Residential stay programsLocations:
Our two-to-four night residential programs run between Monday morning and Friday morning. You will be given an individual admission day and time for your arrival. Discharge time is by 9am.
Each week, up to eight families are admitted to Mercy Health O’Connell Family Centre. The centre is a communal setting with shared dining and play spaces. All families are allocated two rooms: a parents’ room and child’s room.
We help you develop a care plan to work towards the changes you want to make and build your confidence as a parent. Your plan will be reviewed daily in collaboration with you. Each staff member cares for three or four families per shift.
While you are staying with us you will be responsible for all the care of your child/children. Staff will guide, support and provide individualised care while acknowledging that you are the expert when it comes to your own child.
All Mercy Health facilities are smoke, alcohol and drug-free
Before you come in we ask you to think about the challenges you may be having and identify goals you would like to begin to achieve during your stay.
Maternal and Child Health Line
13 22 29
A 24-hour telephone service for families of children aged from birth to school age.
Australian Breastfeeding Association
1800 686 268
A 24-hour breastfeeding helpline providing mother to mother breastfeeding support.
National Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Help Line
1300 726 306
Support and information on anxiety and depression before and after the baby is born. Operating Monday to Friday 10am–5pm.
13 11 14
A 24-hour service providing crisis and suicide prevention services.
1300 726 306
A 24-hour service providing professional telephone support, online support and information for men.
1300 22 4636
A 24-hour service providing information and support to achieve best possible mental health.
1300 30 1300
Provides phone counselling, information and referral service, operating seven days a week from 8am–10 pm.
Find us at:
6 Mont Albert Road, Canterbury, VIC
Canterbury Victoria 3126
For more information on getting here, visit O’Connell Family Centre .
Corner of Mont Albert Road and Parlington Street. Car park entrance is from Parlington Street.
How can people get access?
All families require a referral by a health professional to access our services.
Reception hours are Monday to Friday, 8.30am–5pm
What to do before
After we receive your referral, an intake staff member will call you to ask some questions. You will then be sent more information about the program. There will be some forms that you need to fill in and bring with you on the day of admission.
Before you come in
Before you attend our residential program, it is important that all family members are well enough to participate in the program. Please notify us if your family are unwell in the seven days prior to admission. This helps us prevent the spread of infections at the centre. If you, or a member of your family, become unwell on the day of the program please let us know. If you are unable to attend, your booking will be rescheduled
Please inform us if you or your child has an allergy to food or any other substance before you come to the Mercy Health O’Connell Family Centre. If you or your child needs an allergy management plan or an epipen, please bring it with you. OFC has a nut minimisation policy. For the safety of everyone in our care, please do not bring any nut products to the O’Connell Family Centre.
Please think about any parenting challenges you have and identify some goals you would like to work towards during your stay.
What to bring
What you will need to bring:
- Medicare card
- your family’s medications in a snap lock bag
- a letter from your GP listing your prescription medications and your current dose of each medication
- Child Health record book (Green Book)
- cot sheets and linen for your child’s sleeping needs – what your baby normally sleeps with, for example wraps, blanket or sleeping bag (no weighted sleeping bags or blankets)
- play mat for the floor
- drink bottle for yourself
- child’s sipper cup if required
- your child’s favourite toys
- crayons, pencils and textas if appropriate for your child
- clothing and toiletries for you and your child, including appropriate night wear for all family members
- disposable nappies, wipes and nappy bags (cloth nappies cannot be used at OFC)
- any special food you may need, for example if your baby eats ‘infant cereal’ such as rice cereal (we provide Weetbix, Rice Bubbles, Cornflakes and All Bran)
- sunscreen and hats for outdoor play ( October-April)
- warm and wet weather gear for outdoor play (May–September)
- personal items to help comfort your child such as a dummy or special toy
- breastmilk and breast pump if required
- formula and bottles if required
- pram or stroller
- a notebook, if you wish to record details of your stay.
Mercy Health O’Connell Family Centre provides all meals for you and your child during your stay, however, you may also wish to bring:
- a familiar meal for your child/children for the first night to help them settle in for the week
- your favourite snack/s.
Allergies and meals:
Please inform us if you or your child has an allergy to food or any other substance before you come to Mercy Health O’Connell Family Centre. If you or your child needs an allergy management plan or an epipen, please bring it with you.
Mercy Health O’Connell Family Centre has a nut minimisation policy. For the safety of everyone in our care, please do not bring any nut products to our centre.
Before you come in
Before you attend our residential program, it is important that all family members are well enough to participate in the program. Please notify us if your family are unwell in the seven days prior to admission.
Mercy Health O’Connell Family Centre is a public service. The only cost for the residential program is a nappy disposal service fee at the rate of $10 per day during your admission. We prefer payments by EFTPOS but can accept cash.
Please be aware Mercy Health O’Connell Family Centre does not have WiFi.
What to expect on the day
The Residential Program runs for two-to-four nights.
We are a public hospital. The only cost is a nappy disposal service fee of $10 per day of admission, payable by cash or EFTPOS
We provide breakfast, morning tea, lunch, dinner and fresh fruit. You are welcome to bring your own snacks they must be nut-free.
Please discuss any dietary requirements with staff before your arrival. We do our best to accommodate your dietary needs.
Throughout your stay with us, you will be supported by a multidisciplinary team including:
- maternal and child health nurses
- nurses and midwives
- enrolled nurses
- early childhood workers
- a men’s group facilitator.
What questions should you ask
When you are admitted, you will be asked to sign some documents, including privacy and public hospital admission forms. Staff will discuss what each form means for you. Each staff member cares for two or three families.
We will help develop an individualised care plan based on your family’s needs. This will help you work towards your specific goals.
You will be responsible for the care of your children while participating in the program. Our staff will guide, support and provide individualised strategies, with an understanding that you are the expert when it comes to your own child.
You will be given an individual date and time for your admission. Discharge time is 9am.
Who to call if you have concerns afterwards
Please call your Maternal and Child Health Nurse, GP or your other community health professionals for support after discharge.
For health professionals
Residential programs work with families to:
- increase parenting skills and confidence, in turn helping families raise and protect their children
- provide services that are individual and culturally sensitive in meeting family and parenting needs
- promote community and professional awareness of caring for and nurturing the needs of young children
- help families function independently within their own communities by developing connections with other services.
Dads, partners or other carers are encouraged to participate in the program.
If family members or attendees are taking prescription medications, they must provide a list of medications from their GP upon admission. Please note, we do not stock any medications on site.
How to prepare the patient
We are a public hospital. The only cost is a nappy disposal service fee. This is $10 per day of admission, payable by EFTPOS or cash.
Families will be sent a list of what to bring during their stay.
What/when you should refer to us
You should refer families to this service if you identify issues that are impacting on their parenting capacity. These issues may include:
- difficulty adjusting to parenting and family relationships
- difficulty adjusting socially and emotionally
- feeding and nutrition challenges
- growth and development challenges
- behavioural challenges
- general parenting skills including sleep and settling challenges
- managing multiple births (for example, twins or triplets).
What/when you should not refer to us
We are not a crisis service or an inpatient mental health service. Clients referred to us may wait one-to-three months from receipt of referral until service delivery.
There is high demand for a residential stay for families who are experiencing challenges and wait times for this service can be lengthy. We ask that families who may be able to be assisted by other community services be directed to those supports first.
6 Mont Albert Road, Canterbury, VIC
Canterbury Victoria 3126
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