Adi Center for Young Girls at Risk
Adi is a day treatment program that provides an intensive multi-faceted solution to the special needs of high-risk teen-age girls. The centre operates from 10 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and has a capacity of treating 12 teens from diverse Israeli cultures and communities. Located on the 2nd floor of the WIZO Women’s Centre in Beer Sheva, Adi has been operating since 2008. The Adi centre sponsored by WIZO UK is a model of excellence in treating teen-age girls living in high risk situations.
Adi’s philosophy is that every girl has the strength and ability to enable her to become a partner in her own rehabilitation plan. The community also plays an important role in the lives of the girls, and whenever possible, teens remain in their natural home setting while therapists work to facilitate healthy family relationships.
Girls ages range from 13-16. All are school dropouts in need of support. The goal is to enable them to reenter society, school or a suitable setting after one year, but many of the girls require additional emotional or educational support and stay on longer. Beginning treatment at an early age is crucial. It can provide the best chance for success towards finishing high school, passing matriculation exams and even joining the IDF.
Therapies include guided imagery, improvisation/drama, animal assisted therapy, family therapy and individual therapy. Weekly workshops are available for girls who have experienced sexual abuse.
In addition to the therapies provided, girls relate to Adi as a safe and secure setting. They reach out to counsellors for support and advice; some of them even years after their treatment has ended.
At Adi each girl is given an equal opportunity to succeed in overcoming her educational gaps. When the girls first arrive, many come without school records. It is up to the staff to determine their educational levels. Once their educational levels have been assessed, and a plan is in place, they are assigned specialized teachers who work with them in small groups. The goal is for every girl to attain a high school diploma and to pass matriculation exams when possible. The inviting educational environment contributes to success.
Relationship with Law Enforcement Officers
Many of the girls have had bad experiences with the police, leaving them with negative feelings towards law enforcement. Through the development of a unique and positive relationship with the local police force, Adi staff have successfully advocated for many of the girl’s criminal files to be closed. In addition, police personnel provide the teens with crucial life skill information such as learning about the dangers of communicating via the internet. When sexual attacks or threats do occur, special police representatives are there to help. The relationship between girls in Adi and the law enforcement team in Beer Sheva is unique and successful, as several of them have made the decision to become active volunteers in the local police force.
The staff at the centre consists of a director, 2 social workers, a house mother, and a mentor / counselor. As the girls take their first steps through the door every morning, they are greeted by the housemother. A warm nutritious breakfast awaits them along with motherly advice and lots of love. Partners in this project are voluneers from the WIZO branch in Beer Sheva, the local welfare office, and the municipality of Beer Sheva.