Our Services

Woodside SCC is an NGO situated in Rondebosch East, Cape Town, South Africa. Established in 1976 and after more than 40 years of phenomenal service Woodside Special Care Centre is still the leader in providing excellent care to intellectually disabled children and young adults as well as their families.

Many of our children know only Woodside as their home and the staff as their families. 19 of our children have been abandoned and orphaned and the courts, as a result of abuse or neglect (against the child), have placed others here. It is for this reason we try and give them a life that is a close to normal as they can have.

The service levels at Woodside SCC are top notch and comprises of in house therapeutic activities such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, self-help skills, 24 hour professional nursing as well respite care to parents with children who are intellectually and physically disabled.

Children's Activities

Our Children’s daily programme comprises of:

  • Feeding and toilet training skills
  • Sensory & motor stimulation, including exploratory play, arts and crafts, storytelling, ball games and table activities
  • Music
  • Outside play
  • Walks
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy

These activities take place in the following areas:

Our Recreation Rooms

Each dormitory has its own recreation room. This is a place where the children all sit together and participate in activities, listen to music or watch TV. The recreation rooms also double up as a dining room at mealtimes and their meals are served and fed to them there. These rooms all open up into the back outdoor area, where residents enjoy spending time as well.

Our "Day Centre"

This large area, and adjacent sensory room, is mainly used for more focused group and individual therapy sessions and activities. Residents love leaving their dormitory space to attend these sessions and benefit from the change of environment and additional input and therapeutic activities they receive there. This room also opens up to the central garden/playground area.

Our Playgroup

This is a relatively new, smaller area that is enjoyed by a handful of our younger residents on a daily basis. As a focused play space, the aim is to develop play and social skills here.

Nursing Care

24 hour specialised care is provided by professional nurses, staff nurses and trained caregivers. Nursing and caregiver staff provides basic care such as bathing, dressing, feeding, oral hygiene and tending to minor illnesses such as influenza and common colds. The majority of our residents are not able to dress, feed, bathe or toilet themselves – all these daily tasks have to be done for them by the Woodside caregivers, all of whom have received training in first aid and home based care. Provision of nutritious meals are a priority and input has been received from a dietitian to ensure that a balanced diet & specialised needs are met well. It is notable that our residents’ overall conditions and immune systems reflect this good intake, as general health is good. Caregivers receive ongoing training regarding specific conditions and needs of our residents to ensure consistent staff development and adequate care for our residents. Our residents are taken to several other health practitioners for services we cannot provide ourselves, as follows:
  • Dental care – residents are taken for dental assessments and treatments
  • Re-boarding of medication – residents are taken to the nearest Community Health Centre for re-boarding of medication
  • Doctor’s visits – residents are taken to private doctors (if on medical aid) and to Community Health Centre’s (if not on medical aid)

Occupational Therapy

Our residents love engaging in occupational therapy, as they participate in a variety of activities and are challenged to develop skills, while engaging socially. All of our residents are involved in the structured therapy and activity programmes that are in place (with the overarching goal of improving quality of life), where residents are exposed to and facilitated to engage in ball games/gross motor play, puzzles/problem solving activities, water play, swimming, sensory exploration, outdoor playtimes, educational groups, activities of daily living, self-esteem/pamper sessions, music groups and massage.

In addition to this ongoing stimulation and activities, further therapeutic goals are reached through the following methods:

  • Positioning residents in standing frames, prone lyers, side lyers etc. (promotes maintenance or improvement of physical components and endurance)
  • Management of wheelchair positioning and referral for orthotic devices
  • Improving residents’ abilities in independent feeding, through the use of assistive devices and facilitation of feeding with selected residents as the need arises

Apart from these group sessions, individual therapy sessions are conducted with selected residents. The occupational therapy department also runs the smaller playgroup, aimed at a smaller group of younger residents, aiming to provide a more focused and structured activity space in order to progress them in play, function and social skills. Regular outings and social events are also arranged for our residents, and these events are always a highlight for both staff and residents alike!

Students, interns and volunteers are able to participate and assist in all of the above areas of the occupational therapy tasks, under supervision and guidance of the occupational therapist.


The role of this department is to attend to the physical needs of all the residents requiring this. This includes

  • Regular stretching in order to maintain range of movement and the ability to reach and maintain postures and positions
  • Positioning residents in standing frames, prone lyers, side lyers etc. (promotes maintenance or improvement of physical components and endurance)
  • Assisting in the management of seating and wheelchair positioning as well as orthotic devices
  • Mobility training and improvement of endurance, while addressing underlying physical components involved in this. The swimming pool is also sometimes used for physiotherapy and mobilisation purposes
  • Chest/respiratory physiotherapy for individuals requiring this

A lot of overlap occurs between the physiotherapy and occupational therapy group programmes, but individual physiotherapy sessions also occur where possible in order to meet more specific aims and needs.

Students, interns and volunteers are able to participate and assist in all of the above areas of the physiotherapy tasks, under supervision and guidance of the physiotherapist.

Respite Care

Woodside provides hourly, daily and monthly respite care to the families of children with disabilities. In the event of a family going on holiday or in a crisis and need our services for longer than the period mentioned they can apply for up to 3 month respite care.

How to apply for respite care?

An application form can be obtained from our reception office and once completed form should be returned to the Centre for the attention of the General Manager. Please Indicate “for respite care” on the form.

If the application is successful and we have a vacancy the General Manager will call you to set up a meeting

Woodside SCC