Studying and Raising a Family: How to Make it Work

For student parents who are looking for strategies to be more effective, and for those students who may want to start a family while studying at University and are looking for perspectives on how their lives might look like, take this opportunity to hear from 2-3 student parents who are currently studying and raising a family.

These students will share:

  • Their experience of parenting a child while studying
  • The resources they have accessed to assist them academically, financially and personally

In the second hour after the panellists speak, you will have the opportunity to meet and socialize with the other students in the session, and talk to our student peer mentors. Resources will also be available on pre-conception health.

Student Parents Drop-in Fridays

The Family Care Office is hosting DROP-IN FRIDAYS for student parents for those interested in finding out more about resources for families on campus. So, drop in to discover our Resource centre, have a tea or coffee and schmooze with other parents and discover the secret to successful parenting on campus.

Student Parents Discussion Group


The Family Care Office will be sponsoring a Discussion Group For Student Parents who are interested in finding out about resources for families on-campus, offering support, sharing ideas with other parents, and discovering the secret to successful parenting.

Student Parent Social

Join us for a social with the Family Care Office peer mentors. Relax, unwind and meet other student parents who understand your challenges and concerns! Lunch will be served.

All U of T student parents are welcome!

Student Parent Conference

Building a student parents community


10:00 – 10:10 a.m. Registration

10:10 – 10:30 a.m. Welcome


This session will cover proven discipline strategies that go beyond punishments and rewards and focus on non-violent communication with your children. Learn helpful tips and ideas to make disciplining more effective and your children more cooperative including:

  • How to use natural and logical consequences
  • How to win children’s cooperation
  • The skill of providing respectful motivation

Suitable for parents and caregivers of children 2 – 12 years of age.

Facilitator: Karen Skinulis
Karen Skinulis graduated from York University with a degree in Psychology. She is a Certified Montessori Director and has worked extensively as a teacher and a parent educator. She is a co-author of two parenting books and one teacher’s book on classroom management.

12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch & a Welcome Address from Lucy Fromowitz, Assistant Vice-President, Student Life.


A lunch time informal peer – led discussion. Join other students to discuss tips and strategies on how to sustain your financial stability while being a student and a parent. Share information on the bursary and general financial aid application process; learn how to obtain and fill out forms; and how to maneouvre through the system.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. SESSION 3: STUCK IN THE MIDDLE

A session on dealing with constant challenges of being a parent and a student. This session is geared towards student parents with multiple responsibilities. It will address feelings of guilt that arise when juggling your role as a student and not always having enough time to spend with your children. It’s for everyone who feels overwhelmed.

This is an interactive session where most of the exercises are done in pairs and within the group. In this session you will discover your patterns of ‘stuckness’ and learn to convert feelings of being overwhelmed into action, energy and change. A list of parent-friendly resources and services that ‘take the load off’ busy schedules will be provided.

Facilitator: Anna Wesolinska
Anna Wesolinska is an Information Officer at the Family Care Office. She has a small psychotherapy practice and has been running workshops at the Gestalt Institute and the North York Women’s Centre.

2:30 – 2:45 p.m. Power Break

2:45 – 3:45 p.m. SESSION 4: JOB SEARCH PANEL

A panel on how to find a job on campus. Most student parents face financial struggles and need to seek employment that fits into their busy lives. Finding a job close to or on campus would save precious time and could make your demanding lives a little more manageable. This panel will discuss options and opportunities for student parents to find employment on campus. The panel will consist of student parents employed on campus and a career counsellor.

Student Panelists: Teresa Biderman, Charity Mwebaze, Linda King
Facilitator: Karen Carrel Rice. Karen Carrel Rice, UofT Career Centre Karen received her Master of Education from OISE/UT and has over 15 years of counseling experience. She enjoys working with the diverse student body at UofT and has experience in helping students from 1st year, through to PhD, as well as career changers

2006 Student Parents Conference

A free conference for University of Toronto student parents.

  • Opening
    Francesca Dobbin, Director of the Family Care Office
  • Time Management Workshop
    For student parents, it often feels as if there are never enough hours in the day. Do you feel like you’re never devoting enough time to either family or school? Come to this workshop and discover tips on how to manage your time and create a balance between your school and home life.
  • Parenting with Humour
    Catherine Lawrence, mother of three and “CLO” (Chief Laughter Officer) of Survival of the Funniest will share her insights on the critical role of laughter and humour to survive and thrive in your parenting role. She will provide some fun, practical techniques to help you SEE funny and access your funny bone at times of unavoidable stress. Don’t miss this laughter-filled workshop!
  • Career Choice and Job Search Tips for Student Parents
    Learn how to find work that will offer you the life-balance you need to develop your career and support you in your role as a parent. This hands-on session will provide an exchange of career information, ideas and
    strategies that will help you with all aspects of the career development
    process such as resume writing and, identifying family-friendly employers.
  • Closing of the Conference.

Student Financial Resources and Tips

Are you an undergraduate student parent? Strapped for money?
Every year full and part-time undergraduate student parents can apply for the Dollars for Daycare Grant. Incomplete or unclear applications often result in less funding/no funding as the committee is unable to fully evaluate your application. Join us to learn how to best fill out the Dollars for Daycare application to help pay for your childcare-related expenses (even if you are already receiving child care subsidies) and learn about additional resources to help you stretch your dollars!

We’ll also have information about the UTSU Health and Dental Plan, the Free Income Tax Clinic Service beginning in March, a 3 cent photocopying service, a Food Bank Service and the many other services that are provided by UTSU designed to help save you money. The Family Care Office will bring their wisdom and expertise to help you discover gems around the University that you might not be familiar with.

Student Budgeting 101 (webinar)

Budgeting is about how to effectively manage the money you have. It doesn’t matter if you’re living pay check to pay check or earning six-figures a year, you need to know where your money is going if you want to have a handle on your finances. Unlike what you might believe, budgeting isn’t all about restricting what you spend money on and cutting out all the fun in your life. It’s really about understanding how much money you have and where it goes. At the end of this webinar, you will be able to define money and how to control it by completing the four steps to building a budget.


Edward Xiao is currently a second year Rotman Commerce student pursuing a specialization in Finance and Economics. Edward has a passion to teach and help others understand the necessity of financial knowledge.

Jennifer Tomic has been working for TD Wealth for over 10 years and is currently a Business Application Specialist. Her role involves training Financial Planners, Investment Advisors and Private Banking on how to effectively use TD systems to run their business. Jennifer has been involved with the Financial Literacy program for 3 years and is passionate about helping others to learn how to manage their finances.