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Parent and Family Engagement

What services does the Office of Parent and Family Engagement provide?

  • We welcome and onboard families of new UK students into the campus community.
  • We communicate with families of UK students about campus news, engagement opportunities, resources, programs, and initiatives.
  • We educate families of UK students on policies, resources, and best practices.
  • We connect families of UK students to campus and community resources.
  • We serve as a referral agent to families of UK students for University of Kentucky and Lexington-based resources and services.
  • We provide in-person and online engagement opportunities for UK students and their families.
  • We consult with families regarding issues or concerns involving their UK student(s).
  • We provide support to families with UK students in crisis.
  • We support campus partners in their work with families of UK students.
  • We provide information/support to UK students who are parents or guardians.

How does the Office of Parent and Family Engagement define “family?”

We embrace a multidimensional concept of family and the diversity of family structures, including families of origin and families of choice. We are proud to serve parents, guardians, grandparents, spouses/partners, and any other supportive people in the lives of our students. 

How does UK support parents and families?

To support UK parents and families (and ultimately, our students), we offer: 

How do I receive emails and information from UK?

Parent and Family Engagement has recently launched the new Cat Chat Family Community, a one-stop shop for family communications and Family Weekend registration. If your Wildcat provided your email address on their admissions application, you will automatically be added to the Cat Chat Family Community. If the university does not already have your email address, you may sign yourself up here. We define family very broadly and welcome all supportive adults in our students’ lives to be part of the Wildcat family! 

How do I update my contact information or remove myself from the Cat Chat Family Community?

To update your information, click "Edit My Profile" and/or "Edit Notification Preferences" in the Cat Chat Family Community (look in the upper right corner of your screen). 

If I call or email the Office of Parent and Family Engagement with a question, who will I get to communicate with?

When you call or email the Office of Parent and Family Engagement, you will reach the Director of Parent and Family Engagement or another one of our outstanding student or professional staff members. We will be happy to help you find the answers to any questions you may have.

How do I get more involved in the Wildcat community?

If you are interested in becoming more involved, check out the our Get Involved page for more information.

Who should I contact if I have concerns about a UK student?

Concerns regarding students can be reported to our Center for Support and Intervention staff at, and potential violations of the Code of Student Conduct can be reported to the University's Office of Student Conduct at

Imminent concerns about safety should be referred to the University Police Department at 859-257-UKPD (8573).    

Why do I receive requests to fill out surveys after events and at the end of the school year?

The Office of Parent and Family Engagement is always trying to improve and provide the best resources and services for parents and families. In order to do that, we need your help. That is where the surveys come in. We use the information that we gather through surveys to better inform our programs and events and learn about the needs of students, parents, and families at UK.

Family Resources

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document that designates a specific individual to act on another person’s behalf. When considering a power of attorney for college students, parents or guardians are most often seeking medical or financial powers of attorney to plan in case their student finds themselves in a medical situation where they are unable make decisions for themselves.

Medical power of attorney gives a designee the right to make health care decisions when the individual is medically unable to do so. It does not automatically give parents or guardians the right to access Protected Health Information covered under HIPPA and state law mandates while their student is still able to make decisions for themselves.

Financial power of attorney, or general power of attorney, gives a designee the right to make financial decisions when the individual is medically unable to do so. It does not give parents or guardians the right to view university financial records while a student is able to make decisions for themselves and does not automatically enable parents or guardians access to view/pay their student’s bills or view/approve their student’s financial aid. Students do have the option to authorize guest access to their student account so that a third party can view and pay bills. More information about guest access can be found at

The University of Kentucky does not maintain power of attorney records in a student’s file; therefore, it is important that both the individual seeking the power of attorney and their designee have a copy of all power of attorney documentation. Please note that a financial or medical power of attorney does not automatically give a student’s designee the right to educational information protected by FERPA, such as grades or other educational information.

Students who would like to provide access to their grades or other educational information with a third party must complete a FERPA waiver through myUK. Students can learn more about how to initiate a FERPA waiver on the University of Kentucky’s Registrar website (

The University of Kentucky does not provide legal counsel to parents or guardians.

Family Weekend Registration and Check-in

What can I expect during Family Weekend at UK?

Family Weekend is a chance to experience the best of a busy fall weekend in Lexington! If you’re planning on joining the fun, expect larger crowds, traffic, and more limited parking. Investigate bus, ride-share, and walking options and plan accordingly. We’ll put together the information you need in the Family Weekend materials that you can pick up at Family Weekend Check-in. You’ll find that same information on our website, Facebook, and Twitter

Parent and Family Engagement and other campus partners will host signature events that will be included in your Family Weekend registration fee. The Family Weekend schedule will be available prior to registration opening in mid-July and will be updated throughout the summer and fall as new events and more details are added.

We do our very best to accommodate as many families as possible, but we are limited by venue capacities and safety regulations, so be sure to RSVP in your registration for the events your family members are planning to attend.

Events will go on rain or shine, so please check the weather and plan accordingly. Fall weather in Kentucky can be unpredictable – be prepared! 

Every year when we ask families to report the highlight of their UK Family Weekend experience, the top answer is spending time with family. No matter what you all choose to do with your time together – enjoy it! 

How do I register?

Families will register for Family Weekend through our Cat Chat Family Community. If you are not currently a member of the Cat Chat Family Community, you can sign up at to update your profile and communication preferences and register for Family Weekend. More information about registration will be available this summer.

