The SPARK center serves children and families whose lives are affected by medical, emotional and/or behavioral challenges. The program serves Boston's highest-risk children, ages infant through 5 year olds: those living with complicated medical conditions (including neuro-developmental challenges, failure to thrive and HIV/AIDS); as well as children who are involved with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families due to significant family and social concerns.
Not surprisingly, most of the children at the SPARK Center live in poverty, with parents and caregivers who struggle daily to maintain the integrity of their families.
Located in the heart of Boston's urban community and serving approximately 50-60 children annually, the SPARK Center represents a unique and powerful collaboration between Boston Medical Center and the Boston University School of Medicine, the Mass. Dept. of Early Education and Care, and several additional state and federal funders.
Each of these entities provides a unique contribution to SPARK's mission of helping children to build loving relationships, positive self-regard, and community belonging. At SPARK, children learn the skills and values to succeed in school and to develop productive and rewarding adult lives. Additionally, the SPARK Center offers parents and other caregivers the support, guidance and compassionate understanding that promote strength and stability in their parenting responsibilities.