Parents as Partners
The Parents as Partners program aims to develop a practical model of partnership between the parents of the children attending residential group homes, the staff of the group homes and welfare services in the communities the children come from. The underlying rational is that a child is a part of his/her family even while attending a residential group home, and the role of the residential group home is to enable the parents to be as involved in their children’s lives as possible, by preserving and developing the child’s bond with the family.
Parent participation in their children’s education will enable the children to better integrate into life at the residential group home, allow a smoother transition between time spent at the residential group home and time at home for the holidays, strengthen the bond between child and family, and facilitate a smoother transition back home once out-of-home care is no longer required.
The model includes direct intervention with the child and the family, development of family-based solutions at the residential group homes, and joint work with welfare services in the community. The key to change is intensive work with the therapeutic, educational and administrative staff at the residential group homes, including staff training sessions, guidance and in-service courses. The desired result should be a change within the organization’s culture, so that the parents’ involvement becomes a part of daily practice.
We believe that attending a residential group homes is not a solution in itself, but rather a means and part of an overall intervention process with the family. Hence, the program’s goal is to create a series of interventions together with the community and welfare services.
“Parents as Partners” Center
The Parents as Partners’ Center is a research, discussion and policy hub providing services to all Ministry of Welfare residential group homes. The Center’s activities in 2016 included: articulating the Center vision, goals and objectives for the years to come; articulating the Parents as Partners program’s model together with Ashalim and the Ministry of Welfare, and five seminars for residential group homes’ staff to present the model.