90 Cushing Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02125

Cornerstones of the Center

At St. Mary’s Center we work diligently to create a full continuum of family-centered, strengths-based, culturally competent programming so that a family’s time at the Center will lead to meaningful and lasting change to break the cycle of poverty. By focusing on the 3 E’s (as listed below), we are able to assist families with changing their course and building new lives.

Educational Advancement    Economic Stability    Emotional Well-Being

Interdependence vs. independence: Many stress the importance of becoming independent, of being able to face the world alone. At St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, we encourage families to reach out for support, to rely on family, friends and each other, and to face the world together. Mothers who live and learn at the Center grow to depend on one another for transportation, baby-sitting, advice and much more, while simultaneously learning parenting and life skills.

Trauma-informed:  St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children is an agency that provides human services which are based on an understanding of the vulnerabilities or “triggers” a trauma survivor might face. Knowledgeable staff with this understanding can offer services and programs that allow families to learn coping strategies so they can be successful as a family member, friend, student, employee and neighbor.

Sustaining vs. maintaining: At St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, we focus on providing services and training to allow families to build long-term life and work skills. With these tools, new opportunities are discovered and pathways out of poverty are realized.

Parents as Partners: Our families are our partners and are the touchstone of the Center. Motivated by the goal to bring families together, we focus on the needs and concerns of each family individually. We recognize that there is a partnership between the families and St. Mary’s Center, and treat each relationship with trust, respect and confidentiality.

Evidence-based practice: The method of evidence-based practice refers to making decisions about how to promote health or provide care by integrating the best available evidence with practitioner expertise and other resources, and with the characteristics, state, needs, values and preferences of those who will be affected.

Cultural Competency: St. Mary’s Center is a diverse community of professionals dedicated to improving the lives of families who struggle against a variety of life-altering traumatic events. We recognize diversity and empowerment as powerful forces for change, innovation and opportunity.

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