Giving children and parents the security and support they need

Extended care for at-risk children with development disabilities at the Holland Center.
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REQUESTED DONATION:

$275,000

STATUS:

FOR DONATION

AREA:

PROGRAMS / WELFARE

PROJECT

Offer extended hours of care for at-risk babies and toddlers with developmental disabilities at the Holland Center. Objective Provide children in need with security and support, reduce the burden on struggling parents, and mitigate the risk and neglect the children are exposed to at home.

IMPORTANCE

The program will help to ensure that at-risk children with developmental disabilities receive the care they need and are not removed from their parental home.

THE BACKGROUND

The ‘Holland Center’ Rehabilitation Day Care Center provides rehabilitative care for children aged six months to three years with developmental disabilities.

It is the only one of its kind in Tel Aviv-Yafo and offers:

– Rehabilitative and therapeutic intervention in the early stages of the child’s development for the purpose of helping the child to reach his maximum potential.
– Assistance and support to the child’s family in dealing with the child’s treatments while minimizing the effects of the child’s disability on the family.

The Holland Center is operated by Chimes Israel, a non-government organization that provides support and rehabilitation services to people with special needs of all ages, with intellectual, developmental medical, and
mental disabilities. The center is run in cooperation with the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo Social Services Administration. It opened in 1996 and is located in Yafo, a low socio-economic and distressed area. Currently, the Holland Center provides care to about 44 babies and toddlers with developmental disabilities caused by various syndromes, congenital injuries, diseases, or conditions whose cause is unclear. The children are transported daily to the center and back home with an escort. The children at the Holland Center come from diverse backgrounds: Jewish, Muslim, and Christian, and children of foreign workers. This diversity is reflected in the multi-cultural staff, which includes educators, and a variety of allied health professionals. After completing their time at the Holland Center, each child moves on to the mainstream or special education system which meets his/her needs. The staff of the Holland Center continues to support the child during this transition until s/he is successfully integrated into the next stage.

THE NEED

The birth of a child with a developmental disability can be a challenging existential experience for parents. This may provoke feelings of grief, shame, denial, guilt, and helplessness, and has a significant impact on the
family unit throughout the child’s life. Many parents, and especially mothers, report feeling burdened, and the mental and physical strain of caring for a child with a developmental disability can adversely impact
individual well-being and quality of life as well as parental and family functioning. It is also very challenging for parents to navigate the bureaucratic systems to access entitlements and support. The needs of a child with a disability are long-term and it is challenging to find caregivers for these children. The situation is exacerbated for families in distress, in cases of drug abuse, violence, etc., as this puts the child at additional risk. The risk also increases in families with a number of disabled children or in large families. These families often lack the physical and mental resources to manage effectively and struggle to meet the special needs of their baby or toddler with a disability ongoing. Many children have food packed for them at the end of their day at the Holland Center because there is no food at home. In these circumstances, it is essential that children with disabilities have access to daily care, while still remaining part of their family unit. Over the years, the Holland Center has expanded, from eight infants to 44 infants under its care today. Responding to growing demand, the center has been approved to accept 50 infants per year.

THE PROJECT

At the Holland Center, children receive educational and advanced therapeutic treatments in a kindergarten setting, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Special treatments in Sensory Stimulation Rooms, especially effective for children with visual impairments or autism, animal and other therapies are also available.

Currently, the Holland Center daycare operates Sunday-Thursday from 7.30 am – 3.30 pm and on Fridays from 7.30 am – 12.00 pm. The project is designed to extend the hours of care for children at risk: from 3.30 pm until 7.00 pm. This will enable children in need to stay longer in the safe and supportive environment provided by the Holland Center, reduce the burden on parents, and mitigate the risk and neglect the children are exposed to at home. If successful, this may also reduce the incidence of at-risk children with a disability being removed from their parental homes. Children and families who wish or need to join the extended care program will undergo an assessment to be accepted.

The program will operate at two levels:

1. Child. A personalized therapy and enrichment program will be developed for each child based on his/her specific needs. The program will include physical and emotional therapies as well as enrichment activities. In addition, the child will receive a hot dinner, shower, medication and any other medical treatments needed.

2. Parents. The child’s parents will also receive guidance and support in order to improve the family home situation. This will include parent workshops to equip them with the skills and tools to care for and strengthen their relationship with their children, as well as therapies or interventions from Social Services as required. The extended hours’ program is currently planned for eight children.

THE INVESTMENT

The Tel Aviv Foundation is seeking a philanthropic investment to provide extended hours of care at the Holland Center for children and families in dire need. The requested donation is over three years in order to provide consistent and continuous support to the children.

Total Annual Cost
(covered by the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo and Israel Ministry of Welfare) $865,600

Annual donation requested $91,500

REQUESTED DONATION (over three years) $275,000

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