Translation of the article "Orphans Welfare" , Israel , Yediot-Aharonot , author: Merav Batito , Feb. 2008
Not one sign was there to warn against the long arm of the mechanism is too efficient welfare of people. One day she was mother of five children one morning a delegation of four children with sandwiches and stays with the baby. Such volunteer help homeroom teacher before class that separates the party hawks, hugging one in each hand, next day was Mother horrified to discover that her three children were at their school investigation by "an elderly woman who asked us all sorts of things", as she told her daughter First-grader .
"They came home upset," she says, "They said a woman asked them if they hit home if screaming at them. They told recorded them and photographed them".
Tamar (Pseudonym ) picked up a phone in her son's homeroom teacher, Roy who was then aged 11, describes herself not only from the nightmare. "The teacher told that during the break Roy pointed to a big stick and told her: 'my parents hit me with such this', the teacher explained his duty to report to the clerk of Welfare and its members were quick to report to investigate the school children."
The fact that the school knows her well for the better of her four children was not about her credit, the fact that all children are especially Roy outstanding students who fill out their duties was not relevant. The fact that it is always considered a wonderful mother to neighbors and family members, was not considered at all. Call held educator with the welfare kicked it into another territory, a world where she and her husband became suspects abuse, parents have to watch every step they do. Although Roy is hyper active and cared for Ritalin, never needed for relief, and never had to for advice or assistance, there was not any mess that can not be caught out of their own. Two days later, Tamar was called to the welfare department in municipality "They asked me to come, and stated that they sought to get the Roy collect from school, my baby and my daughter in first grade were witj me, I waited there for an hour and a half and nobody bothered to brief me. I began to realize something was wrong".
Finally the welfare officer come, Tamar asked her to know where her son. She said: " 'We took him', and I felt how the end of the world comes I froze and told her: 'You asked yesterday, how to get the conversation turned into a nightmare ?", "I begged you to let me see him, tell me where is the boy, but she said she should not. About two hours after returning, a knocked on her door, two women who presented themselves clerks remedies, and asked me to make a small bag with clothes for Roi. They showed a letter which stated that Roy will be sent to an emergency center in central Israel, and that if they express any opposition may call the police. I started crying, the children stood open-mouthed. I realized at that moment I became pregnant and had my child is no longer my child. Is their child. Only they can decide what happens to him. "
According to estimates, 75 thousand children in Israel now live outside their homes. 35 thousand of whom are children of military boarding schools, yeshiva students, girls tame, and outstanding people with disabilities. 40 thousand or so 2.6 percent of Jewish children in the country are welfare children.
That is such a social worker was involved in taking them out of their home. This high rate five times the average in the western world, wich moving numbers around half a percent only.
Most of these children live in boarding schools are the responsibility of the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Social Affairs and the cost of keeping them reaches billions of dollars a year. While the amounts spent on childcare in the community is minimal.
Welfare Ministry officials work necessary and often save lives, but more and more complaints are received that the system works with emergency orders, commission decision and opinions of the masses on its behalf, who came to protect and help promote and support, has become rampant in recent years to a militant policy which has become a last resort - Publishing child allow parents - the easy solution is available and rest.
Accurate figure for the number of children removed from their homes does not exist. Various experts talk about 5000 per year . Welfare Ministry spokesman estimates the number at 1,500 a year, but argues that database of information about the Center. This is an amazing thing, how can the system to examine and criticize the work of its officials notched fates? Compare the method of action against what is happening in other countries?, Especially seriously examine the allegations being made difficult years about the frivolity with which children find their parents Authority?
"Remove a child age five or six out of the house is the most destructive thing, or is incorrect thousand psychiatrists will not help then". Says Udi (a pseudonym) a senior relief official resigned after approximately - 20 years due to disagreements with his superiors. In this capacity he was responsible for 15 welfare officials. One of the complaints against him, he says was not out enough orders (orders for admission, testing, surveillance, emergency) in the region, he had been appointed. "I felt that my work has become the index number of orders, in relation to the number of people I spent them treated, and not to quality of work. Until ten years ago we worked with conviction, and treatment. Assuming forced not promote anybody. Today the policy is much more openly aggressive. It's not that began increasing stricken children, or the number of parents who treat their children properly. No! check every Western country the numbers are similar. just spend more orders. No one here does not grow on trees on a desert island, what are you hurrying to the boy and send him to boarding school? what is to blame? there He will not be in distress? "
MK Marina Solodkin not hesitate to compare the situation now hijacking the Yemenite children affair. "There", she says, "took the children for large families and moved them to other families. Here add insult to injury and take children from their parents, for example because their economic situation worse, with immigrants taking the children from families normative.
