“Yeladim-Fair Chance for Children” took upon itself the role of providing legal guardianship support for Residential Group Homes or Foster Care children, who have absolutely no family backing -orphans or abandoned children, children whose family is completely dysfunctional and has no capacity for parenting.
The mandate for this role is given by court order and a social worker from “Yeladim” is appointed as a guardian of the child in order to protect his/her financial interests and to manage all the physical, emotional and social needs.
The community/target population served by the program:
The Project’s population comprises 100 children and youth at risk, between the ages
9-18, arriving from all demographic sectors in Israel: Israelis, new immigrants and second generation immigrants (mainly from the former USSR and Ethiopia), Israeli-Arabs, secular sectors and orthodox sectors.
All the children in program have experienced an extremely complicated and painful life history, with no-one to love or care for them.
The guardian work is carried out by five social workers whose relationships with the children they care for are close and intense. Their care includes frequent visits at the boarding institution or the group home, participation in all decisions and discussions concerning the child’s welfare and education, as well as telephone or E-mail contact on a daily basis.
Each child has a bank account into which their Social Security allowances are being transferred, to which the guardian is in charge of and has signature authority over.
The guardian follows up on the child’s development and educational progress.
The organization presents an annual report on the child’s status, to the State Guardian Body.
Unlike in other guardian organizations, when the guardian’s duty officially ends at the age of 18, the relationship continues; the guardian helps the child with the first steps out in the ‘real world’ as an adult – going beyond the legal requirements, and continuing to provide a consistent and stable bond for the young adult even after he becomes legally an ‘adult’.
What makes this program stick out in the guardian field of work, is the personal touch; The state provides these children with a roof, food and education, but their need for an adult who is there for them and supports them – remembers their birthday or takes them out of the Home Center where they spend 365 days a year – is not being provided by any institution or person.
Beyond taking care of their financial affairs and their legal rights, the legal guardian social-worker (who has many years of experience working with children-at-risk) provides a safe and loving relationship, one that is as close as can possibly be to a parental relationship for these “transparent children” whom sadly, nobody really wants or cares for.
“Yeladim-Fair Chance for Children” is the only organization in Israel that does not charge fees for the guardian service from the children’s allowances; all program costs are sponsored by grants and donations.