The "Host Families" Program
A “host family” is a family that is willing to accommodate for a prolonged and continuous/uninterrupted period of time (at least a year) a child that lives and studies in a boarding school; an orphan or a child whose family can’t take care of and meet its needs. The child’s visits take place on Friday-Saturday once a fortnight, during holidays and long vacations.
The “host family” can be a family of two parents or a single parent family; a family with young or older children; ultra-orthodox, observant, partly-observant/traditional or secular.
In our experience families with babies and young children (less than 6 years old) find it difficult to maintain the relationship for a prolonged period of time. Often the hosted child needs the company of its peers and sometimes he needs a family with older children/children that have left home. The family has to be an Hebrew speaking one.
The “host family” offers the child the experience of a functioning family environment, love and warmth that he lacks so much; the family unit encourages the child and strengthens his self-esteem. It realizes his dream of family life that he so desperately needs. A child that visits regularly a hosting family, lives personal and familial experiences that are new to him and he can internalize the normative and beneficial ways of family life.
Criteria which qualify a host family/requirement for the host families are as follows:
A significant parental figure, parenting experience, stable employment and accommodation, willingness and ability of all family members to take part in the process (the children of the hosting family play an important role in the success of the experience and the ability of the hosted child to integrate in the family and its environment); there is a need for an actual place, such as bed and a seat in the car; but most important is the understanding that the child will take part in the family activities and gatherings etc.
Qualifications: being emotionally available, the ability of all family members to contain the relationship and persist, parental capability to set limits and yet be flexible and tolerant, the ability to cope with emotional complexity.
Is the relationship always successful?
The interaction between the child and the family doesn’t differ from any other interaction between people, and therefore sometime succeeds and other time not. However at “Yeladim- Fair Chance for Children” we believe that every child deserves a chance and has the right to a family; therefore we strive incessantly in collaboration with the boarding staff to find a suitable family for each child.
Unfortunatly sometimes the relationship is unsuccessful for various reasons: Sometimes the child changes his mind as he feels he is betraying his biological family, if he has one, even if they are totally not functioning. Other times the host family decides to discontinue the hosting arrangement for her personal reasons, or the biological family opposes the continuation of the arrangement.
Do the children keep in touch with their biological families?
Some of the children have telephone contact or meet with one of the parents or a close relative (grandfather/grandmother/aunt/uncle), others are orphans and don’t have anybody with whom to be in touch with. The "host family" doesn’t have any contact with the biological family but receives basic information on the biological family, (after signing a confidentiality agreement).
A child that has a biological family can’t visit the host family without the biological family knowledge and consent.
What are the benefits of volunteering to be a "host family"?
A fulfilling experience for each family member individually and as a whole. Feeling of outstanding mission and educating the young generation to give, donate and share.
All along the qualification, acquaintance and hosting process, the "host family" is accompanied by a professional that knows the child. The host family is never alone in any consultation or question…
If for any reason the hosting doesn’t suit the family, it would be preferable that they say “no” at the beginning of the process, and not after it has commenced so that the child won’t experience another rejection and failure.
It is verified that no member of the family has any criminal record or criminal convictions.
The host family is insured by the boarding school.
How to apply?
A family that is interested in being a host family is invited to send us an online questionnaire with the relevant information for us to determine if it meets the requirements for hosting.
After filling out the questionnaire and sending it to us, you will receive a letter confirming receipt. At this point you will be part of the families’ database. We will contact you when we will be looking for a family with your profile. Naturally we can’t know when we will approach you, it can be in a few weeks, months or in some cases we won’t approach you at all. It all depends if you family meets the child’s profile.
For further information you can contact Aya Glickman: Phone # 03-6475075 extension 221,
or e-mail: email@example.com