The Child and Family Health Service (CaFHS) offers a free short stay live-in residential service (Torrens House) to all South Australian families with infants aged up to 12 months who may need intense support with unresolved feeding, settling and sleeping issues. Located at 295 South Terrace, Adelaide (between Pulteney and Hutt Streets), Torrens House offers a 3½ day stay from Tuesday through to Friday for up to 9 families (6 or 7 placements for infants under 6 months of age, and 2 - 3 placements for infants between 6 - 12 months).
Families are guided by a qualified team of nurses, social workers, psychologists, General Practitioners and paediatric registrars who are committed to working in partnership with families to:
- build confidence in communicating with their baby
- learn new skills to help baby with feeding, settling and sleeping
- develop a care plan that will support you at home and continue your journey as a caregiver.
Torrens House staff are skilled in areas such as breastfeeding, settling, sleeping, nutrition, and infant development and will discuss what you want to achieve during your stay, and work holistically with you to achieve your goals.
How do I access Torrens House?
The initial step is to discuss your situation with a CaFHS nurse by calling 1300 733 606 to make an appointment at your nearest CaFHS centre. The CaFHS nurse will discuss the range of support options, which may include a subsequent centre or home visits, Day Service or referral to additional support services. Frequently, you may find you no longer require Torrens House after being supported by regular visits with a CaFHS nurse or through accessing the Day Service.
If your issue remains unresolved, a referral to Torrens House may be the next step. The CaFHS nurse will complete the required paperwork and forward it to Torrens House for assessment. The Intake Coordinator will organise a placement for families as quickly as possible. However, the waiting period for a Torrens House admission will be variable and depends on a number of factors, including the age of your infant, the issues you are experiencing and the number of referrals at the time.
Occasionally, families who have been offered placements, cancel their admission, so families on the waiting list may be contacted as late as Tuesday morning to see if they are available to come in that day.
What happens once a place becomes available?
Each week, the Intake Coordinator assesses all referrals and will advise your referring CaFHS nurse of the outcome.
Once a placement is available for you, the Intake Coordinator will contact you to confirm your admission date and time, discuss admission time, personal requirements, and any other special requirements you may have.
What happens after my CaFHS nurse makes a referral to Torrens House?
The referring CaFHS nurse will keep in regular contact whilst you are awaiting Torrens House admission. Your CaFHS nurse will also provide the Intake Coordinator at Torrens House with regular updates of your progress.
What if my baby or I get sick when we’re due to be admitted?
Please contact your CaFHS nurse and/or the Intake Coordinator on 8303 1522 as soon as possible, between Monday - Friday 8.00am - 4.00pm, if you or your baby is unwell or any other reason you may not be available for admission.
What if my baby or I become unwell during our stay?
If you or your baby become unwell while in Torrens House, you may be asked to leave to prevent spread of infection. However, staff will discuss other ways to support you and/or provide an additional stay at a later date.
Do I have my own room?
Yes, every family has its own room with a queen-sized bed, cot, individual air conditioning and ensuite facilities. We encourage partners or other support person to stay and be involved as much as they are able. If your partner or support person needs to work during the day, they are still welcome to stay at Torrens House in the evening and overnight.
Unfortunately, we do not have the facilities for toddlers or other children to stay. They are however, welcome to visit and may have meals with you.
Can I co-sleep with my baby?
No, Torrens House does not recommend co-sleeping and your baby will be settled to sleep in their own cot, in your room, during your stay.
What will a normal day at Torrens House look like?
What activities do you have available during my stay?
Mindfulness focuses on paying attention to the present moment, noticing the patterns and habits of your thinking and looking at how you respond when you feel overwhelmed. During this session we will practice some simple mindfulness techniques that many parents may find helpful with their transition to parenting and the day to day challenges that parenting can bring.
Research studies and families are discovering that massage can help babies and toddlers sleep better, settle more easily, and comfort and soothe babies who are unsettled. This group provides another great way to connect with your baby and find different ways to soothe and calm them, while at the same time enjoying all benefits you can experience too.
Life with baby
Having a baby can be a joyous experience, but for some parents the experience is different to what they imagined.
The change for some families as they adjust to parenting with additional family members, lack of sleep, financial pressure and the burden of never-ending housework can be overwhelming and impact on how you feel about yourself and your relationship with others.
This group is focused on female caregivers, as we discuss the best ways to try and navigate through this period in life, strengthen relationships and support each other through the ups and downs of parenting and family wellbeing. If father/male care-givers are interested in a support group environment, please speak with staff who can provide more information.
What do I need to bring?
You will have a dedicated room for the entire duration of your stay with us and we encourage you to bring in items from home.
By using your own items, staff can better plan your care and you will feel more comfortable following your care plan when you leave Torrens House.
We encourage you to bring in items that you would normally need when away from home for a few days:
- Your baby’s clothes and sleeping bag (if using one)
- Toiletries for yourself and baby
- If you are breastfeeding and using feeding aids please bring them with you (e.g. nipple shield, supply line, pump for expressing)
- If using infant formula – bring your own formula, bottles, caps, teats, bottle brush and sterilising equipment
- Disposable nappies, nappy wipes and nappy disposal bags
- Pram, wrap sheet, a favourite toy and/or book
- Pillows are supplied but you are welcome to bring your own
- Any medication you or your baby take, in its original packaging
- Your baby’s My Health and Development Record (Blue Book)
- Medicare card
- Laundry facilities are available
Do I need to bring in my own meals?
Not at all. We will provide you and your partners meals (7am breakfast, 12pm lunch and 6pm dinner), in addition to providing meals for your baby (if they are eating solids).
Please let your referring nurse know if you or your baby have any special dietary needs.
You are welcome to bring in some preferred food or snacks. They will need to be labelled and can be kept in your room or in the communal kitchen.
What if my baby or I have an allergy or special dietary requirements?
We are able to accommodate any allergy or special dietary requirement, so please make you let the Intake Coordinator know, during the admission process, and also advise your dedicated CaFHS staff.
Do you have onsite car parking?
There is limited onsite car parking facilities, and country clients are given preference. We encourage families to arrange for someone to drop you off.
There is onsite night time parking for partners who stay overnight and work during the day.
Two hour parking is also available on South Terrace and Louisa Street.
Can I come and go during my stay?
You are free to come and go from Torrens House during your stay, however please tell staff, so we know where you and your baby are. You are encouraged to attend any scheduled appointments during your stay.
Can I have visitors during my stay?
Visitors are welcome, however we suggest you limit the number of people so you can gain maximum benefit from your time here.
When will I go home?
You can be discharged on Friday any time between 9am to 1.30pm.
What happens after I leave Torrens House?
We aim for you to feel confident in returning home and continuing with the care plan we have developed in partnership with you during your stay.
Your care plan will be provided to the CaFHS nurse who initially referred you to Torrens House, so they can continue to support you once you have returned home.
For any questions or for further information, please contact the Torrens House Intake Coordinator, Torrens House on 8303 1522.
Download the Torrens House brochure (1mb)