Lesley Max pioneered the Family Service Centre concept in New Zealand in 1992, beginning with the Papakura Family Centre, which was opened by Governor-General, Dame Cath Tizard. It is a place where parents can visit a Plunket nurse, see counsellors, social workers, get budgeting advice, take their children for hearing and vision checks, attend parenting courses and enrol their children in preschool education. It’s a non-threatening, inclusive environment. This proven community-based wrap-around service for low-income families, now operating in six communities around New Zealand. 

The HIPPY programme was also launched in New Zealand through the family service centre in 1992 and is now operating in 40 locations around the country working with upwards of 5000 families every year.

Dr Avina Lombard, HIPPY founder

Professor Avina Lombard pioneered the programme in Israel in 1975 based on extensive research into the effectiveness of a home-based intervention involving mothers and their pre-school children from educationally disadvantaged sectors of society. 

The Home Interaction Programme for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) is a home-based scheme that helps parents set their children on the path to success in school. Parents are mentored to work with their children for 15 to 20 minutes a day for five days a week, 30 weeks of the year, for two years. The changes that occur over that time are huge.