About St Joseph’s Home

Vision

St Joseph’s Home strives to be recognised as an excellent paediatric, intermediate healthcare in-patient facility working within a Christian ethos.

Mission

To provide holistic healthcare to children from disadvantaged backgrounds to ensure survival and wellbeing. We empower children and their families to look after their health so as to prevent readmissions to hospitals and to improve their quality of life. As such we act as a bridge between hospital and home.

We offer the following services, promote wellness, and empower children and families to prevent re-admissions after discharge. The “Best Interest of the Child” is paramount in the service we provide and as such, we offer the following services:

  • Post acute care
  • Restorative and rehabilitative care
  • Palliative care
  • Pastoral care
  • Multi/Inter disciplinary intervention
  • Mainstream and special needs education
  • Nursing training
  • Local and overseas Volunteer placement programme
  • Internships
  • Family accommodation
  • Transport to and from hospitals and home
  • Training placements for medical, nursing, physio, occupational and speech therapy students as well as social work, home based care and rehab care work students.

The “Best Interests of the Child” dictum is paramount in the service we deliver and “The Rights of the Child” as contained in UNCRC (United Nations Convention on Rights of Children) are our guiding principles. The organisation is driven by a Christian Ethos which embodies the values of respect, honesty, integrity, accountability, good governance and compassion.

History

St. Joseph’s was started in 1935 by the Pallottine Missionary Sisters, in response to the Great Depression which forced some families living at the margins of sustainability to abandon their sick children. While the profile of disease has changed since then, the abject poverty that marked our founding remains a reality for many families in South Africa.  To this day, the impact of poverty on children is multi-dimensional. It is not only about lack of money, but includes other deprivations such as lack of access to proper health care, schooling and a living environment conducive to health and wellness.

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With this knowledge and their forward thinking, the Pallottine Missionary Sisters created a paediatric health and wellness model that focused on the holistic wellbeing of the child and the medical care was but one element of the model.

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The holistic treatment approach was designed to give children from impoverished communities and diagnosed with a life threatening illness a chance to live a healthy and balanced life.

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Read our history timeline

Today

The model included and continues to offer

  • access to 24 hour nursing care,
  • access to medical care,
  • rehabilitation in the form of physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy,
  • good nutrition to aid healing,
  • spiritual and emotional support and
  • access to education on our premises in the form of a preschool and a primary school.

Two social workers are an essential part of the model and are responsible for the assessment of the home environment and empowerment of family and caregivers to ensure that each child will be able to live a healthy and balanced life in the long term. The impact of their intervention is to prevent re-admissions.

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St Josephs is located on the Cape Flats and serves the needs of children from impoverished communities and disadvantaged backgrounds that have been diagnosed with life threatening illnesses such as HIV/Aids, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, heart-lung-kidney failures, neurological impairments and congenital abnormalities.  31% of our children have HIV/Aids, 19% suffer from cancer, and 14% have diabetes.  The remainder suffers from renal, cardiac, respiratory and neurological conditions and congenital abnormalities.

Our Little Heroes

Children diagnosed with life threatening illnesses in our care come from poverty stricken homes and in some cases are neglected by the adults who are responsible for taking care of them. Most home circumstances consist of living in a shack or rural village with no running water and electricity. These children need a safe place to undergo treatment and heal. Every year, SJH gives nearly 300 children a second chance at childhood.

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The children are referred from acute State Hospitals such as Red Cross Children’s Hospital, Tygerberg Children’s Hospital and Groote Schuur and need a safe place to undergo treatment and heal. Most children will remain in our care for 6 months to a year while they undergo treatment and rehabilitation. Some children stay longer due to parental neglect of their medical condition and/or as a result of a lack of adequate resources at home. Our social work team work closely with family members and empower them on how to maintain the long term health and wellness of their child.

The Staff

Meet the board, managment and staff of St Joseph’s Home for Children. Read about our staff.

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