The Barry Robinson Center
May 20, 2024

Introducing The Majella Project: Improving the Lives of Children by Offering Hope to Pregnant Women Facing Substance Use Disorders

The James Barry-Robinson Institute (JBRI) has been dedicated to improving the lives of children and their families for over 90 years. With a long-standing commitment to providing support and resources, JBRI has played a vital role in creating positive impacts on communities. The Majella Project, an innovative and compassionate initiative, is set to launch on May 20, 2024. This intensive outpatient program is specifically designed to support pregnant women who are facing a substance use disorder so their unborn children can be born in a safe and stable environment. By partnering with experts in the field, The Majella Project aims to provide expectant mothers with the necessary resources, guidance, and skills to overcome addiction and embrace motherhood with optimism. Pregnancy is a transformative and vulnerable period in a woman’s life. For those struggling with substance use disorders, the journey becomes even more complex. The Majella Project recognizes the unique needs of these expectant mothers and seeks to provide a comprehensive and holistic approach to their recovery and well-being. The program will offer a range of services including substance abuse recovery using the evidence-based curricula from The Change Companies including:

  • Women in Recovery
  • Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
  • Trauma in Life
  • Strengthening My Parenting Skills

Through a combination of counseling, therapy, education, and support groups, participants will gain the tools and knowledge to address their addiction head-on. The Majella Project will also prioritize the physical and emotional health of the mothers and their babies, offering classes, hosted by experts, in prenatal care, nutritional guidance, and financial resources. These services will include, but are not limited to, lactation consultancy, car seat safety, and sleep safety.

The Majella Project will offer a supportive network that empowers women to break free from the cycle of addiction and build a brighter future for themselves and their children. “We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential, and that journey begins before birth,” said Tim Webb, JBRI Outpatient Director. “By providing comprehensive support and guidance, we are confident that The Majella Project will make a lasting impact on the lives of these courageous women and their children.” The Majella Project is actively seeking partnerships and collaborations with healthcare providers, community organizations, and individuals dedicated to supporting pregnant women with substance use disorders. Together, we can create a community of care and compassion that transforms lives. For more information about The Majella Project and how to get involved, please visit, contact Vickie Butts at, or call JBRI Outpatient Services at (757) 524-5585.

May 7, 2024

It is a bittersweet day at The Barry Robinson Center as we bid farewell to Mr. Willie Linn, a beloved member of the team for over 34 years. Willie’s retirement marks the end of an era, leaving behind a legacy of dedication, compassion, and unwavering commitment to the well-being of the Center’s residents. Throughout his tenure, Willie has been an integral part of the recreation therapy department, bringing joy and laughter to the lives of countless young individuals. Whether it was organizing team-building activities, leading outdoor adventures, or simply lending a listening ear, Willie has had a profound impact on the lives of the residents he worked with. He instilled in them a sense of hope, resilience, and the belief that they could overcome any obstacle in their way.

Willie led the Scouting Troop, providing guidance and mentorship to the young scouts. Through community service projects and leadership development, he nurtured their potential and helped them discover their own strengths and abilities. Many of those scouts went on to achieve great things, thanks to Willie’s unwavering support and belief in their potential. However, Willie’s impact is not limited to the residents and scouts alone. He has a knack for recognizing the talents and potential of his fellow colleagues, and he took it upon himself to help them find their path in the field of behavioral health. Through his guidance and encouragement, he inspired and mentored numerous employees, helping them grow both personally and professionally. Willie’s ability to see the best in others and empower them to reach for their dreams is truly remarkable. Willie is more than just a colleague; he is a friend, a confidant, and a source of inspiration for all who have the privilege of knowing him. His warm smile, contagious laughter, and genuine care for others touch the hearts of everyone he encounters. He has a way of making people feel seen, heard, and valued, creating a nurturing and supportive environment for both staff and residents alike.

As the news of Willie’s retirement spread throughout the center, there was a collective sense of sadness and loss. The void left by his departure will be difficult to fill. But amidst the sadness, there is also a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for the incredible impact he has made during his time at The Barry Robinson Center. Willie Linn is not just an employee; he is a guiding light, a beacon of hope, and a symbol of the transformative power of compassion and dedication.

His unwavering commitment to helping others find their path, his ability to uplift and empower those around him, and his immense heart will forever be cherished and remembered. As Willie embarks on this new chapter of his life, the residents, the staff, and the entire Barry Robinson Center community wish him nothing but the very best. They know that his impact will continue to live on in the countless lives he has touched and the wings he has given to so many. Willie Linn will be deeply missed, but his legacy will forever be a part of the Center’s fabric, a reminder of the incredible impression one person can make on the lives of others.

