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Introducing the Rutgers-Newark Caregivers Resource Portal!

Check out our new website for RU-N Caregivers here.


In September 2020, the P3’s then-Scholar-in-Residence Patricia Akhimie launched a new community-building initiative with “Calling All Rutgers-Newark Faculty Parents!” Dr. Akhimie, along with the rest of us, had recently watched the carefully constructed boundaries between her professional/academic life and her personal life evaporated due to the quarantine orders that marked the pre-vaccination period of COVID-19 pandemic. Her blog series, The Faculty Parent, was a response to the isolation and overwhelming sense of “how am I supposed to do this?” experienced by working caregivers throughout the 2020-2021 year. Over a series of monthly posts, Dr. Akhimie questioned how to teach and parent simultaneously from a small apartment, how (and if) to document the loss of research and writing productivity faced by faculty with caregiving obligations, how the pandemic would impact gender disparities around tenure for the decade+ after the global shutdown (some early answers here, here, and here), as well as the toll that the pandemic was taking on everyone’s,, but especially children’s and young adults,’ mental health. 


Soon, the blog series begat a list-serv, then the list-serv begat an advocacy-focused (and solace seeking) committee of faculty parents. The committee then became a “task force” - a more official moniker indicating that members could be asked to serve as representatives on various campus committees. Our perspectives began to expand: How many of the challenges faced by faculty parents are also faced by staff and student parents? What about the challenges experienced by the many people in our RU-N community tasked with caregiving for elders or adults with special needs? Despite the ever-broadening scope, the conversation began to find a central hook: Let’s imagine what a caregiving-supportive campus (and university system) would look like, and like a teacher planning a new course, let’s brainstorm how to reverse-design it. What would we need to know or show or build or do to get from here to there?


The Rutgers-Newark Caregivers Resource Portal was one of our first responses to that prompt. We wanted caregivers on our campus to have an easy-to-navigate “one-stop” website where they could find most of the information re: caregiving policies and resources that they would likely need (or want) to know about over their careers at RU-N. Supported by a Seed Grant from Chancellor Cantor’s office, in collaboration with our colleagues in Staff Council, and assisted by a wonderful web designer and two graduate researchers (thanks Katherine and Carolina!), we researched and identified relevant information from dozens of university-, state-, and county-level websites. The site is still growing and will continue to evolve, but we’re so proud of what we’ve been able to pull together for and with the RU-N community.


Here is a sampling of what the site contains:


We hope you find something helpful on the site. Share widely and feel free to give us feedback at parents@newark.rutgers.edu.


Related Resources:

NOTE: We are still using the Rutgers Newark Caregivers forum/list-serv for real-time sharing and communications. Have a caregiving related question you want to ask over 100+ caregivers at Rutgers about? List-serv members can post questions and share information directly to the group.

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