St Joseph’s Family Centre is located in central Warrington with easy access to public transport. Though the centre does not have its own parking available to clients, there are multiple pay and display car parks within a short walk. It is also on main bus routes. The building initially belonged to the local St Joseph’s RC Church for their outreach work, but these days has been gifted entirely to St Joseph’s Family Centre (SJFC) for its ongoing charitable family work. Whilst the church and SJFC are supportive of each other they are entirely separate organisations.
The front entrance is accessed via steps up to the door. A door phone system is in place, preventing clients from accessing the building and staff are required to let them in and out of the building. There is a ground floor access to the rear of the property which can be used if required, with staff supervision in place. The building is a Victorian terraced house over 3 floors and a basement, offering kitchen, waiting areas, reception, offices and numerous contact/counselling rooms. The waiting rooms are on two different floors so that visiting parents need never meet and the contact rooms are all set up to look like a living room, which provides a homely environment. During COVID restrictions parents have been encouraged to bring their own toys and equipment to the visit and rooms are cleaned between each visit. Toilets and washrooms are newly fitted and decorated, but do not have changing facilities, however, changing mats are available in each contact room. The toilet on the ground floor is accessible.
SJFC provides a range of support to families and individuals in Warrington and the surrounding area in overcoming problems of family stress, family breakdown and the diverse emotional health challenges of modern life. Services include mediation, counselling service and a range of child contact interventions. The family centre also has discretion to support financially deprived families to support by way of essential household equipment, furniture and emergency food parcels. The staff are a friendly and dedicated group who are motivated to support their families. Like many voluntary organisations staff work across a number of the disciplines, but the staff involved in supervised contact are knowledgeable, well qualified and enthusiastic about their service users.