Residential Program

Mercy Health O’Connell Family Centre is located in Canterbury and is one of three early parenting centres in Victoria. We support the wellbeing of the whole family for families with children up to the age of 4 years. Our services are directed towards families who are experiencing complex issues and who require increased support in addition to the support provided by the professionals in the local community. 

The Residential program is a 2-4 night program for families with children up to the age of 4 years

There are criteria for admission to our Residential program and some families may not meet these criteria. There is also a waiting period for all our services.

Each family has an initial intake assessment and is then offered a program that best meets their needs. We are committed to providing you with quality care, supporting the wellbeing of your familiy and meeting your individual needs during your residential stay. 


What to expect during your stay


Admission to the residential program will give you an opportunity to explore issues that are affecting your parenting capacity and areas of concern to you. You will be responsible for all aspects of your child or children's care during your admission.

Our clinical team consists of maternal and child health nurses, midwives, mothercraft nurses, early childhood workers, a psychiatrist and a psychologist.

Our team will assist you in developing a care plan for your family's stay. Your care plan is flexible and individual. You will receive support and counselling. There is an expectation that you will also join in group information sessions with other families as other families experiences may be similar to your own.

There are daily information sessions on:  

  Toddler behaviour
  Normal infant and child development
  Self care
  Sleeping and child cues
  Mental wellbeing 

Information sessions include:

  Reading activities with your child

Play sessions and fun activities

Partners are encouraged to attend the program, either admitted with the family for all or part of the program or attend as a visitor only.

Sessions offered for partners:


Wednesday play activities with your child

Sessions offered for dads:


Fathers are encouraged to attend the evening session on 'Dads of the Residential Program' led by the Fathering Facilitator


Mercy Health O'Connell Family Centre is a registered public hospital and you will be admitted as a public patient. If any admitted member of your family is taking medication, you will be required to provide a medications list from your doctor.

Please note that some fees are associated with nappy disposal and extra meals.

NOTE: Credit card facilities are not available.



Each family is allocated two bedrooms for their use. Parents can choose to have their child in the same or separate room.

Bathroom facilities are shared between families and disabled facilities are available.

Meals are provided, please advise of your family's specific dietary requirements when booking to come for admission.

Our centre includes:

  An outdoor play area
  Communal lounge, dining areas and family kitchen
  Free onsite car parking




Mercy Health O'Connell Family Centre is a smoke free site, including all buildings and grounds.

Click here for: 

 our residential stay brochure  
-   more information on ' Dads of the Residential Program'
  • ​-
Babies Blokes BBQ
-   patient information details  
-   professional referral.  






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