In a seminar given in June 2012 at Tel-Chai College, Dept. of Social work, I presented 2 PowerPoint lectures (which can be seen here in their Hebrew versions)
מהי למידה.pdf (How we learn)
In 2012 we began a pilot program at Atidim Youth House in Hatzor Haglilit ,Israel, where we conducted several workshops for faculty from the college and staff from the youth house. The staff continued working with the youth guided by professionals from the college, implementing new understandings and improving their work through reflection and action.
The 3rd learning workshop at Atidim (May 2014) was documented in the following video. It shows the process of using personal stories to establish a safe space for community to evolve and for developing recognition of one’s abilities and powers to achieve and grow in the group.
“אני מנווט את הסיפור שלי” – חוברת הדרכה להפעלת תבנית מסע הגבור\גבורה”
The Bridge to Independence Program
Providing opportunities of education and advancement
for youth (18-24) with no family backing in Israel
In Israel today, as many as 10,000 children between the ages of 6 to 18 are growing up in 127 Residential Group Homes and foster care families around the country. These children were transferred from broken homes by the Welfare Authorities, after having been exposed to particularly difficult circumstances: most had endured many years of pain, domestic violence, abandonment, and abuse.
As many as 1,500 of these children have absolutely no family backing, and are essentially, nobody’s children.
By the time they turn 18 they have to leave the only home they know and, in many cases, these young people have literally no place to go. At this crucial point in their lives they find themselves facing adulthood entirely on their own, without any backing, guidance, basic skills or support.
The “Bridge to Independence” Program (operated by “Yeladim – fair Chance for Children” since 2006) gives these children a helping hand, a path toward education and hope for a better future. The program allows the young men and women to realize that they can strive for something significant in life, and that there are opportunities for a better future, despite the hard circumstances that they have experienced. The goal is to provide graduates of Residential Group Homes and foster care who have no family backing, the support, the tools and the guidance they need, in order to function as independent, productive responsible adults who can contribute to society.
The program provides 18-24 year old participants with housing in rented apartments in city centers throughout Israel, with 6-8 graduates in each apartment and a social workers who visits 3-4 times a week. The social workers prepare a personal plan for each participant including goals and objectives for the short and long term. The plan is reviewed on a quarterly basis by the program’s team together with the participant. They also received personal consultation, clinical therapy when needed, support during their Army or National Service, academic and employment consulting, knowledge of their rights and help in applying for them and tools for healthy economic conduct. While in the program, the participants have to either serve in the IDF/National Service, study, or hold a steady job.
Currently (2016) 356 graduates of Group Homes and Foster Care participate in the program; 186 of them are living in 31 apartments from the northern Galilee to the Southern Negev, and 170 of them are participating in the program externally, without housing; 60% are soldiers serving in the IDF, 10% are serving in National Service; 30% are students. All the soldiers in the program have a working permit, and hold part-time jobs.
The following videos provide a glimpse at the participants and the program developed for them.