Elder/dependent care
  • Emergency, back-up child care (Kids Kare at Home)
  • Balancing work and personal responsibilities
  • Creating flexible work schedules

WLRC Services involve the following:

  • Individual Consultations
    Call office, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., to set up an appointment for a one-on-one consultation either in person or over the phone. They'll help find the best solutions to meet needs.

  • Seminars, Workshops, Brown-bag Presentations
    Meet on campus for lunchtime presentations that cover topics such as Parenting Teenagers, Positive Discipline Techniques, Elder Care, and When an Older Person Can No Longer Live Alone.

  • Discussion Group
    They can help organize a discussion group for a variety of parenting, elder care, or dependent care needs.

  • Resource Library
    They maintain a library of research and popular-press articles and journals on child care and development, parenting, caring for aging relatives, and other work and family issues. All are welcome to come in and browse.

  • Eligibility
    The Work/Life Resource Center provides free consultation and referral services to full-time and part-time U-M faculty, staff and students.

Innovative Programs:

  1. Elder Care Resources: Helping Families Find Elder Care & Dependent Care

    The Work/Life Resource Center can help find services, programs and community resources for elderly or disabled relatives, no matter where they live in the United States. WLRC can help families find information on:

    • Home health care and other in-home services

    • Living arrangements, such as assisted living and nursing homes

    • Adult day care centers

    • Care management services that regularly check and evaluate your relative's needs and help coordinate appropriate services

    • Support groups for those with low vision, diabetes, or depression

    • Geriatric medical centers

    • Alzheimer's information and resources

    • In-home comprehensive assessments

    • Meals on Wheels
    An elder care specialist will help sort through the difficult issues involved with finding resources and making arrangements when a family member suddenly becomes ill or disabled.
  2. Child Care Resources: Helping Families Find Child Care

    The Work/Life Resource Center can help provide information that is tailored to your family's specific needs. Get information about:

    • Child care centers

    • Child care homes

    • Preschools

    • Summer day camps

    • In-home "nanny" agencies

    • Advertising and interviewing suggestions

    • Parenting workshops

    • Organizing play groups

    • Coordinating shared child care

    • Financial resources for child care
  3. Flexible Work Arrangements

    The Work/Life Resource Center offers confidential consultations to help negotiate a flexible work schedule to meet work responsibilities. In addition, WLRC offers help for managers to find a way to manage flexible work arrangements. WLRC has the following resources available:

    • Planning tools to help identify needs and develop a plan

    • Negotiation points to present to managers

    • Checklists for managers to help ensure the success of flexible arrangements

    • Sample request forms/letters for employees

    • Sample "letters of understanding" that spell out terms of the agreement

    • Research articles and helpful Web sites about flexible work arrangements

    • Information on job sharing and telecommuting.

University of Michigan
Work/Life Resource Center

2072 Administrative Services 1009 Greene Street
Ann Arbor MI 48109-1432

Phone: 734-936-8677
Fax: 734-936-8894

[Prepared by Chris Buth Furness, October 8, 2002]

Texas A&M Worklife Services Office

University/Department: Texas A&M (main campus) Human Resources Department

Name of Center: Worklife Services

Web site:

Services/Resources Available:

Welcome to Bryan-College Station

Flexibility on the Job

Recognition and Rewards

Caring for Others

Safety and Health

Learning Opportunities

Personal Finance

Diversity at Its Best

Healthcare Facilities


Campus Conveniences

Structure: This department within HR is run by an Associate Director and an Administrative Coordinator. They are mostly a referral service for campus programs that are administered by other departments or local businesses.

Programs: This office administers an annual Worklife Satisfaction Survey. One survey is for Faculty and the other is for Staff. They have done comparisons of the data by year. The survey is completed online by faculty and on paper by staff (due to limited computer access). They also conduct a program called “Noon Talk” for the campus, which focuses on bridging the gap between work and home life.

The on campus bookstore offers a 10% discount to employees w/a staff id.

