Who We Are
At HopeSparks, we envision a world where all children and families are safe, secure, and stable. Our mission is to strengthen families by inspiring courage and confidence to make a lasting change. HopeSparks programs serve children and families in Pierce County who face trauma, abuse, and overwhelming life challenges.
During 2023, we served 7,419 children and families and provided 35,843 counseling sessions and home visits. In addition, we distributed 46,167 items through our HopesCloset.
We strengthen families by inspiring courage and confidence to make a lasting change.
We envision a world where all children and families are safe, secure, and stable.
Infinite Worth of Individuals: Every person is a unique creation.
Diversity: HopeSparks values diversity in its team and volunteers, in addition to those it serves.
Inclusiveness: Provide individual tailored accommodation that considers each individual's diverse needs.
Interdependence: Every individual and/or organization is interdependent with others.
Excellence: Our objective is to serve with excellence in all agency services and operations.
Innovation: Ongoing change calls for creativity in developing and providing services.
HopeSparks Land Acknowledgement
The land on which we are sitting / standing are the homelands of the Puyallup and Coast Salish People. We pay respect to Coast Salish Elders and extend that respect to their descendants and to all Indigenous peoples.
To acknowledge this land is to recognize its history and our place in that history - including the recognition that this land was not and is not freely ceded to those who claimed it and attempted to wipe out entire cultures. It is to recognize these lands and waters and their significance for the peoples who lived and continue to live in this region, whose practices and spiritualities are tied to the land and the water, and whose lives continue to enrich in relationship to the land, waters, and other inhabitants today.
We recognize that this land acknowledgement is one small step toward allyship. Therefore we commit to listening, learning, doing our own work, and uplifting the experiences, and histories of the Puyallup and Coast Salish Peoples.
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
HopeSparks believes that diversity, equity, inclusion, and intentional anti-racist practices are inherently critical to our mission and those we serve. We seek to create an environment in which confronting oppression personally and interpersonally becomes part of the culture, making it possible to create structures that disrupt and counteract inequities both inside and outside of our organization in order to create long-term, sustainable change for HopeSparks and those we serve.
HopeSparks is committed to learning, creating, and sustaining a culture that values and embeds not only the practices, but operationalizes and measures what it means to be diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist. Our commitment begins with an immediate focus on becoming a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization, and with the goal of becoming an anti-racist organization that actively works to dismantle structural and institutional racism and condemns racist practices and behaviors in all forms.
As a trauma-informed organization, and an organization that values relational health as a strategy to long term well-being, we understand that racism, historical racism, and current day forms of racism - is trauma. We commit to creating and implementing programs that are informed by the lived experiences of those we serve, working to advance health equity in all forms, and intentionally advocating for policies at the local, state, and federal levels that support this work.
The HopeSparks DEI Collaborative will draw upon input from team members, board members, key stakeholders, community members, partners, and those we serve to inform our work.
*Pictured above: Associated Charities of Tacoma first Board of Directors meeting entry from December 9th, 1895.
In 1895, when HopeSparks made a commitment to serve our community, the mission was simple, to meet the basic needs of “struggling community members in Tacoma.” We have been known by many names over the years, but our primary focus has remained unchanged, we address the needs of children and families in our community with the intended goal of strengthening families and creating lasting change.
Our founders could never have imagined that their grassroots nonprofit organization would evolve for more than a century and influence the lives of so many children and families.
- 1895: Associated Charities of Tacoma is founded to address the basic needs of “struggling families.”
- 1921: Associated Charities of Tacoma changes its name to Family Welfare Association and shifts its mission to working primarily with “single mothers who are abandoned or widowed by war.”
- 1941: During World War II, Family Welfare Association shifted its mission again to address the growing problem of “domestic abuse and child neglect in Tacoma.”
- 1967: Family Welfare Association changes its name to Family Counseling Service and begins to offer counseling to low-income children and families. It also expands its reach beyond Tacoma, and begins to serve all of Pierce County.
- 1990: Construction of N. 9th St. Office in Tacoma, “The Wiegman Family Center” is completed.
- 1997: Family Counseling Service merges with Child Guidance Clinic and was renamed, Child & Family Guidance Center. The name change also renamed The Wiegman Family Center as Child & Family Guidance Center.
- 1998: Child & Family Guidance Center begins partnership with Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and Pierce County Human Services to officially launch Pierce County Relatives Raising Children Program. A 10-year-old program of the Health Department that supports Relative and Kinship Caregivers who are raising children not theirs by birth.
- 2000: Child & Family Guidance Center enters into the Family Support Partnership. This partnership moves services into the community by locating Family Support Workers at Family Support Centers throughout Pierce County.
- 2005: Child & Family Guidance Center merges with Tacoma Learning Center (TLC). The pioneering objectives of this early childhood program complements the family-focused programming and enables Child & Family Guidance Center to more fully accomplish its mission to strengthen families.
- 2006: The “Children’s Wing Capital Campaign” at the N. 9th St. Office is completed and expands capacity to serve children impacted by trauma.
- 2007: The Children’s Wing is dedicated to Ryan Alan Hade, and is renamed Ryan’s Wing: A Cornerstone of Hope and Healing.
- 2009: Child & Family Guidance Center renames and rebrands itself as HopeSparks Family Services. This new name sparks many positive changes and initiatives, and is more reflective of an inclusive family serving organization.
- 2012: HopesCloset Boutique is completed at the N. 9th St. Office, offering a dignified shopping experience for families in need of clothing, shoes, coats, and other basic needs.
- 2013: Tacoma Learning Center (TLC) changes its name to Children’s Developmental Services allowing for new vision and strategies for growth.
- 2018: “Kids Can‘t Wait Expansion Project” is completed at the N. 9th St. Office. This expansion project adds 11 new office spaces and expands capacity for 500 additional children in Pierce County to access high quality behavioral health services.
- 2020: HopeSparks purchases 3408 S. Union Ave to renovate and remodel. This facility was the former Oakland/Madrona Family Support Center. This site will become the new home of HopeSparks Children’s Developmental Services Program. This growth is part of the “Building Futures - Growing Healthy Kids Campaign,” which will expand high quality Early Intervention Services and Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health in Pierce County.
- 2021: HopeSparks in partnership with Pediatrics Northwest, Elevate Health, and The University of WA launch Pierce County’s first and one of WA State’s first fully integrated Pediatric Collaborative Care models called Bridge of Hope. Both medical and behavioral healthcare are provided in the primary care setting.
Today, HopeSparks continues to be a recognized leader in Pierce County in behavioral health, early intervention, kinship care, home visiting, and parent education. Each year, thousands of children and families turn to HopeSparks for critical life-changing support.