Many turn to me and they are not addicts or criminals. More and more people are afraid to contact authorities to request financial assistance for welfare to take them for fear of the child "
Solodkin's desk lay 16 open cases, with each facing a similar situation: "All children are facing publishing house wrongly. Turn me mothers, sisters, grandmothers, 'Why not transfer them to family members?', Turned to me and 45 year old woman from the south, are to her grandson allow her daughter is an educated woman working as a teacher and asked to be Mshmurnit of children. welfare officer told her: 'I have an appointment for adoption, do not get it. " Those poor who have no money for food, and therefore lost their children, must now spend money on attorney ".
Eventually this was the story of Tamar: "All that night did not sleep We were looking for someone to help return the Roy home," she says. Tamar and her husband contacted lawyers Amikb splendor and joy Shapiro: "We explained to Tamar that authority to a child welfare officer from his home immediately, if she thinks the child in danger," Mr. Shapiro says: "She did not need a judge order, and has great power as a cop. Within seven days from the time the child was removed, the welfare officer must be approved in court. There she comes with a written statement, signed by a lawyer. "Mr. Hadar:" There is no reason a judge would not approve such a request, if no reasoned objection, and parents must act immediately to offer the judge, how to treat their child. If the judge sees a serious family He answered, "but the warrant was approved by the judge before Roy's parents were lawyers." All Ainstink parents in this case would be incorrect, "says attorney Shapiro:" normal parent would run wide open, his children will require valid and then charged with violence. What proves that the system of welfare officials who removed the child's right permission.
So what should a parent do in this situation?
"Go to a lawyer and recruit tens of thousands for a renowned psychologist to give an opinion, or any relevant professional. Next stop is the Committee recommend a decision if the child returns to his parents or out of it. Recommendations of the Committee will receive an official approval by a court rely on its recommendations. If parents money they will not have the strength to fight the commission and the court decisions "
Tamar and her husband Roy were invited to visit the emergency center just after a week and a half. "When he saw us and hugged the three of us and we were not able to stop crying. After calmed down, he begged us to take him away, the director said we place a classic example of parents and their child should not be such a place."
But Roy's condition began to deteriorate "At first he did not want to see us," continues Tamar "Then they told us that he tried to commit suicide". Three weeks was Roy psychiatric hospital in Nes Ziona. Tamar was staying there with him every day. "We brought a boy of 12 who sleep at night and wants to keep the mother and father beside him. 110 thousand shekels cost us bring him home. 60 thousand savings and we kept expanding home mortgage we took 50 thousand. Even today continued tight control on the Tamar and her husband. They receive regular visits of the Ministry of Welfare, patients with a psychologist as he promised the committee decision. This is despite evidence never raised any claims against them. Tamar received a month ago Message Advocate that the criminal case was opened following a complaint filed by the welfare officer based on the words son was closed for lack of evidence. Mr. Shapiro says: "This means that those remedies clerk sufficient evidence to establish guilt of the parents and the removal of child from home, not enough to decide on an indictment, the sad conclusion that arrive after the damage caused, and the family was destroyed.
These days, Tamar and her husband are considering to sue the welfare officer and his superiors about her welfare.
November 2002 Committee submitted its conclusions Gilat welfare minister. The commission was established because of multiple complaints parents whose children were asked to check they are being held among the committee decision, about 200 the number of workers across the country, their jurisdiction to recommend to the court the removal of a child his parents' authority. About 25 recommendations are a summary work of the committee, most of them concern the increasing involvement of the minor and his family held a committee which began the process, clarifying the issue of publishing child allow parents, increasing the transparency of what is happening within the committee, setting the vehicle's legislation committee, the establishment of communities Commissioner parents, reducing time Publishing a child from his home between emergency order to receive approval by a judge for seven days - 48 hours of such an appeal committees covered in cases where parents would file an appeal on the decision of the committee composition or more.
The committee's conclusions were in fact a severe indictment against the existing procedure in Israel, but because of an exchange of Ministers Ministry of Social Affairs had not made recommendations to the provisions in fact buried under the political bureaucracy.
"The most disturbing thing is the damage to our family," said Dr. Zvi Gilat who headed the committee "These people turn to welfare authorities for help, a social worker is their savior, they tell him their problems and pain, hoping to receive assistance, a social worker that sits Committee The decision to tell where everything he heard in blatant violation of the confidentiality between therapist and patient, and based on this authority will issue the child of his parents. Anything I say parent blood chambers of his heart Itzotadt Btskirim opinion recommend to hand the child ".
It was a feeling of Alona (a pseudonym) had not bringing up three small children: a year was sent to the slave hosts "one of the settlements in Judea and Samaria, and five and a daughter three staying with her mother in another town after reinforcing issued several months ago. Is a single mother not receiving child support children's father when he felt immediately after the birth of third daughter can not bear an economic burden faced social services. "With my parents I'm in conflict and the children are all I have in the world, people were a source of welfare support only one I had trusted him."
