The Role of Family Centres in Encouraging Learning and
Understanding within Families
Stewart Ranson and Heather Rutledge
Published by Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Family centres can make a real difference to the way individuals
and families function and how they relate to their own communities,
according to this new study.
This detailed investigation of the work of three family centres
found that the centres were working mostly with mothers rather than
whole families, although they wanted to work with fathers too.
As a result of being offered counselling and taking part in
volunteering opportunities at family centres, individuals had
increased their confidence and skills, and often returned to
learning to develop the capacity to become leaders of their local
communities. They had also become more aware of the importance of
community to their own family’s well being.
Family centres provided stability and support for families in
crisis, mediating where this was necessary. Mothers had begun to
challenge traditional roles in their families and rethink their own
practice as parents, learning to negotiate with their children and
develop their children’s ability to take responsibility for their