We believe compassionate, high-quality behavioral healthcare services can best be provided by being faithful to our Core Values of respect, justice, compassion, integrity, quality and confidentiality. The Center’s Core Values are based on a Catholic identity that is a vital link to the Catholic heritage established by The Center’s original benefactor, a Catholic businessman who left his estate to “…found, establish, erect, and equip… a Home and School of Arts and Trades for Orphan Boys.”

The Center’s services transcend denominational distinctions, and The Center welcomes all youth in need of its services and all staff willing to be committed to The Center’s Core Values.


We respect the dignity of all people because we believe human life is sacred and each person has inherent dignity. We provide behavioral healthcare services to the whole person, which includes psychological, physical, intellectual, social, and spiritual dimensions. We respect and promote the dignity and integrity of the family. We respect the dignity and value of our work and demonstrate that respect in fulfilling our responsibilities.


We respect and promote the rights of our clients, staff, and all with whom we come in contact. We support and promote the right of individuals to participate in decision-making regarding their care. We advocate for the needs of youth suffering from emotional and behavioral difficulties.


We believe that effective care occurs in a compassionate, trusting relationship that requires an awareness of another’s suffering combined with the desire to relieve it. We are committed to providing care in safe, supportive, nurturing ways and environments.


We believe that all our actions should reflect integrity and honesty. In our dedication to always doing the right thing, our thoughts, feelings and actions must be in concert with these Core Values.


We are committed to providing high-quality services as a reflection of our belief that human life is sacred and each person has inherent dignity and deserves respect. Quality care is appropriate to clients’ needs and is provided with the least restrictive interventions. Quality care is provided through a thoughtful, comprehensive evaluation and plan of care. Quality care meets or exceeds established internal and external standards. Quality care involves evaluation processes that contribute to continuous improvement.


We realize that in our work as behavioral healthcare providers, we are entrusted with important and sensitive personal information, and we seek in all our actions to demonstrate, within the dictates of the law, the most profound respect for the of that information.

Fulfilling a Catholic Legacy

  • 1924: Norfolk businessman Frederick Robinson passes away. His will stipulates that money be used to create a Catholic Charitable Trust to start a “Home and School of Arts and Trades for Orphan Boys.”
  • 1933: By the time a suitable piece of land is purchased and buildings erected, the need for orphanages had diminished. Instead, the James Barry Robinson Home for Boys becomes a Catholic middle school.
  • 1933-1977: Operated by Catholic priests living on site, the school is open to boys of all faiths facing various challenges. Some are orphans and others come from families with financial difficulties or struggle in traditional schools. The school is also a farm, and even during the Depression, students and staff enjoyed plenty of fresh food.
  • 1960s: The 11th and 12th grades are added, with the first graduation held in 1962. While small, the school boasts strong football and basketball teams that, for a time, compete successfully against much bigger local schools.
  • 1977-1986: The school is renamed The James Barry-Robinson Institute and serves boys aged 12-18 experiencing emotional, behavioral, educational and social problems and who need special services not provided by their schools or communities.
  • 1986: The Catholic Charitable Trust partners with a local children’s hospital to expand The James Barry-Robinson Institute. Renamed The Barry Robinson Center, the redesigned residential treatment center retains and renovates the historic colonial-style buildings and adds five new buildings, including three dormitories, a multi-use activities building with a regulation-size gym and a new cafeteria and infirmary. The Center serves boys and girls ages 6-18.
  • 2006: The Barry Robinson Center reverts back to the Catholic Charitable Trust. The behavioral health system for youth includes a 72-bed psychiatric residential treatment facility, in-home counseling services, therapeutic foster care, independent living and prevention services.
  • 2007: The Most Reverend Francis X. DiLorenzo, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, recognizes The Barry Robinson Center as an independent Catholic institution. The Center returns to its faith-based roots while continuing to welcome residents of all faiths and backgrounds.
  • 2013: The Barry Robinson Center creates a new position, Spiritual Life Coordinator. The Spiritual Life Coordinator works with children of any faith or no faith. This person is available to the students on an ongoing basis. The students at The Center have the opportunity to attend weekly prayer services, led by students, and religious-based activities, which are all on a voluntary basis.

Get Your Free Brochure Now