Only in retrospect she realized she needed to pay attention to is what will happen "social worker explained that in order to get assistance, so that the children will be part of every day until six o'clock, you have to open a file in need, and for that I get to court. The night before the trial he came to me and told I happily they 'have achieved a discussion for me, then started asking all kinds of questions that seemed subversive "
"He asked: 'is difficult for you with the kids?" And wanted to know what I'm doing my mad When we realized kicking me, so I told him seldom, I give him when he behaves like Flick, he asked:' What would you do if the children would go to another house? ", and I told him: 'What for?", he asked me questions like that, then he explained still hard for me because of the birth. my impression was that he was trying to sweep me statements to prove I was not functioning properly ".
Alona stood next court she was sure that this debate "needy case, but the story was completely different" Suddenly I see my parents I'm not in touch with them for a long time, relief officials started talking about Tskirim wrote me and did not know existed. And so the judge said that the children could not be with me. I was in shock. Until then I had no idea the question of custody of the Chapter. I buried my tin. using my distress to take away my children. If I knew I would not say that a social worker. He used my words To write a review against me. "
That same night Alona packed two bags and three small children climbed onto the bus and drove to a small town north of money left her rented a small apartment. Three weeks later she was sure that everything behind. Two small back garden which recorded them immediately upon arrival to the city, she put the baby carriage, and left with three local supermarket. As she bent down to put the milk wagon, police charged her: "They pushed me against the wall violently, presented my picture and shouted: 'Is that you?", All the people around us looked at, children began to cry, saying arrest me for kidnapping minors ". That night she was sent away Alona arrest was released after signing a commitment not to come near her children without permission, "I did not want to sign," she says, "but was informed that if I refused to send me to Neve Tirza, you know what the judge said the hearing was two weeks ago?, He said that if I agreed to sign a decree that I must be a good mother and not fit to raise children. " Alona depressing meeting with the center reaches us where she met her children as permitted by the judge once a week. Together with her close friend came equipped guitar, the great white was a birthday and she wanted to do a little happy. Great sadness and confusion, she turns around with an apple folder of documents, opinions, letters from Attorney allocated to legal aid, restraining orders, Tskirim.
She does not know the meaning of all those whom she just wants her children back.
The weak suffer
Yaqub her, author of "Children are far" devoted an entire chapter to what he calls "systematic exclusion of poor children. Her: "Once a parent talking to employee welfare, automatically becomes the child of his child at risk. Most children who find their homes are the weaker sectors. Most committee hearings are the families decision populations economically and socially weak. Many of the children who do not live in their homes and families are single children parent families.
Her, an accountant by trade and critic of government companies say that there is almost no numerical data on the matter. "No one in Israel knows exactly how many children live outside their home. This state of high - tech and can get any data that only want to touch of a button but not the data, is a system built on the hide, because the decisions which are arbitrary. If you expose revealed nakedness system picking on families rather difficult and does not Mnmkt decisions.
It collected data indicating that the cities where low socioeconomic level increased each year the number of children who find their homes. Each locality examined socio scale rated from - 1 to 10. Thus, for example, found that in Kiryat Gat (Level 4) There are 75 children who live in their homes ratio of 15.63 children per 10 thousand inhabitants. Raanana (Level 8) compared with 6 children that are staying outside their homes ratio of 0.75 children per 10 thousand inhabitants. Found similar gaps between the edges quite a few other communities.
Situation even worse among immigrants. "Low socioeconomic status along with the lack of knowledge of the language and familiarity of bureaucracy to bring the inability to survive". Attorney says Yael wave Callies organization Tbka "Hmshig legal assistance to immigrants from Ethiopia.
Last year the organization began to handle the expenses of children from their homes. "We realized that the phenomenon of children's publishing intolerable easily, often for reasons not pertinent, not when things are good the child is taken into account. Segal tells mockery "often develops a negative dynamic between parent welfare officer, and that brings a wrong reading of the map by a welfare officer decides the fate of the child".
Parent comes to us not always understand the language and the meaning of what he was told by those who treat court. "We had a case of if only half realized after three discussions are going to take her children, she began to cry in front of the judge. I think it was the first time the mother noticed Judge, how can we hold a discussion regarding the law of persons, When parents do not know who they are supposed contact?.
This judge does not understand that once spend one child family is a matter of time before the next child to come out. Sense of failure of the Ethiopian children were taken from them is terrible, and they automatically disconnect the child removed from home. "
She had actually Fry (pseudonym) living in Ethiopia are not bad. She studied at the university in Addis Ababa, and spoke several languages. Israel came 11 years ago as a mother, a single mother with four children. He knew that Israel was divorced about 70 sure that from now on will be much better. "I never married him for both of us was comfortable in this situation."
