Gov't program to help kids at-risk has grave faults

State program failing to track, assess its own work over 5 yrs; state youth at risk program took 4 yrs to get programs active.

May 1, 2012 14:43
2 minute read.
Children playing in Migron

Children playing in Migron 390. (photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


A flagship government program aimed at reducing the number of children and youth considered at risk has been sharply criticized by the State Comptroller’s Office for failing to properly assess and keep track of its own work over the past five years.

The National Program for Children and Youth at Risk, which is under the auspices of the Welfare and Social Services Ministry, was also faulted for taking more than four years to get any of its programs actually working in the field.

Established in 2006 based on recommendations made by the inter-ministerial committee headed by child welfare expert Professor Hillel Schmidt, which found that more than 300,000 children in Israel could be classed as at risk, the national program brought together professionals from five government offices in an effort to address the needs in some 56 local authorities.

Budgeted at NIS 155 million a year for multiple years, the comptroller said that the program had succeeded in fostering better cooperation between the various professional government departments working with children and local authorities.

However, it criticized the program for taking more than four years to actually reach the children at risk in the various locations, by which time, pointed out the authors of the report, many of the children identified at risk no longer fit the original criteria and were therefore not eligible to join any of the frameworks that had been created for helping them.

In addition, the comptroller’s report found that the program had not established any quantifiable goals to reduce the number of children at risk. No evaluation had been carried since the program was established. The operation was further chided for using a decentralized computer system to collect and store its data.

The program’s director, appointed by the Welfare and Social Services Ministry, was also faulted for not providing transparent or substantial data from the program.

The State Comptroller’s Office recommended that the program’s steering committee and its director immediately introduce a centralized computer system for collecting and analyzing data. The office also encouraged the program’s director to set quantitative targets for reducing the scope of children at risk.

“At the time of the audit, five years after the government decided to implement it and two years after municipalities started to use the programs to help children at risk, it is unclear to what extent the plan has actually achieved its goals,” wrote the authors of the comptroller’s report.

Now is the time to join the news event of the year - The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference!
For more information and to sign up,
click here>>

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night


Cookie Settings