[Prepared by Karen Massetti-Moran, November 13, 2002]

Duke University Worklife Office

University: Duke University
Name of Center/Program: Family Friendly Programs & Policies
Web site:

Services Offered:

  • Family/Medical Leave
  • Personal and Educational Leave
  • School Leave
  • Vacation, holidays, sick leave & funeral leave
  • Unlimited use of sick leave for illness of immediate family
  • Insurance - Life, Health, Dental, Survivors Benefits, Long Term Care
  • Pre-tax Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts
  • Tuition Grants
  • Educational Assistance
  • Flexible scheduling on a departmental basis, including part time, compressed work week
  • Benefits Fair
  • Retirement plans
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Auto insurance
  • Financial Planning
Administrative structure: Staff of five people who are a part of the Human Resources office. This program is mostly a referral service to existing programs but does offer individual consultation.

Innovative Programs: Departmental consultations on work & family issues. They help departments adapt family friendly policies and work on skill building in response to family issues. This department also offers educational programs on elder care, infant & child CPR, helping your child succeed in school. There is also a family information lending library, which contains books, tapes and magazines for employees and students to check out on family issues. Duke University sponsors an employee appreciation week during which there is a “company” picnic free to students and employees. They provide food, music and organized games/events. Additionally Duke will send a floral arrangement to the funeral of an employee or someone in their immediate family. They also send floral arrangements to an employee who has been hospitalized.

[Prepared by Karen Massetti-Moran, November 13, 2002]

University of Arkansas Worklife Office

University: University of Arkansas
Name: Work, Family & Life Resources
Web site:

Structure: This is a resource page maintained by HR. There is no one in the department clearly defined as a contact person.

Services Offered:

  • Summer Youth Camps
  • Child Care
  • Child Care Referral Center
  • Child Care Provider Data Base /Dept. of Human Services
  • Convenience
  • Entertainment
  • Financial Security
  • Health & Wellness
  • Leave Time
  • Personal Growth and Development
  • Recognition of Service
  • Work Schedules

Innovative Programs: University of Arkansas has a grant from the Susan B Kommen Breast Cancer Foundation to provide free mammograms to students and employees without health insurance. The grant can also provide financial assistance to those who qualify to aid in coinsurance and co-payment costs that employees/students cannot afford. The bookstore offers 10% off to employees who have a staff id.

[Prepared by Karen Massetti-Moran, November 13, 2002]

Ball State University WorkLife Services
Muncie, Indiana

University: Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
Center: WorkLife Services
Web site:

The following is a summary of the services offered to students, new hires, faculty, staff and the community in the surrounding area. The contact is Marta Stevens, WorkLife Services, at 765-285-1187.

Services Offered

Produced “The Fact Sheet”

  • Child Care Resources and Referral
    Connects patrons to over one hundred full-time and part-time child care opportunities throughout the Muncie, Indiana, area.
  • Relocation Information
    Information is available regarding schools, realtors, rentals and employment opportunities for partners.
  • Perks Available
    Information about services such as the credit union, maternity leave, museums, Speech and Hearing Clinics and Recreational Facilities is available in a handbook offered through the Human Resource Services Office.

Provides Training, Career and Personal Development and Recognition

  • Family Focused Programs with brown bag luncheons

  • Refers patrons to EAP Counseling

  • Organizes Recognition Dinners

  • Produces quarterly newsletter about benefits available and currents topics of interest in the collegiate and surrounding communities

  • Promotes Affirmative Action activities

Provides information about Elder Care

Examines Current Trends in Employment Practices

Noted most recently is the change in demographics of new hires: less requests for information about child care and an increase in the number of single new hires.

[Prepared by Bobbi Prichard, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, November 15, 2002].

[Prepared by Karen Massetti-Moran, November 13, 2002]

University of Wisconsin-Madison Employee Assistance Office
Madison, Wisconsin

University: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Center: Employee Assistance Office
Web site:

The University of Wisconsin established this office to assist faculty and staff with maintaining and enhancing both their personal and professional lives. They offer services to faculty, staff and their immediate family or significant others to promote emotional well being as well as respectful and productive work environments.

  • Problem consultation/assessment
  • Information about community resources
  • Educational programs
  • Individual referrals

The staff address personal issues such as:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Anger control
  • Divorce
  • Drug abuse
  • Emotional problems
  • Family violence
  • Financial problems
  • Grief
  • Impact of disability and chronic disease on individuals and families
  • Marital or family problems
  • Separation
  • Stress

They also address workplace issues such as:

  • Back-to-work conferences
  • Change
  • Conflict management
  • Dispute resolution
  • Organizational assessment
  • Respect in the workplace
[Prepared by Chris Buth Furness, May 2003]