Adolescents & Teens Program
Our Adolescents Program provides a continuum of activities and interventions that Orr Shalom teens from foster and family group homes out-of-home care participate in as preparation for their graduation at age 18. Some of these include the following:
This seminar highlights programs that help graduates transition into fully integrated, independent living. Representatives from the IDF and National Service provide relevant information to the participants, who included 65
teens from foster care, family group homes and foster therapy as well as their foster and house parents and social workers.
- “Looking to the Future”
Seminar for 11th and 12th Graders and Their Parents (November)
During Chanukah and Summer Vacation for 11th and 12th Graders from Foster and Family Group Homes, we hold seminars for adolescents with workshops aimed at helping them identify their strengths and abilities ahead of graduation at age 18, and through the early years of adulthood. We help them in areas such as personal identity, the process of transitioning, our ability to effect real change in our lives, and decision-making. We also incorporate peer-to-peer bonding opportunities into the workshops and throughout the seminar.
- Overnight Life Skills Seminars
These seminars prepare adolescents for their induction into the army, and particularly the IDF’s selection process, which determines the assignment of important positions and which, in the long run, can affect entry into civilian life, the labor market and higher education. To ready the teens for the selection process, we worked together with the IDF on a seminar that introduces and prepares Orr Shalom teens for recruitment.
Testimonies from the teens undergoing this process demonstrate that this program gave the teens confidence in their First Call Up and increased motivation for recruitment.
- Preparation Seminar for First Call-Up
In cooperation with the IDF, in order to ease the bureaucratic processes for adolescents who are realizing their rights as “lone soldiers”, we hold all processes for the IDF draft for Orr Shalom 12th graders on one single day. The process for recognition as a “lone soldier” also starts here. On this day the adolescents learn about their rights as lone soldiers, and have interviews with social workers from different IDF units. After the interviews, we hold a discussion about self-fulfillment and contributing to the country during IDF service.
- IDF Day for 12th Graders
Driving is an incredibly important step towards independence for our teens. Recognizing this, we opened driving theory courses which consist of seven sessions each, a study day for all the participants together, and six hours of personal coaching per participant in preparation for actual driving lessons.
Course participants and other Orr Shalom teens also benefit from the scholarships we provide for their driving lessons, which enable them to attain a driving license.
- Driving Theory Course and Financing Driving Lessons for 10th, 11th and 12th Graders
Before an Orr Shalom child graduates and begins facing the challenges of independent living, they require direction. Our holistic, individualized graduation process acts as a bridge to the next stage in the lives of our foster and family group homes' graduates.
We address the major issues affecting our graduates by:
- Building Personal Programs in Preparation for Turning 18, for 11th and 12th Graders and the Professional Staff
To this end, Graduate Coordinators have been integrated into each of Orr Shalom’s frameworks to accompany the professional staff who provide information, contribute to the professional analysis of each adolescent’s specific situation, and are partners in preparing each adolescent in the two years before they graduate.
- Discussing the continuation of their relationship with their foster families
- Providing information about accommodation options for graduates with no family backing (for those in foster who are ending their foster care)
- Streamlining and enhancing their IDF/National Service recruitment process
- Referring graduates with specific needs to special programs for support
- Maximizing the rights of graduates of out-of-home care (IDF, Social Security etc)
- Creating dialogue with graduates about the significant changes that takes place in their lives at age 18, and what it means to take personal responsibility
Our new employment, training and personal financial management program is geared towards adolescents who attend the Safe Haven Overnight Camp four times a year during Sukkot, Chanukah, Pesach and the month of August. Twenty one Orr Shalom teens in the Adolescents Program took part in a new hands-on jam-making business with the aim of equipping them with the tools necessary for job security. Under the guidance of the camp staff and of their boss, as well as famous Israeli chef Tzachi Bukshester, they engaged in a multi-part work-skills development and empowerment process. The training included how to conduct an interview, proper employee-employer relations, work ethic and responsibility, and personal money management.
The participants very much enjoyed this opportunity. For most of them this was their first job, and exposure to the world of employment started a frank and important dialogue on the significance of work as well as about how to use the money they earned.
- Adolescents Employment Program