“Yeladim-Fair Chance for Children” took upon itself the role of providing legal guardianship for children living in residential group homes or foster care, 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 by court order. A social worker from “Yeladim” is appointed as a guardian of the child in order to protect his or her financial interests and to manage all the physical, emotional and social needs.
The target population served by the program:
The Project’s population comprises 100 children and youth at risk, between the ages 9-18, from all demographic sectors in Israel – native Israelis, new immigrants and second generation immigrants (mainly from the former USSR and Ethiopia), Israeli Arabs, children from secular, religious or orthodox families.
All the children in program have experienced an extremely complicated and painful life history, with no one to love or care for them.
The guardianship is carried out by five social workers who maintain a close relationship with the children they care foris close and intense. Their care includes frequent visits at 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.
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 and continues to provide a consistent and stable bond for the young adult, even after he becomes legally an ‘adult’.
What makes this program unique is the personal touch. The state provides these children with a roof over their heads, food and education, but they need an adult who is there for them and supports them – remembers their birthday or takes them out of the residential group home where they spend 365 days a year.
Beyond taking care of their financial affairs and their legal rights, the guardian (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”.
“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.