Educational Resource Centers
The Educational Resources Centers (ERCs) specialize in informal education within the residential group home: life skills, leisure, and enrichment.
The educational process is a critical layer in the developmental processes of each and every child and youth in a normative environment. A child arrives at a residential group home with complex deficiencies, due to the fact that a foundation of significant nurturing education was lacking in the home.
The education system in the residential group home operates in two areas: the group, where child gets to know himself, develops a self-image and acquires behavioral tools. The community space creates an educational environment that is rich in opportunities for development, with a cultural language and traditions, the objectives of which are to strengthen the child’s sense of belonging to the environment.
High quality educational activities in both spaces help the children develop their strengths, believe in their abilities, and acquire skills that advance their didactic and scholastic functioning as well as their personal and social skills.
The ERCs was established to create a significant infrastructure of content and tools for educational work in both group and the community spaces. It is the only program that deals with the development of content according to the unique needs of the group homes, and provides professional support for staff at the Educational Resources Centers of the group homes, and the counseling staff.
The program operates through professionals who have many years of experience in group homes. The program is dynamic and attentive to the existing trends in the field, with the objective of providing a suitable response to group homes in the secular, religious, ultra-Orthodox, and Arab sectors, and for children on the rehabilitative / post-hospitalization continuum, in the age range from the youngest to the graduates of the group homes.
The program offers the group homes a variety of services free of charge, both in Hebrew and in Arabic, based on the belief in the value and necessity of a multidisciplinary support system for the educational staff in these homes.
Our main partner in action is The Ministry of Welfare, Service for Children & Youth – National and Regional Inspectorates.
The world of residential group homes is undergoing changes expressed in two main parameters: the group homes of the Service for Children & Youth more and more serve adolescents rather than small children – and the profile of the children is becoming more extreme and characterized by complex disabilities in personal and social functioning. The children have severe deficits in the field of life skills. The world presents them with interactions they are not equipped to deal with. The dangers that lie in wait for every adolescent are twice as threatening for them. The fear increases the nearer they get to the day that their stay in the residential group home will be over, without having acquired the skills they need in order to achieve independent behavior.
In every forum related to the world of residential group homes there is an immediate need to develop eclectic programs for life skills. In order to provide guidance on the issue of life skills in all its aspects, and create innovative solutions, we need to be able to pool knowledge resources with other entities.
In 2016 we established a platform for collaborating with leading entities of knowledge in their fields. The continuing trend is based on this platform for building eclectic, professional programs and including them into the program of our own Central Educational Resources Center.