Welcome to Spark Resource Centre

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Providing Education & Resources for Sole Parent Families
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SPARK Resource Centre Inc aims to resource sole parents and pregnant women through information, counselling, practical support and self-help strategies in a community setting to promote positive participation by sole parents in family life and within the wider community.

SPARK aims to promote and foster understanding and acceptance of sole parents and their children by the community in order that they may be free from economic, legal and social discrimination.

Objectives:

  • To break the cycle of abuse and destructive relationships through education of both sole parents & the community about the short & long term effects of domestic violence.

  • Alleviate poverty & advocate with governments re this objective (includes providing emergency relief & free recycled clothes and goods).

  • Assist and advocate for sole parents to access all available resources available to them (e.g. housing, education etc).

  • To alleviate social isolation and enhance life and parenting skills of sole parent

  • To provide appropriate therapy for survivors of abuse.

Aims:

  • SPARK is a sole parent agency, which offers practical and emotional support for sole parents and single pregnant women.

  • To provide resources and encouragement to sole parents to improve their competence and self-reliance in all aspects of their lives.

  • It actively co-operates and offers supports to other agencies who have sole parent clients.

  • SPARK aims to foster understanding and acceptance of sole parent families in Australian society.

Spark Resource Centre is managed by Kath Silard. Click on her name below to learn about her fascinating journey from a child living in post war Hungary to author of multiple books, head of Spark and champion of the fight against domestic violence and long time supporter and educator of sole parents.   

Kath Silard OAM - Director of SPARK Resource Centre

Kath Silard OAM is the Director of SPARK Resource Centre and the author of parenting books:

  • “Peace or Pieces?” (1989, 1992);
  • ”Yipti: Fun with Feelings” (1998);
  • “Under One Roof: Understanding Adolescence” (2000);
  • “Why Not Play?”(2003);
  • “Powerful parents! Powerful Children!” (2007)
  • “Me, Myself and I”( 1997,2006)
  • “Letting Go of Nicotine and Becoming Your Own Best Friend” (2003).

These books are available from SPARK Resource Centre.

Kath is also a talented artist and she had her first one-woman exhibition in 1985 at the Women’s Art Movement Centre in Adelaide. She has continued to have annual exhibitions. Kath received her OAM for her work with women and children since the 1970’s.

Kath works extremely hard, not only as a Director of SPARK (processing and submitting for grants etc.), but is also the Senior Counsellor and Adult Educator. As she recently said, “I do therapy groups and teach classes according to the funds we have available.”

She is very passionate about supporting survivors of complex trauma who she often feels need a holistic programme. Luckily, SPARK is able to offer the counselling and groups suitable for people who’ve experienced violence. She is also a prolific artist and some of her art is available for purchase at SPARK Resource Centre.

Kath, herself, began her life in Hungary and was born into a Jewish family of Holocaust Survivors and spent her early childhood in European refugee camps. She states, “refugees were treated hostile in the 1950’s… and it’s very painful for the whole family when they realised they are excluded from ordinary life because they are made unwelcome and unwanted through no fault of their own.”

Kath’s early childhood experiences made her acutely and personally aware of racism, classism and prejudice. However, her interest in the rights of children began with her nursing work at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital and on graduation working with adolescents at the Clark Institute Psychiatry in Canada.

She became aware of the plight of children in war zones after she joined the Australian Adoptive Families Association in the 1970’s – first as a fundraiser and then later as its President. She also became an adoptive mother.

Simultaneously, Kath became very active in the playgroup movement and initiated the Northfield / Clearview Playgroup- she says of this time she loved being President of the Playgroup because it allowed her to meet so many enthusiastic parents of young children and also “it allowed her to learn about children’s creativity and development which was a lovely departure from learning about children’s physical and emotional illness and accidents!”

Kath’s marriage ended with her entering a women’s shelter and a few months later in a bitter custody dispute. She developed her understanding of feminism through this experience, becoming very involved with Women’s Studies in the Flinders University Campus. She initiated two women’s conscious raising groups.

Kath decided nursing wasn’t an option for her any longer- as a sole parent. There were too many shifts and too little child – care. It was during this period of the time she became an Emergency Foster Parent.

