Bridge to Independence
Each year, 300 children at the age of 18 , who have no family backing and have been in the care of The Welfare Ministry for most of their lives, graduate the Residential Group Homes (RGB) , and leave the only place they‘ve ever called ‘home’ and become homeless.
They need to face the ‘real world’ entirely by themselves, without family support, no network or connections, no safety-net and very few utensils for survival
The “Bridge to Independence” program that has been operated by Yeladim since 2006, strives to provide these youths an easier transition into the world, giving homeless youth the time, tools and support they need to become independent and self-sufficient.
The program provides them with housing in rented apartments in city centers throughout Israel, with 6-8 graduates in each apartment and a social worker who visits the apartment 3-4 times a week. The social workers prepare a personal plan for each participant in the program; this plan includes goals and objectives, for the short and the long term. They also receive personal consultations, clinical therapy when needed, support during their Army or National Service, academic and employment consultancy, knowledge of their rights and their utilization and tools for healthy economic conduct.
The program runs in collaboration with the Ministry of Welfare as a central partner, the IDF, the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers (AWIS) and other foundations and volunteer NGOs.
Program’s Main Goal
To provide graduates of Group Homes who have no family backing and are essentially homeless, the support, the tools and the guidance they need, in order to function as independent, productive responsible adults who can contribute to society.
Currently, 362 young graduates of Group Homes and Foster Care participate in the program. 192 youths living in 30 apartments from the northern Galilee to the Southern Negev.
During 2015, as many as 180 young graduates of Group Homes and Foster Care have applied to the program; we are in desperate need of extending the program in order to provide a suitable solution for these children!