The Story of a Child at the Emergency Center
Shalom arrived in Shabtai Levi at the age of three.
He was only speaking a few words. He was still using diapers, would have temper tantrums where he would thrust his head into the floor, throw objects and take toys from the other children in the center. The few moments he would calm down were when he would stay in the bath for a long time and the water created a soothing envelope for him.
Shalom moved out with his mother from his home in the Haifa suburbs, after the mother, a young woman suffering from mild depression, claimed the father was beating her.
The welfare system arranged for her to stay at a shelter for abused women in Tel-Aviv, however she didn’t climatize there as well, and after a short period of time she moved with Shalom to a different shelter in Jerusalem. In this shelter Shalom’s little brother was born, after it turned out that Shalom’s mother was heavily pregnant.
When his brother was born, Shalom was suffering from partial treatment from his mother, and she asked for him to move to a foster family because she couldn’t control his temper.
Shalom moved in with the Dudu family, however after about a week the family claimed that the cannot take care of him because he is vibrant, violent and cries nonstop.
Thus, Shalom was received at the emergency center.
When he came, Shalom behaved as a post traumatic child. He had trouble falling asleep at night, and referred to anyone as either “mother” or “father”.
At the emergency center, in collaboration with the Child Welfare Unit, the internal emergency center, which is also a part of the Home’s association, an extraordinary therapeutic and rehabilitation plan was constructed for Shalom.
Firstly, Shalom was diagnosed by a developmental psychologist, by a clinical psychologist and by a developmental doctor.
Later on, a comprehensive treatment plan was created for him, which included individual work with a speech therapist, an occupational therapist and a personal tutor. He was incorporated into the emergency center’s kindergarten for younger children.
The treating social worker held regular meetings with Shalom’s mother and father, and ensured that the come visit him and receive training on how to treat their son, and find ways to contain the storm he was in.
After five months of staying at the emergency center, the therapeutic plan began showing results, and Shalom became a calmer child, loved by the emergency center staff. One of the center’s guides became especially connected to him, and the special bond created between them brought Shalom to have impressive sensations of security and prosperity.
He quickly acquired the language, began speaking, and his violent behavior decreased as well.
After about two months, his behavior already enabled him to move to a kindergarten with children his own age, and he learned to trust the caretakers and prefer their closeness.
After a foster family was found for Shalom with the consent of his parents, a process of creating a relationship with the family members began. They immediately fell in love with him and arrived over two weeks to visit him every day and get to know him closely.
When he moved in with them at the end of the acquaintance period, the family decided to move him from the therapeutic kindergarten to regular kindergarten, since his behavior and capacities were better than expected.
Shalom has been staying with the family for about two months and they describe a happy and loved child. He had a costume for Purim and he invites friends from the new kindergarten to visit him in his new home.
According to the recommendation, his foster parents incorporated him in hydrotherapy treatments in a swimming pool near their home, and Shalom is just happy.