Midreshet Amit

The "Mishpachton" Family Unit

The main daily activities take place in each of the ten Mispachtonim. Each Mispachton has its own apartment and consists of 12 children, boys and girls, of different ages. This arrangement allows for them to  learn how "normal" family members cope with sibling relationships and the daily interaction in a "regular" family, etc. . The surrogate parents are supported by one or two Sherut Leumi (national service) girls. Meals, homework, chores and leisure time all take place in the family apartment.

There are two "day" family units, where the children come in the morning, get ready for school, and return after school to AMIT Frisch Beit Hayeled until bedtime, but that do not actually stay overnight. These children are deemed to be in a situation that still allows them to be in their biological family and maintain the relationship, in the hope that they will be able to return to their biological family.

There are two additional family units that accommodate children with more severe emotional problems than the other children at AMIT Frisch Beit Hayeled. These two units receive additional staff support at "high stress" times such as the homework-dinner-bedtime hours. There are children in these units that receive psychiatric medication.

The Mispachton apartment consists of a living/dining room, kitchen with small sitting area (usually with a computer or two), bedrooms, bathrooms and a small private "parents unit" where the surrogate parents live with their children. Due to the fact the apartment has three bedrooms, there will always either be 8 boys and 4 girls or 8 girls and 4 boys. Each apartment is a little different based on the surrogate parents' taste. Posted on the walls of some of the apartments are charts or decorations with the children's birthdays, chores, weekly schedule or even the times each of the children has their turn in the shower!

The surrogate parents do not take on all aspects of having a family of 12+ children - they have help with the cleaning, laundry and receive the daily meals from the central kitchen.

Daily life

A typical day at AMIT Frisch Beit Hayeled is much like any other child's day. The children wake up in the morning. Their surrogate parents help them get ready for school, including getting dressed and making sandwiches. They walk to school, take city busses, or are picked up by buses each morning at AMIT Frisch Beit Hayeled and are integrated into regular schools and special schools around Jerusalem. After school, the children come back home and have a hot lunch, followed by a daily afternoon routine of homework, chores, therapeutic treatments, free time, dinner, showers and bed. The children also have extra-curricular activities, such as weekly swimming lessons, and weekly activities in art, music and sports. Most of the children go home every second weekend to their biological family, as well as most holidays and during the month of August. As mentioned above, children who cannot go to their biological families are placed with foster families outside AMIT Frisch Beit Hayeled during these periods, so as not to be "left behind".

Therapeutic Treatments

Each child at AMIT Frisch Beit Hayeled is valued and treated as an individual. Educational decisions, therapeutic programs and rehabilitative strategies are all evaluated on a case-by-case basis. AMIT Frisch Beit Hayeled has a dedicated professional staff that provides therapy, including social workers, psychologists, music therapist, art therapist, animal therapist, speech therapist, and even a psychiatrist (as needed). The therapeutic staff guides and assists the counselors and the surrogate parents in emotional and behavioral therapy as well as creating a personal, therapeutic program for the child.   As needed, the child is given individual and group therapy and psychological evaluations. The staff has internal workshops and parent-children days.

The therapeutic staff is in close contact with the surrogate parents and conducts frequent review meetings with them. They monitor the child's personal condition and supervise outside authorities and social departments. In addition, the therapeutic staff is responsible for the therapeutic program of the children's biological families, including the counseling of the parents and participation in the therapeutic process of the child.

The range of therapies offered at AMIT Frisch Beit Hayeled are key to each child's progress. Whilst some children find art the medium through which to express and work through their trauma, for others it will be the unconditional love, sense of responsibility and dedication that comes through working with a small animal that helps them.

The AMIT Frisch Beit Hayeled campus includes a dedicated area for therapy. This includes counseling rooms, a music room, art studio and an animal enclosure with rabbits, gerbils and birds, where children play with and care for the animals, under supervision.