The History of Home and Family Counselling

Home and Family Counselling celebrates 125 years

Home and Family Counselling was founded by Henry Wilding on 25 April 1893, as ‘The Society for the Protection of Women and Children’.

Our original focus was helping women and children who had been abused or abandoned by their husbands and fathers, and also the large number of unmarried mothers and their babies.

When we were founded 125 years ago, women were still to achieve the right to vote in a national election, which occurred later that same year – click here for more info.

Our past shows that we are a resilient organisation demonstrating a lot of passion and commitment to the social welfare of our most vulnerable people. Historically we have advocated for the protection of young people which led to the establishment of the Youth Court; the age of consent being lifted from 14 to 16, succeeded in having incest included in the Crimes Act, and we even took the SPCA under our wing when they were struggling and went into recess and this merge lasted for a period of 28 years.

Today Home and Family Counselling continues to be relevant and responsive to community needs, and makes a real difference for people. We deliver counselling services, for a voluntary contribution, in the Auckland region providing accessible, professional counselling for young people, individuals, couples and families at our Mt Eden, Northcote and Orewa centres. We have an outreach programme into South Auckland, provide group programmes such as youth programmes in schools, safety programmes for women and children, and a senior’s programme for the 60+ age group.

Our aim is to reduce risk, increase safety, and improve emotional well-being and resiliency. Our vision is for communities where people are thriving and participating more fully in family life, work environments, and within the wider community.

Our history provides some amazing insights into the need for our community service, and how this has grown as has our population.  As reported at our annual meetings, we know that the pressure for a service such as ours is only increasing as time goes on.

Year Number of Cases Annually
1894 19
1897 138
1909 239
2017 2,000

Our vision is for a thriving community where everyone feels able to participate, and in 125 years, no one has ever been turned away from our doors.

As an incorporated society with charitable status, we rely heavily on the generosity of donors, supporters, voluntary contributions and a range of fundraising efforts to maintain our community services and keep our doors open.

Our History

1893 Henry Wilding our founder set up a service to rescue vulnerable women and children from the Auckland streets. That was the Society for the Protection of Women and Children. The Society had Court maintenance orders taken out against fathers and husbands, collected the funds weekly and passed on the funds to the needy women and children, keeping women and children in their homes with food on the table.

In the 1920s Our work changed focus to include the whole family, addressing family violence and other problems with different responses.

Today We serve a multi-cultural community providing our counselling and group programmes. We are still responding to the social needs in the Auckland community.

History Home and Family Counselling