Torrens House is a residential unit located at 295 South Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia (between Pultney and Hutt Streets, opposite the Japanese Gardens). Torrens House is part of the Child and Family Health Service (CaFHS).
It offers a free service to families with infants aged up to 12 months who are accommodated for a 3½ day stay, Tuesday - Friday (the unit is not open at other times). Only babies and parents who are 'well' (no respiratory illness, diarrhoea, etc.) are admitted into the unit. If you or your infant become unwell during your stay, you may need to go home to protect other clients.
Families are admitted to Torrens House when requiring additional assistance with unresolved feeding, settling and sleeping issues to provide more intensive support to address identified health issues.
Torrens House is a non-smoking site.
When considering admission to Torrens House, the initial step is to discuss your situation with a Child and Family Health nurse from your local child health centre. The nurse will discuss support options which may include other appointments or referrals as a first step. (Day Service is usually attended prior to Torrens House. Frequently, families may find they no longer require Torrens House after being supported by the local nurse or Day Service).
If your issue is still unresolved a referral to Torrens House may be the next step. The clinic nurse will complete the required paperwork and forward it to Torrens House for assessment. The referring nurse will keep in regular contact whilst you are awaiting Torrens House admission. In this way you can be supported, and the nurse will also provide the Intake Coordinator with regular updates of your progress. It is important to let the referring nurse know of any illness or other reasons you may not be available for admission, as well as mobile or other telephone contact numbers that will enable contact with you at this time.
The Intake Coordinator assesses all referrals each week and will advise your referring nurse of the outcome.
Once a placement is available for you, the Coordinator will contact you to confirm your admission date and provide you with information regarding admission time, personal requirements, and any special needs you may have. You will be given a specific time for admission - it is important for you to be prompt so staff can spend the necessary time with you.
Torrens House offers places to 6 or 7 families with infants under 6 months of age, and 2 - 3 placements for infants between 6 - 12 months, each week. 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.
If you are offered a placement and then for any reason you are not able to keep the place, ie. your baby is unwell, please contact CaFHS staff on 8303 1522 as soon as possible between business hours, Monday - Friday 8.00am - 4.00pm.
Each room has a queen-sized bed, individual air conditioning and ensuite facilities. A small fridge is located in your room. We encourage partners to stay and be involved as much as they are able. They may need to go to work in the day but can still stay in TH 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.
Infants under 6 months of age sleep in their parent's room in their own cot.
Infants over 6 months are encouraged to sleep in their parents room. However there is accommodation for them in their own individual nursery rooms. (Parents will still attend to their infants as required).
*Whilst staying in Torrens House, it is necessary for your infant to sleep according to SIDS guidelines.
Click individual images to enlarge.
Torrens House is able to offer support through a wide range of health professionals. The staff are skilled in a wide range of areas including breastfeeding, nutrition, settling and infant development.
Most of your care will be provided by nursing staff, but we also have part time doctors, a mental health nurse and social worker. We do suggest that, if you have any health concerns for you or your infant, you consult your own GP prior to admission.
Click image to enlarge
to bring in
- Day and night clothes, and toiletries for yourself and your infant, eg. soap, creams, any lotions, baby wipes, tissues
- Disposable nappies (and nappy disposal bags if you use them)
- Any medication you or your infant are taking
- Your infant's Child and Family Health Record Book
- Your Medicare card
- Washing powder for a front load machine if required (full laundry facilities are available)
- Your own pillow (if preferred)
- A few toys, books etc.
- Wrap sheet or sleeping bag if required (cotton only)
- Baby monitor if your infant is sleeping in another room
- Sipper cup if used
If you are using any breastfeeding aids, eg. nipple shield, electric or hand pump for expressing, or other aids, please bring them with you.
If you are formula feeding please bring your own formula as well as bottles, caps and teats, bottle brush, plus your sterilising equipment.
- All furniture, equipment and linen.
- Meals, including meals appropriate for a child over 6 months.
- Mealtimes are:
- Breakfast: prior to 9.00am
- Lunch: 12 midday
- Dinner: 6pm
- Mealtimes are 30 minutes duration. Your partner and/or other children may join you.
Please notify staff of any dietary restrictions.
- Snacks are available from a small kitchenette area throughout the day. There is tea, coffee or water to drink. You are welcome to bring extra snacks.
There are limited car parking facilities, so we would suggest wherever possible someone drop you off. Country clients are given preference for parking.
We are however, able to offer secure night time parking for any partners who may wish to stay overnight.
On admission to Torrens House, the nursing staff will discuss your goals and in partnership support you to develop strategies to meet these goals during your stay.
During your stay in Torrens House, all infants are required to sleep safely. This means they must only sleep in their cots, be settled on their backs and have nothing else in their cot.
Infants are not wrapped for settling once they can roll during playtime. Staff will support you with using your sleeping bag or tucking in a top sheet for settling.
Visitors are welcome. Due to our security requirements, they will need to sign in and wear a 'visitor badge' during the office hours of 8.00 am - 5.00 pm. Please access the unit via the front entrance during office hours. Out of hours entrance is available via Louisa Street.
All visitors to the unit are required to sign in the visitors book at Torrens House. Please ask visitors not to come if they are unwell.
If you have any queries regarding Torrens House, speak with your local CaFHS Nurse or Parent Helpline staff.
On discharge from Torrens House, staff will assist you to ensure suitable follow-up support is available from your local CaFHS Services. Any questions you have after your discharge from Torrens House should be directed to either your local CaFHS or Parent Helpline staff.
Discharge time is usually prior to 2.00pm on Friday. Some weeks discharge time will vary, but staff will discuss this with you, if necessary.
House Intake Coordinator
Women's and Children's Health Network
295 South Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
Torrens House brochure
Download the brochure (1mb)