She became the co – editor of “Empire Times” and later a TAFE lecturer in Women’s Studies. Meanwhile she was exploring alternative counselling models. As a psychiatric nurse graduate (from Glenside Hospital) she had become very disillusioned by the prevalent concepts and attitudes to mental health in SA.

In 1989 she became a teacher of Re- evaluation Counselling-a very positive and alternative model. She also began to explore other models to help her SPARK clients including the 12 step model and particularly was influenced by Alice Miller, Wayne Dwyer and John Bradshaw. As an avid reader (and writer), she tends to explore topics in depth and has often been a guest speaker on a range of topics. Her favourite public talk was on “Post Traumatic shock, grief and loss in Holocaust Survivors”(1996).

She also utilises poetry-writing to help her clients explore their journey through trauma and feels activity can be hugely helpful in recovering from complex issues. She has held workshops for workers and parents to help traumatised children-she states, “my ideas are very simple and focus on healing play… Sometimes parents can’t access counselling for their children and they still want to support their children.” She has had workshops in SA, NT and Victoria.

Kath had some health crises “at turn of the century” which made her realise the huge difference between being a “giver of care” (like a nurse) or a “receiver of care” (like a patient). She states it helped her to become a better advocate for herself and others and to enjoy and catch up televised Science Fiction series, read detective books and much else.

Nowadays she enjoys her work, her art, her grandchildren and her four legged companions. If you are interested in Kath doing a workshop for your agency or attending a workshop at SPARK please call us on 8212 3255

HISTORY

SPARK was originally the Council for the Single Mother and her Child. Back then the main issue was survival on just $6 per week.

The Council lobbied for economic, social, and legal justice for single mothers and their children. A small group of campaigning women helped to get the Supporting Mother’s Benefit in 1973.

We changed our name in 1979 because our service had extended to include women and men as sole parents.

PHILOSOPHY

Our agency is strongly committed to self-help being run for and by, sole parents. Believing that people can help themselves, we provide information and build self-esteem. One of our philosophies is client empowerment.

Through support, policy, and lobbying we also aim to improve the position of sole parents in the community.

BOARD

SPARK is managed by an elected Board of Management who are dedicated volunteers.

How We Can Help

Services & Education Offered by Spark Resource Centre
  • Advocacy
  • Baby Bundles (for newborns)
  • Counselling and Information
  • Personal Difficulties
  • Parenting Issues
  • Relationships
  • Welfare, Rights and Advocacy
  • Dealing with Mediation / Court Issues
  • Domestic Violence
  • Dealing with Traumatised Children
  • Grief, Loss or Death of a Partner
  • Housing / Poverty Issues
  • Health Issues
  • Education and Personal Development Courses
  • Peaceful, non-violent parenting
  • Relationships
  • Therapy and discussion groups
  • Basic counselling and communication skills
  • Emergency Relief & Financial Assistance (when available)
  • Publications and Resource Library
  • Referrals
  • Second-hand Clothing
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Spark Classes

Contact us to confirm times, availability, costs & concessions

Allows participants to explore and develop their communication skills and learn about themselves through a range of mediums from collage to mosaic

Many women who have been in abusive relationship struggle to deal with conflict. Some struggles to “speak-up” others are worried about their “rage exploding”.

Many people can cope day to day, but become upset when dealing with authority figures and others struggle with “difficult people and conversations”. If you struggle to resolve issues this could be the class for you – being assertive is helpful for the whole family! 

SPARK is again able to offer its SPECIAL PARENTING CLASS for parents who have lost custody or are threatened with loss of custody of their children.

These SPARK Classes are all being taught by Kath Silard OAM (our Director)

SPARK is able to offer free creche facilities to parents.

Please note – Each child needs to have a labelled bag and food supplied. We would prefer parents to come 15 – 20 minutes prior to class commencement.

Each class has been requested and is held in a friendly atmosphere at SPARK. (Please register your children at least one week prior to class commencing) 

Contact info

Address:
213 Gouger St, Adelaide 5000

Phone number:
(08) 8212 3255

We are open:
9.15am – 4.15pm Wednesday to Friday
Closed for Lunch daily 1:15pm – 2:15pm

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