MK Orly Levy Abecassis.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Foster families in Israel spend tens of thousands of shekels caring for children
with disabilities and have yet to receive reimbursement from the state, said MK
Orly Levy-Abecassis on Sunday.
Foster families hosting children with
physical or mental disabilities volunteer to do so, and often have to wait years
in order to receive funding from the state for their expenses due to the child’s
special needs, according to the committee. These can include exceptional medical
treatments, tutoring and transportation, among other things.
a Knesset Committee on the Rights of the Child meeting, Levy-Abecassis said that
this is due to “insane and prolonged bureaucracy,” which “instead of rewarding
these wonderful families, makes life more difficult for them.
government, in fact, took a loan from these families,” she added, “Maybe if we
charged interest it would hurry up.”
Levy-Abecassis, who chairs the
committee, called on representatives of the Welfare and Social Services Ministry
to prepare a draft circular within two months in order to optimize
Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, head of the National Council for the
Child, who was also present at the meeting, noted that the status of foster
families is not protected by the law.
MK Karin Elharar (Yesh Atid)
replied that in recent days, she has been working to advance a bill aimed at
regularizing the statuses of children and their foster families.
to protect the rights of the biological parents on the one hand and on the other
to give possibilities and space to foster families,” said Shalva Leibowitz, a
representative of the Welfare and Social Services Ministry.
“Since we are
talking about public funds, inspection, and therefore bureaucracy, is
According to data provided by the committee, there are about
600 disabled children in foster families and an additional 28 are awaiting for
placement with families.