There are an estimated 1.2 million Israeli children defined as 'at-risk'.
Israel has the highest poverty rate of OECD countries which impacts adversely on young parents.
This poverty rate is one of the largest gaps between rich and poor. This stark reality has led to one of Israel’s greatest social challenges being the high number of children at risk. There are an estimated 1.2 million children who are currently defined as “at risk”..
There are increased incidents of child neglect, domestic violence and food insecurity. The demand for emotional and psychological support among parents has risen dramatically. Without additional financial support Keren Hayesod-UIA will not be able to assist all of the communities with families in need.
The earlier the intervention, the more successful the outcome. A child’s formative years are a critical time when they develop their cognitive, motor, language, social and emotional abilities. Heartbeats offers parents support in the early stages of their child’s life. It encourages healthy parent-child contact, strengthening parental identity and skills. It also encourages engagement with communal services, which ultimately improves their children’s development. Located in 11 areas on Israel’s periphery, this unique program offers a framework for parents to receive supportin the early stages of their child’s life. Keren Hayesod-UIA is committed more than ever to supporting Israel’s youngest at-risk children, aged 0-3 years.
The Heartbeats Program is based on the role of two mentors per community. Each mentor works with 15 families for a period of 18 months. These mentors are supervised by a national program coordinator. In addition, a team of three national Community Coordinators (one for each population sector: Arabs and Jews, including secular, religious and Ultraorthodox) focus on community outreach. The mentors also coordinate with early childhood professionals in each community, providing guidance, support and intervention to an additional 100 families per year.
Heartbeats is an intervention program that gives young children a stable framework where they can thrive. It also provides parents with tools and knowledge to be better parents. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the children in the program will require less or no intervention as they continue to develop. Identifying and addressing challenges either before children are born or at a very young age dramatically reduces the chances of developing problems later in life.
This project is in partnership with The Jewish Agency for Israel, the Government of Israel and local authorities.
Supporting the first 1,000 days of a child's life
families participate in Heartbeats
locations throughout Israel's periphery
Awareness, knowledge and skills for effective parenting