How much does FW registration cost and what does it include?

More information coming this summer.

Are there any free events?

Registration is required to gain entry into most Family Weekend events. 

Do I have to purchase a separate registration for each member of my family to attend?

Each family member who wishes to attend Family Weekend must be registered. You may register your entire group on one registration form.

Do I need to register my child who is 3 years old?

Children 3 years old and younger do not have to pay a registration fee. However, we ask that you indicate that you are bringing a child on your registration form.

Do I need to purchase a registration for my UK student?

More information coming soon.

Are refunds available?

More information coming soon.

How do I get into events?

All Family Weekend registrants will receive a Family Weekend button at check-in that will grant them access to all events on the Family Weekend schedule (unless otherwise specified on the schedule).

Can I register on site when I arrive for Family Weekend?

We will not have the ability to register families on site. You can register through your mobile devices or computers through Friday, September 22, at 4 p.m. ET.

Will events sell out?

Though Family Weekend registration will not sell out, there may be events with limited capacities. Be sure to RSVP to any events you would like to attend in the registration form.

Where is check-in?

More information coming soon.

Do I have to check in?

More information coming soon.

Family Weekend Events

Where can I see the complete Family Weekend event schedule?

The Family Weekend event schedule can be found on the Family Weekend website and on the UK Guides Family Weekend mobile app in July. Events and updates may be added to the schedule throughout the summer and fall. 

Will events go on if it rains?

Events will go on rain or shine, so please check the weather and plan accordingly. Fall weather in Kentucky can be unpredictable – pack an umbrella and jacket so you’ll be prepared!

Does my family have to go to all Family Weekend events?

We hope families will review the schedule we have put together and pick the events that most appeal to them. We won’t be offended if families ditch our schedule and do something entirely different. We just want you to have fun as a family here in Lexington! Check out for more information about Lexington.

Where can I find the Family Weekend app?

All the Family Weekend information you need on the go is available in the UK Guides mobile app beginning in July! You may have downloaded UK Guides while you were on campus for Big Blue Nation Orientation, so you'll want to go into the app and add the Family Weekend guide. You'll find the full schedule of events and can add the events your family wants to attend to create a personalized schedule. Beyond that, you'll find FAQs, links to campus maps and Lexington visitor information, discounts for you and your family to use while you're in town for Family Weekend, and more. It is a handy guide for your time on campus and exploring Lexington! 

Family Weekend Parking and Accommodations

Where do I park?

More than 40,000 people a day visit the University of Kentucky – even more during Family Weekend. While parking lots are spread throughout campus, please realize that you may have to park a short walk from your destination and allow extra time.

Most employee lots and student commuter lots are accessible and available on weekends and do not require permits after 3:30 p.m. on Friday afternoons until 5 p.m. Monday mornings. These include many North and Central Campus E (employee), C (commuter) and K (Kroger Field) lots.

The Cornerstone Parking Garage on S. Limestone will be open Friday - Sunday and will not require a permit.

Signs are posted at the entrance of each lot to make you aware of parking regulations and any permit requirements.

Do not park in R (residential) lots.

Spaces for visitors with disabilities are located throughout campus in close proximity to entrances of university buildings. These spaces, however, typically require an ADA-accessible permit issued by UK Transportation Services or a gate attendant. During Family Weekend only, UK will allow the use of state-issued ADA-accessible permits. If you need assistance with locating accessible parking, please contact Transportation Services at 859-257-5757 or toll-free at 800-441-0555. You can contact them via email at

Do I need a special Family Weekend parking pass to park on campus?

No. You will not need a special Family Weekend parking pass to park on campus during Family Weekend.

What if someone in my family needs special accommodations?

The University of Kentucky is a large campus and Family Weekend guests may be required to travel longer physical distances and stand at events. If someone in your party is in need of a wheel chair or other mobility equipment, we recommend that you make arrangements head of time to bring equipment with you or to rent equipment from a local vendor. ADA parking is available on campus with any ADA parking permit and event drop off location information is available on the schedule. If you need additional assistance, please let us know at

What is someone in my family has special dietary restrictions or needs?

On the Family Weekend registration, you will have the opportunity to let us know if you or a family member has any dietary restrictions or needs. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact

Parent Advisory Council

What do Parent Advisory Council members do during Family Weekend?

Parent Advisory Council members who volunteer during Family Weekend are responsible for a number of different tasks that include greeting and checking in families, distributing materials, giving directions, answering questions for new UK families, setting up and breaking down events, and more. Volunteers will need to arrive early and will be able to leave shortly after each event. More information will be communicated with Parent Advisory Council members before each event. 

What does a typical Parent Advisory Council meeting look like?

Each Parent Advisory Council meeting is customized to highlight current programs, events, and initiatives on campus. A typical meeting might include getting to know other council members over coffee or a meal, hearing presentations from faculty, staff, or administrators, and providing feedback about the university. 

What should I wear to a Parent Advisory Council meeting or volunteer opportunity?

Most council members choose to wear business casual attire to meetings; they prefer comfortable UK gear at events. We provide t-shirts for council members to wear at some events; we will let them know ahead of time if specific attire is required. 

How can I become more involved with the UK Parents Fund?

Do you have a gift and passion for fundraising? Would you like to be more involved in philanthropy at UK? Contact the Director of Philanthropy, Melanie Barber, at, 859-275-7893.