Our work began in 1947 when a parent, Agnes “Posa” Raposa, discovered that there were no local services available for her son who was born with cerebral palsy. She dedicated her life to helping children with disabilities and together with other parents was the driving force behind the foundation of the Cerebral Palsy Council of Greater New Bedford. The Council established the region’s first educational and treatment opportunities for children with cerebral palsy, and soon added therapies and a number of other programs. As the reputation of these services spread, parents sought care for children with a variety of disabilities.
In 1971 the Cerebral Palsy Clinic was renamed The Schwartz Center for Children in honor of Dr. Isaac H. Schwartz, the founding medical director of the Center, for dedicating nearly 25 years to children in the area.
Today the Schwartz Center is a regional leader in addressing the varied needs of families. With the increasing incidence of autism spectrum disorders, services have expanded to address challenges presented by autism, sensory limitations (visual or hearing impairments) and mild to profound developmental disabilities.
In 2006, with support from the community, we moved to a custom-built facility on four acres of property donated by Stanley Goldstein of North Dartmouth. The wooded setting is safely set back from busy streets but provides convenient access for families and staff. All services are located on one level, which includes treatment and classroom space, a community meeting room, a parent resource room, a sensory integration room, and a therapy pool.
The Schwartz Center provides support on an individualized basis, tailoring services to the needs of each child and family. Our staff along with specialists from the renowned Boston medical institutions offer cutting edge therapies and services locally for children with complex medical and developmental disabilities.
Our basic principles and mission have never changed. The Schwartz Center for Children is a beacon of hope, inspiration, and comfort for children with disabilities and their families. Our goal is to help children achieve their greatest potential, just as “Posa” intended.
The Schwartz Center for Children is a partner agency of the United Way of Greater New Bedford