Our Family Service Centres' approach is to be on the ground in communities, making connections. We offer a hand up along the way, giving people and communities the support and tools they need to meet their own goals and objectives and find solutions to their problems.

Being there long term for people, and being in the right place at the right time can make a powerful difference. Whether it's assisting a family to escape violence or giving opportunities for gaining skills and employment, we are all about empowering people and helping to release their potential.

Here are just a couple of people whose stories have taken a turn for the better as a result of connections with our Family Service Centres...


Support for domestic abuse survivors

A Mum who battled domestic violence for most of her life was left to fend for herself when her partner left and took the car, food, bedding, clothes and more, leaving her to care for the two children.

One of the children was attending our Papakura Early Learning Centre and she arrived at the centre to pick up her child in tears. She met with the counsellor and shared her story which led to a team approach to assist her. The social worker took her to WINZ and coordinated emergency housing, food and bedding and then transported her to safety.

After two weeks she had a house and a call was made to agencies we worked with and we fully furnished the home for Mum and her two beautiful children. She began to use public transport and was committed to bringing her son to the Early Learning Centre daily.

Whilst there she had access to the social services team, received parenting advice and tips, re-engaged with Plunket and received counselling for herself. She has settled and shared how grateful she was for our services as she had nowhere to go and did not want her children to experience what she had.


Zowie first enrolled her eldest son Hyram at HIPPY Papakura in 2007 and graduated with him in 2009. She also completed the programme with her youngest daughter Ruby in 2017 at HIPPY Takanini.

“It was something we could do together, it was structured in a great way and it was nice to have input into what they
were learning. It’s really good for finding out what your child’s strengths are. With Ruby, my youngest it gave me a chance to have some one-on-one time with her. As a parent I loved attending Group Meetings, I made many friends that I still catch –up with today. Being able to socialise while I was at home with my kids was great.”

While on the HIPPY programme, Zowie also coordinated the Playgroup for the Takanini Family Service Centre and was encouraged by the then manager to pursue studies in Early Childhood Education.

In June 2019 Zowie completed a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Education and now works at the Great Potentials Early Learning Centre attached to the Papakura Family Service Centre. Zowie credits the support she received from the Family Service Centre for giving her the confidence to take the plunge into full-time study while caring for her children.

“What I learned from the HIPPY programme has helped my study, especially how to praise children.”