Jigsaw Whanganui is driven by one goal - to work with local families' strengths, resources and hopes to enable them to be the best for their children.
The organisation this week celebrates 30 years of providing those services to local families.
Executive officer Tim Metcalfe, who has been with the organisation for 16 years, leads a team of 25 social workers and support staff working with families in Whanganui, Waverley, Rangitīkei and Ruapehu.
"I was a board member before joining the staff in 2004 and moving from governance to management was a fairly smooth transition with the great support I had," he said.
Metcalfe credits the agency's first manager Mary Beaumont for providing long service and current practice manager Gael Clark for more than 20 years of continuous service.
"We are fortunate to have such continuity with our staff and there is a great mix of experience and new talent on our team."
Metcalfe also credits the support of a loyal and skilled governance team of six board members and kaumātua Ollie Taukamo.
"There is very good clarity about governance and management as well as stability of leadership."
The agency was established as Home-builders Family Support Services Inc in 1989 and Metcalfe said it was staffed by volunteers trained to provide practical support to parents and families.
"A lot of new family support agencies were formed at that time as government policies were negatively impacting on the wellbeing of families.
"Churches had previously been providing support to families but in the 1990s the need for community services continued to grow and, in response, the agency worked to develop a professional social service, with expertise in engaging with families with complex needs."
The agency was reincorporated as Family Support Services Whanganui Trust in 2001 and moved to its present site at 236 Victoria Ave the following year. In 2004 there was an amalgamation with Parent Support Services Trust, a move which Metcalfe said was a classic example of agencies joining together to provide better services.
"Over the years we have built our strong commitment to professional excellence and continuously seek feedback from our families and the community," he said.
Jigsaw Whanganui became the organisation's trading name in 2007 and Metcalfe said it is a good and recognisable brand.
"There are so many agencies with the word 'family' in their titles and it was confusing for people," Metcalfe said.
"People may not be fully aware of what we do but they recognise the name and know that we are here for families."
Jigsaw Whanganui's services include home-based social work support, young parent support, parent learning and support, social workers in schools, specialised age-group parenting support and this year Rise Stopping Violence Services was amalgamated with Jigsaw.
Metcalfe said the commitment from Whanganui funders has also been vital and special fundraising events like the Plumber Dan Duck Race, which raised $20,000 for Jigsaw on Saturday, demonstrate how the community values its services.
To mark the 30th anniversary, Whanganui author Kay Benseman is writing a history of Jigsaw Whanganui which is nearing completion.
Jigsaw Whanganui will celebrate with an afternoon tea and journey back to its early days at the Whanganui War Memorial Centre Pioneer Room this Friday.
For more information visit jigsawwhanganui.org.nz