February 23, 2024

In the quiet corners of a West Coast home steeped in the echoes of service and sacrifice, a family stands at a crossroads, navigating the delicate balance between love, duty, and the well-being of their military-connected teenager. As anxiety and depression cast shadows over their daughter’s path, Mom and Dad, two veterans, one disabled, who have weathered the storms of service together, find themselves grappling with a decision that carries the weight of their sacrifices and the hope for a brighter future. For their teenage daughter, raised in the embrace of duty and honor, the demands of military life contribute to her anxiety and depression, casting a veil of uncertainty over her once-vibrant spirit and love of school.

As the family comes to terms with the challenges that lie ahead, the prospect of residential care at The Barry Robinson Center emerges as a beacon of hope – a sanctuary where their daughter can find solace and the support she needs to navigate the complexities of her mental health journey.

In the embrace of family therapy, a space is carved out for healing and understanding, where the wounds of service-related trauma and the commitment to military life are laid bare. Through shared conversations and moments of vulnerability, Mom and Dad confront the complexities of their roles as parents and veterans. They delve into the depths of their shared experiences, and the family finds comfort in the power of connection, recognizing that healing is not a solitary journey but a collective effort that weaves together the threads of love, sacrifice, and resilience. In the safety of family therapy sessions, walls crumble and barriers dissolve, paving the way for open communication, mutual understanding, and a renewed sense of unity in the face of adversity.

The decision to consider residential care is not merely a practical choice but a profound act of love rooted in the unwavering commitment of parents to ensure their child’s well-being. The dedicated team of professionals at The Barry Robinson Center, many of whom have a personal connection to the military or a deep understanding of military culture, welcomes each new resident with a renewed sense of hope and, through the various therapies at the Center, works tirelessly to encourage positive outcomes and healing.

The Barry Robinson Center’s unwavering commitment to military families is rooted in the organization’s ninety-year mission of improving the lives of children and their families. The Center has welcomed residents, ages 11–17, from 47 states and 7 countries with the goal of helping those families that stand to preserve our freedom and safety.

To learn more about The Barry Robinson Center please visit

December 8, 2023

Norfolk, Virginia – Founded downtown in 1856, the Hospital of St. Vincent dePaul, more recently known as DePaul Hospital, was more than “just a hospital.” It was a ministry of hope and mercy to patients and their families; it was a place of joy when new family members were born, and a place of loving care for those living their final moments. Thus, it is not surprising that, when this cherished institution closed in 2021, so many wondered what would happen to the property.

During the last ninety years, The Barry-Robinson Trust, an organization founded by Norfolk businessman Frederick J. Robinson, has been driven by its Catholic heritage and mission to improve the lives of children and their families. Currently, the organization’s programs include The James Barry-Robinson Institute, providing residential treatment to military-connected youth, foster care services for Hampton Roads children and teens, as well as an outpatient program for teens and young adults facing substance abuse challenges. The Trust also established Saint Patrick Catholic School in 2005, with the mission of cultivating future generations of courageous and compassionate student leaders. Barry-Robinson has now launched Next Step to Success (NSTS) as a bold initiative to tackle the high rate of intergenerational poverty in Norfolk.

Currently, NSTS is serving 70 youth next door at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, providing transportation to attend its afterschool and summer “experiential learning” programs that encourage youth between the ages of 13 and 18 to develop the character strengths and higher self-expectations necessary to achieve their full God-given potential. In just its third year, Next Step To Success has outgrown its current location. So, when the opportunity arose to acquire Virginia’s oldest Catholic hospital property, to be repurposed to serve the future generations of this City’s youth, it  seemed providential.

The new home for Next Step to Success will be called the St. Vincent de Paul House. It will take approximately two years to build and will incorporate a beautiful campus of “learning houses”, a gymnasium, dining hall, gardens and a regulation-size soccer field, dedicated to serve up to 300 future “Success Stories” from Norfolk’s most underserved communities. Rob McCartney, CEO, states, “The team at The James Barry-Robinson Institute is honored to continue its service to the Norfolk and greater Hampton Roads community with programs that lead with compassion and hope while giving great consideration to the memory of DePaul Hospital and the countless families impacted by their unwavering commitment to care.”

Next Step to Success

Next Step to Success is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that offers teens a wide range of activities that will inspire and propel them to become more confident and capable versions of themselves. Through highly intentional programming, teens will learn strategies to maximize their chances for success. Life skills and character strengths such as resilience, grit, growth mindset, learned optimism, self-control, teamwork, problem-solving, and responsible decision-making are central to our program. Next Step to Success is an affiliate of The James Barry-Robinson Institute and the Barry-Robinson Trust.

August 7, 2023

Norfolk, Virginia – The Barry Robinson Center, the nation’s only residential treatment program exclusively dedicated to serving military-connected youth and their families, has announced that Mandi Wines has been promoted to Vice President of Operations with immediate effect. After a nine-month exhaustive nationwide search, Wines, who has been with the organization for five years as the Clinical Director for the Girls’ Program, was chosen for the position.

