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 from residential group homes, leaving the only place they‘ve ever called ‘home’ and in danger of becoming homeless. They need to face the ‘real world’ entirely by themselves, without family support, no network or connections, no safety net and very few skills for survival
The “Bridge to Independence” program that has been operated by Yeladim since 2006, strives to provide these youths with an easier transition into adulthood, giving them 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 three times a week. The social workers help each participant prepare a personal plan that includes goals and objectives, for the short and the long term. The participants receive personal consultation, clinical therapy when needed, support during their Army or National Service, academic and employment consultation, support in exercising their rights, and guidance 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 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 live 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!