Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Where is Roger Neilson House located?
Roger Neilson House is located on the grounds of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa, Ontario. Please see the map for more information.

Is there parking available?
There are “No Parking” signs around Roger Neilson House.  This is mandated by the Fire Department to ensure they can reach both Roger Neilson House and OCTC (Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre).

Roger Neilson House families are able to load and unload their vehicles at the OCTC curbside. On Mondays to Fridays from 8 am to 4 pm, families and visitors may park in the designated parking spots in front of the Farm Boy Play Park with the provision that each automobile displays a parking permit on its dash.  Parking permits may be obtained from the Roger Neilson House reception volunteer.  Time and make of car will be documented.  Those with disabled parking stickers will also be able to park in the disabled parking spots.

Parking will be permitted along the OCTC curbside weekdays after 4 pm and on weekends as long as a Roger Neilson House or OCTC permit is displayed on the dash. Volunteers attending education sessions in the evening can use these spots.

Fines will be enforced by the city for illegally parking in the disabled parking spots and in the fire route.  Roger Neilson House cannot prevent, influence or pay for parking fines.

How is Roger Neilson House funded?
Roger Neilson House is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS), the Ottawa Senators Foundation and the CHEO Foundation. Community support has been (and continues to be) instrumental in the creation and sustainability of Roger Neilson House.

For Families

Do you need a referral to access Roger Neilson House services?
Yes; if you think your child or youth could benefit from our services and support, ask that your family or CHEO doctor send a referral to the CHEO Palliative Care Outreach Team.

Is there a cost to families for using Roger Neilson House services?
No, there is no direct cost of care to the family. The only cost is for meals for immediate family members staying with a child: $5 per meal for adults and children six years and older, and $3 per meal for children five years and under.

How many guests can Roger Neilson House accommodate at a time?
Roger Neilson House can accommodate a maximum of 8 children at a time. However capacity may vary at any given time based on the unique needs of our patients and their families.

How do I make a booking at Roger Neilson House?
Please contact our Quality Coordinator at (613)523-6300 ext. 4619.

Can the families of patients stay at Roger Neilson House?
Immediate family members are welcome to stay with their children at Roger Neilson House. Availability varies.

What should I pack for my child’s visit to Roger Neilson House?
Please refer to the Family Handbook. Pack what you would pack to visit a relative out of town.

What does my child do while he or she is at Roger Neilson House?

The type of activities that the child will engage in will vary significantly based on their unique needs and the type of care they are receiving. In general, Roger Neilson House aims to provide a “home away from home” in an adapted, inclusive environment.

The child will be engaged based on a “play plan” developed in consultation with recreation therapists and the care team. Therapeutic play activities are provided on a daily basis for all children. Roger Neilson House has a playroom with lots of toys and activities. We have a Snoezelen Room that provides multisensory stimulation. Roger Neilson House also has many trained volunteers who spend time with the children at play.

My child has complex medical needs – can he or she be cared for at Roger Neilson House?
If the child can be cared for at home with the medical complexities that they have, then they can be cared for at Roger Neilson House. Please contact the Quality Coordinator to find out how Roger Neilson House can accommodate your child.

Can my child continue their schooling while staying at Roger Neilson House?
Many children who come to Roger Neilson House are able to continue attending school. If your child attends school in the Ottawa region, you will need to arrange for transportation to and from Roger Neilson House by contacting your school.

Roger Neilson House does not have teachers on site but volunteers can help children with their schoolwork.

What happens if my child becomes sick while staying at Roger Neilson House?
If your child becomes sick a Palliative Care physician will assess the child and determine if he or she needs to be seen urgently at CHEO or discharged home to be seen by your family physician. In either case, the family will be informed.

Who will look after my child while they are at Roger Neilson House?
Your child will be cared for by a skilled multidisciplinary team including physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals.

For Medical Professionals

Who qualifies for palliative care services at Roger Neilson House?

The following criteria must be met in order to be eligible for palliative care services at Roger Neilson House:

  • Children/Youth up to their 19th birthday
  • Having a valid OHIP card and eligible to receive Community Care Access Centre/House Care (CCAC) services
  • Must have a life-limiting illness with progressive decline in health status
  • Must be involved with CHEO’s Palliative Care Program

How do I refer a patient to Roger Neilson House?
If you think your patient could benefit from our services, send a referral to the CHEO Palliative Care Outreach Team. We encourage early referrals so that the family can establish a therapeutic relationship with the Palliative Care Outreach Team.

Who can I speak to about initiating a discussion on Palliative Care?
Roger Neilson House works closely with the CHEO Palliative Care Team. You can contact the on-call physician or nurse 24/7 at (613)737-7600 #0.

What services does Roger Neilson House provide?
The following services are provided at Roger Neilson House:

  • Perinatal Hospice Care
  • Respite Care (individuals and families)
  • Transitional Care
  • Symptom Management
  • Acute End of Life Care
  • Grief and Bereavement Support

For more information about these services, please visit Our Services.

What is CHEO’s relationship with Roger Neilson House?
Although Roger Neilson House and CHEO are two different organizations, Roger Neilson House works closely with many teams at CHEO – especially the Palliative Care Team. The Palliative Care Team reaches out to Roger Neilson House to provide comprehensive integrated care.

For Volunteers

How do I become a volunteer at Roger Neilson House?
Please look at the volunteer section on our website. For more information, you can contact the Manager, Community Engagement and Volunteer Relations at (613) 523-6300 ext 4605 or email

Is there an age requirement for volunteers?
For most volunteer positions you must be at least 18 years of age. Please see the volunteer section on our website or contact the Manager, Community Engagement and Volunteer Relations for more information.

Is there a minimum commitment for Roger Neilson House volunteers?
Roger Neilson House requires a minimum commitment of one year, volunteering a minimum of two shifts or eight hours per month.

Why do I need a Police Vulnerable Sector Check to volunteer at Roger Neilson House?
Yes. The law requires that those working with individuals in the vulnerable population must complete a Police Vulnerable Sector Check.

Do I need to be bilingual?
No. Bilingualism is an asset but not a requirement.