O’Connell Family Centre:
The O’Connell Family Centre is designed to provide support to families with children aged up to four years. It is part of The Mercy Health Foundation and is situated in the suburb of Canterbury in Melbourne, Victoria.
Care and support at OFC is provided by maternal and child health and mothercraft nurses with expertise and qualifications in family centred care. Families receive education and guidance which is tailored to their individual needs. Education sessions cover a broad range of parenting topics. A father’s group is run one evening mid-week.
- Residential Service is offered on site at the residential centre in Canterbury. Up to ten families can be accommodated. There is no fee for this service other than a cost towards a nappy recycling program. Where possible, the whole family can be admitted for a period of up to four days. A letter of referral from a doctor is required for admission.
- Day Stay Programs are also offered at the Canterbury site as well as several locations within Melbourne. Families can self refer for Day Stay at Canterbury through their local maternal and child health nurse. Their Day Stay is currently run on a Monday.
- Community Day Stay can be also arranged between the maternal and child health nurses in Boroondara and Maroondah. There is no cost for these Day Stay services. Boroondara Day Stay provides support for babies aged 6 weeks-6 months.
- A series of educational discussions are run through the year which are designed for “_Making Parenting Easier_”. These sessions are targeted for parents of children in the 2-4 years age range.
- FatherZone is designed as a one day education and support program specifically for dads. It is run according to demand and need. This group is currently being run at the Canterbury site.
- Mercy Breastmilk Bank is in the process of being organized and, at this stage, relies on donations to fund its inception.
Parents can receive specialized support at OFC in the following:
- Feeding and nutrition, in particular breast and formula feeding.
- The introduction of solid foods and age appropriate nutrition.
- Sleep and settling for specific age groups.
- Development and growth of children.
- Management of age appropriate behaviour.
- Developing an age appropriate routine of sleep, feeding, play and interaction.
- Adjustment to parenting and relationship issues.
- Support with mild to moderate post natal depression.
Education and support at OFC is provided one on one, or in groups with other parents.
Contact Details for O’Connell Family Centre:
(03) 8416 7600
Contact Details for Boroondara Day Stay:
03 92784606. Currently this service operates every 2nd and 4th Wednesday from 9am-4pm.
Contact Details for Maroondah Day Stay:
03 98458001. Currently this service operates every Friday from 9am-4pm.
For more information about O’Connell Family Services check www.mercyhealth.net