Yeladim – Fair Chance for Children
In Israel today, as many as 10,000 children between the ages of 5 to 18 are growing up in 127 Residential Group Homes and Family Groups, around the country.
These children were transferred from broken homes by the Welfare Authorities, after having been exposed to particularly dim circumstances; Most of them have endured many years of pain, domestic violence, abandonment, orphanhood and abuse.
As many as 1,500 of these children have absolutely no family backing, and are essentially, nobody’s children.
“Yeladim – Fair Chance for Children” winner of the President’s Excellence Award, is a non-profit organization, supporting children and youth from all demographic sectors in Israel, who were placed in Residential Group Homes and Foster Families. For the past 30 years, “Yeladim” has been operating social, therapeutic and educational programs for the sake of these children, in areas which are not provided for by the state. Our leading programs receive matching from the Ministries of Welfare and Education, but rely heavily on donations from foundations, corporate partnerships and private donations.
To provide each child with similar opportunities to those accessible to children being raised by their parents in normative homes, so that they too can grow-up to become functioning and contributing members of society.
“Yeladim” operates in four main areas:
- Operating educational, rehabilitative and therapeutic programs in Residential Group Homes throughout Israel.
- Acting as legal guardians, appointed by the court, to children with no family backing who were removed from their homes.
- Running a program which combines housing and counseling to aid graduates of residential group homes who have no family backing.
- Ongoing lobbying actions to protect the rights of children-at-risk and graduates of Residential Group Homes, who have no family backing.
“Yeladim’s” main programs:
- The “Bridge to Independence” – For Home Group graduates with no family backing
A large scale program created in order to provide housing, support and counseling to homeless graduates of Group Homes or Foster Care. “Yeladim” provides them with support and guidance in all aspects of life, until they turn 24 and are able to function as independent, responsible, productive adults.
- “Legal Guardianship” – For Children with no family backing “Yeladim” acts as a legal guardian appointed by the court for children in Group Homes whose parents are deceased, or unable to fulfill this role. The appointed guardians are social workers who accompany the child into adulthood by providing emotional or legal counseling and support at every significant junction, up to the age of 18.
- “Remedial Teaching” – For illiterate children – This program seeks to bridge academic gaps and provide Residential Group Home children, between the ages of 6 – 17, who struggle with basic academic skills with the tools that will enable them to cope with the demands of regular schools in the community.
- “Educational Resource Centers & Cultural Enrichment” – “Yeladim” operates educational resource centers in Residential Group Homes throughout Israel and serving all demographic sectors. The goal is to provide the staff at the Group Homes with interactive, engaging tools of enrichment for the children.
- “Accompanying Family” – “Yeladim” recruits families who are willing to volunteer as hosts during holidays and weekends. This is specifically for children with no family backing who have nowhere to go to during vacations and weekends.
- “Parent Partner” – A program which strives to establish and develop a unique model for Group Home children and their parents and bring them closer to each other. This program is based on the notion that parental involvement aids in the child’s development and serves as an opportunity to strengthen child-parent and family bonds.
- “Cultural Enrichment” – This large scale program exposes children living in Group Homes, to varied arts, culture events and activities, as well as providing scholarships to those who demonstrate outstanding artistic abilities.
The Executive Board
Mr. Gideon Baum, Accountant
Ziv Haft BDO
Amir Titonovitz, Lawyer
Avner Barkai – Legal Guardianship program leader
Roni Rokah – Accompanying Family Program Leader
Revital Brand – Parent Partner Program Leader
Tamar Miliner – Bridge to Independence Program Leader
Aviva Ezer – Educational Resource Centers & Cultural Enrichment Program Leader
Yael Banai – Marketing and Resource Development
Aviva Harlap – Financial Manager