Therapy Counseling Unit in memory of Shmuel Bronshtein z"l
Notwithstanding all the wonderful programs that we provide for our children at Neve Michael, it is our long-held belief that the best service we can render for the community is to help keep families intact, even under the most trying circumstances. In some hard core cases, preserving the family structure is not a viable option.
But for many children, and the families that stand to lose them, it is a best case scenario.
We believe it is possible to mend those family crises that, if not handled professionally and on time, can result in the separation of children from their natural parents. With limited resources, we have carried out this painstaking mission in the past, often successfully.
Taking a battered or neglected child and safely restoring that deserving little person to natural parents who for all intents and purposes have not proven themselves capable of raising kids is no simple task. It requires a tremendous amount of good will and resolve on the part of the parents, and it demands no small measure of professional input to make it work.
In the past, we have performed this seemingly unworkable task in sessions at Neve Michael. Now, by conducting the business of family healing on neutral grounds, we can best serve our primary goal of keeping families together.
Under this program, the families requiring our assistance are still living under the same roof, but breaking apart. We are alerted of their plight by the Social Services Department.
Our mission is threefold:
1. As a top priority, our professionals evaluate and treat children at risk who are most affected by the adverse circumstances they are exposed to at home.
2. We conduct group therapy sessions to help parents with violent tendencies and drug and alcohol addictions. In order for the program to succeed, parents must be trained to behave responsibly towards their children, or risk losing them.
3. Concurrently, we train members of the community to recognize the symptoms, so that families can begin receiving help on time.
Such an undertaking deserves a tension-free working environment in well-staffed permanent facilities. Such centers do in fact exist, in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Kiryat Ata. However, there is no such center where it is most needed, in our own Pardes Hanna, where poverty, deprivation, drug and alcohol abuse and family violence are all too familiar.children at risk in the region of Pardes Hanna that includes Hadera, Or Akiva, Afula and Givat Ada can begin receiving our professional assistance 2-3 times a week even as they remain within their family-school framework. We estimate that some 300 families in the Pardes Hanna area would turn to us for help at our External Crisis Center. The need is here – and so is our readiness to rise to the challenge.
We have already seen results of a wonderful program, “ Chemla” which means “ compassion” that we established in our existing crisis center. A group of 20-30 parents who were physically abusive towards their children participated in weekly sessions during a half year period. There was an immense change in the behavior of the parents towards their children. The family unit was kept intact and prevented the abuse of the children who would have become the next victims of their parent’s outrage. This allowed children to remain in their own familiar surroundings.