History 2024-01-30T14:43:13+00:00

History of Center for Families and Relationships

We are celebrating 30 YEARS of building strength and resiliency in families!

CFAR was founded in 1994 under the name, Center for Growth and Development by Maryann C. Volk.  Maryann was a former teacher and principal with the Archdioceses of Philadelphia.  During her tenure she became acutely aware of a growing vacuum between struggling children in school and families struggling to survive in the community.  She witnessed families first hand facing serious issues, ones that required greater support than she was able to provide in the context in which she served them.  Maryann in her 50’s decided to go back to school to obtain a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.  Shortly after obtaining her degree, with the purchase of a corner row home, CFAR opened its doors to its first client with one room and one therapist. This row home was where CFAR would spend the next twenty years. 

As the need for family therapy grew, we set out to find our new home.  In July 2016, CFAR closed its doors to the row homes on Magee Avenue and moved into a location double its size on Bustleton Avenue. CFAR although much smaller than most agencies, made a name for ourselves through our unique family systems perspective.  Focusing on the family as a whole has been the key to our success in seeing lasting change in Philadelphia families. 

Today CFAR serves a client base of over 1,200 in our Outpatient Program, has trained over 100 Marriage and Family Therapists, and has two growing grant-funded programs offering free services to vulnerable communities. CFAR is poised for even more growth in the next few years thanks to a growing client base, excellent reputation, and a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts to build our infrastructure.

Family Counseling Specialists

The Center for Families and Relationships is a not for profit counseling center serving the needs of individuals, couples, families and children.


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