The Haruv Children’s Campus is now opening in Jerusalem, the first center of its kind for treating child victims of abuse and neglect that brings together all the professional workers and required services unto one location, which will significantly alleviate the therapeutic process for maltreated children.
THE CENTER WILL ENABLE, FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE INTEGRATION OF GROUND-BREAKING ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE WITH ITS IMPLEMENTATION IN PROGRESSIVE TREATMENT METHODS
The phenomenon of child abuse and neglect is a harsh reality, with 40,000 cases of child maltreatment reported annually in Israel. A study done at Haifa University, published last year, presents a far bleaker picture and indicates that nearly half of all Israeli children have endured violence or abuse in the course their lives.
The Haruv Children’s Campus, located at Mt. Scopus, adjacent to the Hadassah Hospital and Hebrew University, will serve maltreated children, victims of abuse and neglect, by addressing their needs comprehensively, in the aim to empower the care currently provided, by partnering up with all the leading organizations that provide treatment for these children.
The campus brings together the entire range of professional workers and services: the Schusterman Emergency Center, the Center for Protection of the Child (Beit-Lynn), a treatment center for child victims of sexual abuse (Meital), the National Council for the Child, the SHEKEL Therapeutic Treatment Unit, Maavarim – Jerusalem Center for Family and Marriage Counselling, MSR - the Center for Social Simulation, and the Goshen Initiative. Additionally, community-based advocacy services will be offered, as well as clinical and treatment services provided by physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, lawyers, social workers and occupational therapists.
In the past, many professionals raised the issue of a systemic failure to identify child victims of maltreatment. One reason was the difficulty encountered in consistently transmitting and sharing information between the children’s various care-givers, who were also frequently bound by confidentiality and secrecy in their contact with the children, a fact that hindered providing more effective help to the children and their parents. An inter-ministerial committee, established following the murder of the little girl, Rose Pizem, emphasized the need for developing innovative strategies of collaboration between professionals to enable early detection and prevention of child abuse and neglect.
Prof. Asher Ben Arieh, executive director of the Haruv Institute and founder of the campus, adds: “This campus is a new model of the ‘one-stop shop’, stemming from the belief that there is a real and significant need for the physical concentration of all the service organizations, amongst other things in order to prevent the occurrence of cases ‘falling between the cracks’. The synergy born of this cooperative work model will promote the professional enrichment of the care-giving bodies, improve the accessibility of the services and facilitate providing maltreated children with comprehensive, state-of-the-art professional care that can address all their needs. The cooperation between all the organizations will enhance the contribution of each of the partners, creating a whole that is greater than its parts.”
Much thought was invested in the planning and design of the campus, taking into consideration the needs of the children and their families. Throughout the campus calming elements have been introduced, such as water, pastoral greenery, play areas created from natural materials and seating areas in warm, pleasant colors. The interior spaces have colorful play rooms, work areas that provide privacy, and a school and kindergarten for children at the emergency center.
The establishment of the campus, led by the Haruv Institute, was made possible thanks to the fruitful cooperation between the Ministry of Welfare, the Haruv Institute, the National Insurance Institute, the Jerusalem Municipality and the Hebrew University, and through the generous support of the Schusterman-Israel Foundation and JDC Israel. Prof. Yossi Tamir, executive director of JDC Israel adds, “As an innovative model worldwide, this campus will serve as a magnet drawing to it the finest researchers, professionals and students. Thus the campus will serve as both a research and treatment center, the first of its kind, and will be the home for unique and leading innovations.”
Photos Silvia Golan
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