St Joseph’s Home (SJH) for Chronically Ill Children

We provide a free 175-bed transitional care facility for children from poorly resourced families. Patients have life-threatening and life limiting conditions and are referred by public hospitals to continue their healing and rehabilitation at SJH. Our holistic and complex health service includes post-acute, palliative and rehabilitative care for children under 18 years of age.

Our Work

Our work: We provide 24-hour specialised and general nursing care; multi-disciplinary interventions like rehabilitation (physio-, occupational- and speech therapy) social work and psychological support, on-site school education, parental empowerment and on-site accommodation, specialised nutrition, logistical support, pastoral care, outreach and follow-up visits and intern/volunteer placement programmes.

Specialist Care

24- hour general and specialised nursing including palliative care with a focus on deepening SJH’s clinical practice.

Our Vision

To become a Centre of Excellence (COE), indispensable to under resourced communities we serve and partner with Western Cape Health, while remaining true to our founding ethos of responding to the needs of the time.

Our History

Located in Montana, Cape Town, the facility was established in 1935 by the Pallottine Missionary Sisters. More than 23,000 Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) have been cared for over a period of 85 years.

Pictures of hope

"We believe that compassion is one of the most potent forms of care particularly for vulnerable children."

Wards - Capacity - Patient Profile 


25 beds

0-18 yrs. Mainly rehabilitation patients.


20 beds

Babies with malnutrition, infectious diseases and congenital abnormalities.


28 beds

1-10 yrs. Patients with cancer, malnutrition, HIV or diabetes

Sweet Basil

32 beds 

0 -10 yrs. Intensity care for oncology, respiratory, neuro-developmental, congenital abnormalities, diabetes.


35 beds

Teenage girls with life-threatening illnesses.


 35 beds

Teenage boys with life-threatening conditions.

Changes in the SJH  operating environment

We are treating more patients with a different profile, provide new specialist services and have employed additional staff. The changes place new demands on our staff, and we are responding positively to the challenge.

The Paediatric Rehabilitation Service (PRS) was established in a pilot phase ending in 2016, responding to needs identified by referring hospitals.  PRS continues to be refined and improved, providing a vital service.  The number of patients for rehabilitation has increased and the profile has changed to include more children with complex conditions and complex therapeutic and medical needs.
The board and management of SJH undertook a comprehensive review of our programmes and service and formed a strategic plan for St Joseph’s to become a Centre of Excellence (COE) within ten years, consolidating our existing service, enhancing and expanding it. As a COE, SJH will strive to become a best-practice model for Paediatric Intermediate Care in the local context.
During 2018 SJH was awarded a tender from the Western Cape Government Health Department to increase the number of beds by 60. Our current bed capacity is 175.
We provide valuable on-site experience to various local and overseas final year students in medicine, nursing, rehab and social work. It also includes local and overseas volunteers.
A music programme was introduced as part of a therapy to “channel energy towards a positive line of creativity”. SJH is a huge consumer of water. We have a borehole, sunk many years ago by the Sisters, and hope to receive project funding to purify it to be potable. This will ensure our water sustainability.

Visit us! Contact Alrika Hefers:


take a virtual tour and experience our modern child friendly spaces