The following is an article was published in the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot about the current dire financial situation of the children's homes in Israel. Emunah Chairperson Liora Minka, is at the chalk face of this struggle aimed at forcing the government to meet a previous commitment to increase funding for children in residential care.
Dozens of residential homes for children and youth at risk have petitioned the Israel Supreme Court: If we don’t receive an immediate funding increase – we’ll collapse!
Telem Yahav – Yediot Achronot
At risk children in danger:
Dozens of residential homes have petitioned the Supreme Court against the Ministry of Social Affairs, demanding an immediate funding increase, otherwise they will close. The lawsuit was brought by a number of Israel’s leading providers of care, led by Emunah, the Tel Aviv Municipality and others, who run homes in which tens of thousands of children from dysfunctional families reside. Directors claim that the current funding levels are seriously lacking and that the government announced that funding would be increased over a year ago following negotiation, but in practice nothing has happened. In their petition, the providers explain that the crisis continues to deepen. Only a sense of moral obligation on the part of the staff and the leadership of the provider organizations towards these unfortunate children, has prevented them from sending them home. The homes continue to care for the children with great dedication, carrying the ongoing costs on their shoulders. “This lawsuit is the very last resort before the collapse of the children’s homes, and is aimed at ensuring the continuation of their holy work”, says the petition. “The homes are required to cover costs, to fundraise and to depend on generous donors, to pay for needs that the Ministry of Social Affairs are obligated to provide but doesn’t”. If the promised funding is not forthcoming the children’s homes will be unable to take in new children when the new year begins. The Ministry of Social Affairs refused to comment, claiming that they had not received the petition.