Then was born Sarah (a pseudonym) says Fry friction between the spouse and four children adolescents made their first steps in an Israeli company were increased "He tried to take my children gave orders, intervened almost everything". When Sarah was 3 years old her father left the house.
"He waited for an opportunity to get back at me and although I knew a good mother," adds Fry. She takes the wallet and proudly points to pictures of children's eldest daughter, a doctor at a hospital in New York, two other girls are married raising children in the north and the youngest soldier in me.
Youngest daughter Sarah, were no longer a normal life when she was five years old and Frei went to Ethiopia. "My ex-husband died, even though we were not married, he was dear to my heart and it was important for me to get to his funeral. While Sarah was there remained under the supervision of older sisters and relatives.
Her lawyer would later write to the court affidavit obtained by the sequence of events. "The welfare and asked him to call the father to take him to hurry his daughter. When she returned to Israel Fry daughter was horrified to discover Authority transferred Father".
Fry crying silently bowed her head and covering her face with both hands gently. "They told me I could not get near her, or call the police told me I was wrong, I can not raise my child." Six years, she struggled to get her daughter back, six years of agony which was pushed over by the system, moved from her home in the north to live close to my father's daughter. Turned myriad factors, reaching every week for a meeting with her daughter in the center of contact. "Only when she arrived to us, we discovered there was not even legal process," says Mr. Segal Callies' The child was transferred to her father's authority without a warrant. "
In October 2003, Judge Samuel Bukowski received a letter from the foot of witnesses, legal claims voluntarily accompanied Fry. The letter tells the witnesses through the ordeal Del Fry. "In - 9 Oct 2003 Fry came to meet the social worker that. Aforementioned questioned her about the relationship with me, and why she rents the house how much money she receives for the rental and other questions not related to the subject. Meeting her mother cried and begged her time arrangements set dates to see her daughter, but it snapped in her face because she would never see her. This meeting came crying to me whether she is weak and helpless.
More She wrote: "Clearly I conducted shows that court orders are not held at all. I'm shocked how in Israel two thousand years of a child taken from his parents happens when the child is the subject matter itself, but comes to serve as 'punishment' by the social worker without thinking to turn to the trial. I wonder if such a thing could happen in a wealthy educated man or of the law. So I'm wondering if it was intervened If ever comes to court ".
After six years of persistent struggle which was treated by 80-year-old father of daughters older home where Sarah. But by then it was not her child, she lost her faith often confront her mother. What else - so it was decided again to allow her mother Sarah, this time boarding school.
Fry broken, again and again is flip through the piles of papers, looking for a letter Sfitzifi wrote "There are lots of ways to provide child care but did not see anything they throw them up for adoption, foster or boarding school. That's what they know but not my child an orphan," she wrote there, " My language is difficult and hard to understand you, but tell you that in the most obvious "I want my child to stay at home do something to save her."
Soon after the end of document shows Fry Committee's decision: "Both parents agree that the girl will leave campus," it said, "me" she says "No one asked."
A month ago they moved MKs Avraham Ravitz life Amsalem demand letter to Labor and Welfare Committee. Background: Welfare Ministry figures for 2006 according to which you are 4000 children and youth court orders issued from their homes. "We think they wrote" the most serious thing is carried out while trampling Best interests especially of the frames providing quality foreign domestic dangers child exposed to them during their stay in them. Very often many times the serious risk which was his home. "
"I'm not ready to imagine," says MK Amsalem week, "excess power in the hands of social mechanism brings indirectly destroys the family unit." Chairman "of movement for the future of our children," Jacob Ben Issachar number of dozens of parents who come to the office every month " Because there is no body visits the Ministry's decision regarding the issuing of children "he says," individuals who can assist are Oolntriim bodies like us. "
Shimon tag Marjorie past social worker and consultant welfare minister and today heads the organization "look" for families "in trouble" with Social Services, "Social Services" he says, "do not work as therapists and patients in relation of mutual trust, but the ratio of police offenders. welfare officials have angels but they are few. "
For him the main problem is that social services do not know to differentiate between their world and values of patients. If the social worker comes to ultra-Orthodox family and sees 10 children sleeping in two rooms is shaken, he does not take account of the father is the ideal Avrech prefers to live barely above all his children absorb values such as abstemious. The fact that the father was not a great educator is taken into account by a welfare measure that is based on standards that he knows and determines who support their children properly.
Tag Marjorie handles dozens of cases of children removed their parents Authority. "I ask parents the whole truth on the table, offers a therapeutic program, comes with committee decision, court hearings and accompanies them in the process. One of the aggravating me is that the state not funding treatment program, you are good enough to get a house but not good enough to handle him and his family ".".