Since its inception, the Children’s Center has touched the lives of thousands of children and their families in Western Tidewater. In 1983, the Children’s Center branched out from Edmarc Hospice for Children. Edmarc had received a grant for services for disabled children.
“Because of that grant, we became involved at looking at early intervention, which was a new concept in the state of Virginia,” said Barbara Mease, former executive director of the Children’s Center, who was an Edmarc employee at the time. Eventually, Edmarc’s board of directors decided to keep Edmarc’s mission focused on hospice services. The Children’s Center was established.
The Children’s Center was the first organization in the state to be awarded a home health agency license and a rehabilitation agency license. The Center operated out of Suffolk Presbyterian Church with childcare, early intervention, and therapy services. Since the Children’s Center and Edmarc were operating at the same facility, the Center began to search for a permanent building of its own.