Previously, Wines oversaw clinical programming, therapy assignments, communicated with families, and managed interns in the highly sought-after internship program at The Barry Robinson Center. In her new role, Wines will oversee clinical programming for the entirety of the residential program, as well as nursing staff, educational programming, nutrition, and campus infrastructure.

CEO Robert McCartney states, “Mandi is a tremendous leader. She not only understands the culture of competency, kindness, and fun at The Barry Robinson Center; she uses that culture to promote successful outcomes among our staff, our residents, and their families. We are fortunate to have such a talented team of executives to look towards when making these significant changes in leadership, and I am looking forward to the continued growth of all our programs as we maintain our steadfast commitment to the youth and young adults we serve through The James BarryRobinson Institute.”

As a twenty-three-year resident of Hampton Roads and a graduate of Eastern Virginia Medical School, Wines is deeply committed to continuing the remarkable success at The Barry Robinson Center. “I am incredibly proud of the work we do here, and I am humbled by the strength and determination of our residents and their families. This new role will allow me to continue to walk alongside the youth here as they heal and take the next steps towards successful futures, and I am grateful for the opportunity,” said Wines.

About The Barry Robinson Center

The Barry Robinson Center is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides a holistic environment that sets military-connected youth and their families on the path to healing. Our staff includes qualified and compassionate therapists, teachers, counselors, doctors, nurses, and dietitians. Our open, college-like campus on the border of Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia, combines modern residential facilities with several original colonial-style buildings dating to 1933. This combination makes it one of the most beautiful and unique residential treatment centers in the region. Our campus provides a safe and serene setting for programs designed to help military-connected youth and their families overcome emotional and behavioral difficulties.

For press inquiries, please contact:

Elizabeth Stuart
Director of Communications
The James Barry-Robinson Institute
(757) 320-6083

March 24, 2023

Some of the BRC School staff display certificates of achievement presented during an ice cream social to celebrate the VAISEF accreditation.


The Barry Robinson Center (BRC) recently received another five-year accreditation for its educational program from the Virginia Association of Independent Specialized Education Facilities (VAISEF).

VAISEF is an association of Virginia private providers of specialized education and services for children and youth with special needs, and their families. VAISEF accredits private special education programs that are regulated by the Virginia Department of Education.

“We’re very pleased to earn another five-year accreditation from VAISEF for our school,” said Eric Krumich, vice president of education for BRC. “It’s a rigorous review process that keeps us accountable and demonstrates our commitment to excellence for our residents’ academic progress during residential treatment.”

VAISEF’s accreditation standards serve as “indicators” of educational excellence, including governance, supervision, staff development, student management, professional and paraprofessional training, instructional services, student records, safety, parental involvement and much more.

“Our teachers, teacher assistants and other staff worked very hard to prepare for the VAISEF review team, alongside their regular duties,” Krumich said. “I’m very proud of our education team and the outstanding work they do every day to serve our residents. This accreditation is a testament to their passion and dedication.”

Learn more about BRC’s education program and about VAISEF.

March 14, 2023

The Barry Robinson Center (BRC) has earned its second consecutive three-year accreditation from CARF International for its residential treatment, counseling/outpatient, and treatment foster care programs. BRC received its first accreditation from CARF in 2020.

CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body that establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services.

CARF Symbol

Three years is CARF’s highest level of accreditation and shows BRC’s significant conformance to CARF standards. An organization receiving a three-year accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process. It has demonstrated to a team of surveyors its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality.

Rob McCartney, CEO, said BRC chose to pursue CARF accreditation because its standards replicated and enhanced BRC’s goals and objectives. Earning the initial accreditation in 2020 and the renewal in 2023 demonstrates BRC’s commitment to improving the lives of children and families.

“CARF’s focus on accountability, collaboration and education are the best fit for our current and future needs,” McCartney said. “CARF also allows us flexibility to decide which programs to accredit. It’s important for us to respond to our community’s changing needs, and CARF allows us to do that.”

BRC’s first CARF accrediting survey in late 2019 involved the survey team spending three days on campus for an extensive review of all clinical and operational systems. This time around, in October 2022, the survey team completed their work virtually.

“The survey team shared how impressed they were with our clinical programs and the engagement and openness of our team members,” McCartney said. “With all the survey preparation and our daily focus on excellence, we were confident CARF would grant us another three-year accreditation.

“We have an exceptional team of dedicated individuals, and we provide great care. We’re proud to hold his accreditation, and we look forward to many more years of partnership with CARF.”

For more information about the accreditation process, visit the CARF website.

Please contact us to learn more about our services or to refer a youth in need