It is a priority that every child has a positive care experience during their stay. Each child is encouraged to reach their full potential in order to improve their and their family’s quality of life. A skilled, dedicated team provides occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, dietetics, education, and psycho-social support. They are supported by rehabilitation care workers, child and youth care workers, a social auxiliary worker and pre-school teaching assistant.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy might sound job-oriented, but its scope extends far beyond the workplace. Just as it enhances adults’ job performance, occupational therapy is tailored to empower children in crucial facets of their lives. Consider a child’s ‘occupation’ as a dynamic mix of growth, learning, schoolwork, and play. In essence, occupational therapy becomes the guiding force that propels children towards success in these pivotal aspects of their journey to maturity.

At St. Joseph’s, our mission is centered on supporting children facing a spectrum of challenges, be they physical, cognitive, or developmental in nature. Our dedicated focus is to guide them through a transformative journey of habilitation and rehabilitation. The ultimate goal is to empower each child to reclaim their independence, enabling them to proficiently engage in the essential activities of daily life, encompassing self-care, academic pursuits, and the joy of play.

We deliver a comprehensive rehabilitation service that goes beyond conventional approaches, ensuring holistic support for every child under our care. Our offerings include:

  • Functional restoration achieved through a nuanced blend of physical and neuro rehabilitation, perceptual training, and activities of daily living (ADL) training. We also delve into scholastic abilities and cognitive rehabilitation within our specialized scope.

  • Early intervention and developmental stimulation designed to nurture and unlock a child’s full potential.

  • Gentle and therapeutic baby massage sessions tailored to promote well-being.

  • Targeted neurodevelopmental therapy for a personalized approach to each child’s unique needs.

  • Expertise in providing customized splinting and assistive devices as needed.

  • School readiness assessments and seamless referrals to ensure a smooth educational transition.

  • Thoughtful strategies for re-integrating a child into school life, or assistance in applying to special schools upon discharge.

  • Engaging participation in recreational and therapeutic groups, fostering skills development, life skills, and social skills.

  • Comprehensive parent and caregiver training and support, recognizing the integral role they play in a child’s journey towards independence.

Our commitment lies in offering a spectrum of services that not only address immediate needs but also pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive future for every child.


Physiotherapy helps the children to be as physically independent as possible, within the limits of their impairment or physical difficulties. The key focus is on restoration and acquisition of gross motor functional skills. A variety of treatment strategies is employed to improve a child’s participation in daily life, often using therapeutic play to optimise function.

Treatments are geared towards improving muscle strength, muscle tone, balance, endurance, coordination, mobility and physical independence.

Services include:

  • Rehabilitation of children with neurological or orthopaedic injuries, burns, and other physical impairments
  • Neurodevelopmental therapy
  • Developmental stimulation for gross motor delays and prevention of secondary complications
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Management of mobility assistive devices – application, fitting and maintenance
  • Aqua-therapy

Speech and Language Therapy

The speech therapy team follows a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to treating each child’s needs. Ongoing assessment of their environment and routines ensure that speech and language use is stimulated, social interaction with their peers is encouraged, and opportunities for play and exploring are created. If necessary, the referral hospital is consulted for further investigations and interventions.

There is an increasing number of children with complex feeding and swallowing disorders, as well as a diverse range of medically and neurologically related speech and communication disorders. Speech and language therapists assess the children and provide direct and indirect management to those needing communication or feeding therapy, or stimulation. A wide range of treatment strategies and modalities are used to ensure each goal is reached and to facilitate successful reintegration home and back into their community.


St. Joseph’s offers nutrition support for a wide range of conditions including severe malnutrition, neurological or genetic conditions, and trauma, as well as milk feeds for infants under one.

Children thrive when their daily nutritional needs are optimally met. Each child’s growth is monitored regularly by the dietitian, and a personalised diet plan is developed. This may include specialised supplements and feeding methods, such as continuous feeds. Dietitians and speech therapists work together to ensure that nutritional intake is both safe and effective. Families who experience food insecurity are referred for ongoing nutritional support within their community.


A child’s right to education is upheld as far as possible. Mainstream learners receive an adapted home-schooling programme facilitated by the child and youth care workers. Those with special needs access an onsite Western Cape Education Department Learners with Special Educational Needs (LSEN) school. After school homework support is provided to ensure that children keep the learning journey momentum.