Children and Youth at Risk
Upgrading social and physical environment for teenage girls at risk
A Warm Home is a therapeutic day center for teenage girls in distress, who are referred by and are under the care of the local welfare services. The Warm Home addresses the specific problems of girls aged 13-21, with special attention to those from immigrant families or minority groups. These problems include conflict with the family and unstable social relations that lead to dropping-out from school, street-loitering, and in extreme cases, deterioration into self-damaging behavior, drug abuse and prostitution. There are around 120 such Homes in Israel, whose goal is to bring the girls back from the margins of society. The Rashi Foundation has partnered with other philanthropies and government ministries to push forward the upgrades of services and conditions of 30 Warm Homes in Israel’s northern and southern periphery.
The Warm Homes’ upgrade program consisted of these important activities and services: • Increasing the hours of operation of the Homes to 30 hours a week (and more during the summer vacation) • Expanding and improving the range of therapies • Educational reinforcement and social-cultural activities • Reinforcing the staff with a social worker and therapists • Expanding activities that reach out to the girls’ mothers
Fully renovated and equipped Warm Home in Ma'alot
In addition to various therapies, the girls learn new skills
Warm Homes offer opportunities for creative expression, to encourage personal growth
In addition to the upgrade of services, the homes were provided with a budget for equipment, and in some cases, for renovation, thereby increasing their overall positive impact on the teenage girls’ lives. Since October 2007, the Foundation has increased investment to also provide a hot meal for the girls, and in this way, move further towards creating the “golden model” of a Warm Home.
The success of the upgrade project as indicated by evaluation has led the Ministry of Welfare to issue a tender for nationwide operation of Warm Homes based on the model that we developed. Rashi's operating arms won the tender in 3 out of 4 regions and operate a total of 60 homes throughout the country starting in 2011.