Who are the children and the mothers?
Yonathan, one year old, and Itamar aged three, are brothers who reached us with scars and burns all over their bodies. When they arrived, Itamar said to us: “Don’t send me back home”.
Little Tal was found famished and neglected. She was too tired even to cry.
Esther, arrived at the Mothers’ unit towards the end of her pregnancy. She was adopted as a child by a couple, and now her biggest fear was that her baby, once born, will be taken from her to be adopted as well.
The Shabtai Levi Home takes care of these children, and gives them a loving hug. The children are directed to this home by the Welfare Services, after they have been found in endangering conditions.
The mothers are directed to the Mothers’ unit, after parenting difficulties have been detected, such that put their children at risk.
All the children stay in this home under a Juvenile Court order.
Most of the children were born normal, but since the beginning of their life they were hurt both physically and mentally, and they need treatment. Most of them have a good chance to recover and return to a normal development process. Some have the prospect to return to live with their families. They need a humane, devoted and warm nurturing attitude, in a safe place, and a good quality, professional treatment. These conditions offer them better prospects for a good future.
Who manages the Home?
Shabtai Levi is managed for over sixty years by an organization whose members are all volunteers. The organization has a certificate of compliance with the regulations binding public organizations regarding donations, as well as all the other certifications required. The Welfare Ministry finances the residence of the children and mothers, yet these funds cover the needs only partially.
Shabtai Levy Home is a non-profit organization; all its members are volunteers from its founding and until today.
The organization was founded in the 40’s, for the establishment of a day care for the children of the Brigade soldiers.
Shabtai Levy, the first Jewish Mayor of Haifa, assigned the building in which Shabtai Levi operates today, the day care operated until 1999.
In 1950, as a response to the request of the Ministry of Welfare the organization opened a recuperation home for babies, sick babies from the shuttle. Later the office asked to open a boarding school for babies and early age children.
Later on, a social staff started to work at the boarding school, followed by the psychology and Para-medical staffs.
These staffs brought a change in approach regarding childcare and the treatment towards the children’s families.
In 1995 the Emergency Center was established. This is the only center that specializes in early age children.
In 1998 the Levine Family Project opened, this project combined children and foster families accompanied by the Shabtai Levy Home care team. In 2006 the project was stopped and transferred to an organization that specializes in foster care in the Ministry of Welfare.
The community development and view tendency continued and in 2004 the Child Welfare Unit began managing the organization. This unit provides community services to about 40 families.
In the same year the Mothers Unit opened, providing intense treatment for 14 months to mothers with rehabilitation potential and their children.
Members of the executive committee and the organization members, as well as the home workers of all ranges, are partners these days in the process of changing and adjusting the home according to the ideas leading the early child care for several decades.
The home will work while developing a continuum of services in order to fit the wide range of patient needs, starting from the Child Welfare Unit that provides child treatment while they are living with their parents, through the Boarding school and Emergency Center that offer short term frameworks for protection, diagnosis and treatment, and the Mothers Unit that allows a continuous shared life of children with their mothers.
From these two approaches the home will find ways of distributing most of its services in a way that will fit the massive diversity and disperse of the county residents.
The Boarding school, Emergency Center, Mothers Unit and the Child Welfare Unit will continue providing services to children in danger or that must be taken out of their homes, while maintaining strict preserving of the family’s place in the child’s life and with the ambition to maintain the wholeness of the families and bring the children back home, when possible.
In future vision, the organization aims to expand the Mother Unit up to multiplying the existing number of places, as well as increasing the number of patients in the Child Welfare Unit by opening additional branches in the district and establishing a Contact Treatment Center in the unit in the afternoon.