Our two in Papakura and Takanini are true community hubs, providing integrated health, education and social services in two high-needs communities.

The Family Service Centre model was devised and developed by Dame Lesley Max and the Papakura Centre was opened in 1992, followed by the Takanini Centre in 2014.

Our approach is to give 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.

"One Stop Shops"

Family Service Centres are “one-stop shops” promoting safety, well-being and learning for children and families through support, counselling, education and advocacy.FSC Social Services Team

Our Centres offer early learning services, social workers in schools and the community, counsellors, parenting support, playgroups and the HIPPY programme. 

Our team supports more than 350 families every year, and have done so for nearly 30 years.

Our services assist with housing, food, health care, employment support and wellbeing.

We operate a free Early Learning Centre at our Papakura branch and a licensed Playgroup in Takanini.







Being able to access a number of vital services under one roof, in a warm and welcoming environment, was key to Leah’s* family’s journey from challenge to strength. Leah credits the team at the Papakura Family Service Centre with turning her family’s life around, and most importantly, helping her youngest grandson break through the serious behavioural challenges and trauma that had been holding him back. Leah’s young grandson had been out of school for almost a year due to his behaviour.

This bright child had been extremely traumatised in the past through family violence and domestic unrest, unfortunately, common occurrences within families facing the myriad of social, financial and emotional challenges often experienced by those in our most vulnerable communities. CYF’s and the Ministry of Education were also involved with him and the family, and it was a very stressful situation for all. Through counselling, he was able to open up a little about his situation and behaviour, and Leah praises the Papakura Family Service Centre’s counsellors and social worker for being the only ones able to reach this troubled boy, through their patience, love and support.

The Family Service Centre team worked closely with this vulnerable child, his family, the Children’s Team and other involved professionals, and were able to advocate for and secure a placement at a special Residential School. Here he will get the specialised support he needs, and his family will receive ongoing counselling and help to strengthen them all. They are extremely grateful for our involvement and, in his grandmother’s words: 

“We would not be here, as a strong family and a bright and brave boy, without the support from the Whanau Centre [Family Service Centre].”

*Name changed for privacy