Make a Referral

Who Can Refer

Parents or professionals involved in the care of the child who would like to refer a child to Iris House for either or community based respite care, Hospice respite day care, overnight care or end of life care will be asked to complete a Referral form.

Please email to obtain the form.

Referral Criteria

Priority will be given to children with low functioning Autism, low functioning Cerebral Palsy and life limiting or life threatening syndromes. If in doubt as to a child’s eligibility please feel free to call our Hospice on 021 910 1578 to discuss the child’s specific needs. Children who are eligible to access Iris House hospice respite day care, overnight respite care, community care or end of life care services need to be 18 years or younger  *Please note we do take into account the cognitive age of the child.

To access Iris House Children’s Hospice Free services, the child being referred would typically fit into  one or more of the following categories:

Iris Hart

Category 1

Life-threatening conditions for which curative treatment may be feasible but can fail. Where access to palliative care services may be necessary when treatment fails or during an acute crisis, irrespective of the duration of that threat to life. On reaching long-term remission or following successful curative treatment there is no longer a need for palliative care services. Examples: cancer, irreversible organ failures of heart, liver, kidney.

Category 2

Conditions where premature death is inevitable, where there may be long periods of intensive treatment aimed at prolonging life and allowing participation in normal activities. Examples: cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Category 3

Progressive conditions without curative treatment options, where treatment is exclusively palliative and may commonly extend over many years. Examples: Batten disease, mucopolysaccharidoses.

Category 4

Irreversible but non-progressive conditions causing severe disability leading to susceptibility to health complications and likelihood of premature death. Examples: severe cerebral palsy, multiple disabilities such as following brain or spinal cord injury, complex health care needs and a high risk of an unpredictable life-threatening event or episode.

Referral Pathway

If you would like to refer a child, please contact our office on 021 910-1578 or email to obtain our referral form. Please complete the referral form and either fax back to us on:  FAX: +27 (0) 86 512 6667, scan and email to or you are welcome to come to the Hospice building to drop it off. See Contact Page for directions.

We will always do our very best to assist every child referred to us as soon as possible. We commit to the following:

*Contact will be made within seven working days of receipt of a referral or sooner where an urgent need has been identified by the referrer.

*A feedback/ welcome email, letter or telephone call will be sent/made to the referrer within seven working days of the first assessment, whether this takes place at the Hospice or in the child’s home.

Important Information

Please note ALL Iris House Children’s Hospice services are free of charge. The Iris House care team, undergoes full training so we can meet then needs of families in the community and at the Hospice building .  We aim to train our care team to a very high standard to ensure they are confident and capable of caring for special needs children. We have also joined forces with speech therapists, physiotherapist, and music therapists, to  broaden our service offering at the hospice. Our training program includes the following:

  • Safeguarding – Child Protection
  • First Aid – level 1
  • Makatron
  • Food Hygiene
  • Infection Control
  • Resuscitation
  • Manual Handling
  • Administration of Medications
  • Gastronomy Care
  • Suctioning
  • Administration of Emergency Medication
  • EB Care
  • Feeding via  a Jejunostomy
  • Play therapy
  •  additional and top up training is provided to the  care team members on a regular basis.

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