Child-Parent Centers: Mobile Regional Model – Evaluation Study

Child-Parent Centers (CPCs) were developed by the Children and Youth Service of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Ashalim as an innovative service for children at risk and their parents. They address children aged 5-12 suffering from emotional/behavioral problems. Their goal is to improve the children’s emotional, social and behavioral functioning, the child-parent relationship, and parental care. Their staff comprises social workers, psychologists, expressive therapists (i.e., art and drama), housemothers and counselors. One of the cornerstones of the CPCs is the preparation of an individual treatment plan for each family.

In the past, CPCs were inaccessible to peripheral communities too small to have their own centers and too far from existing ones. To make the service available to these communities, a mobile model was launched experimentally, based on the same principles as the basic model and delivering services to four-five small localities (5,000-15,000 residents) in a circumscribed geographic cluster. The model was introduced in 2005, in Arab localities in Galilee and in Jewish localities in the Sharon Plain. Each locality refers 20-25 clients to the CPCs so that, overall, the number of clients is similar to that of the basic model.

 Previously, the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute evaluated the basic CPC model (the report was published in 2009). Following the implementation of the mobile CPCs, the Institute was asked to evaluate this model as well. The study will provide policymakers and service developers with information regarding further development and expansion. The population consisted of 50 families and 118 children treated at the two mobile centers. The study examined the processes of implementing the centers and their functioning, and the treatment outcomes of the CPCs for children and parents.

The main findings of the study included:

  •  Following treatment at the centers, there was improvement in the children’s condition and in parental functioning
  •  The implementation of the mobile CPCs requires more resources than the basic model, due to, among other things, the added time needed for mobility and staff meetings, and the management of a larger staff
  •  Following initial difficulties, the implementation of the model improved; e.g., cooperation improved with local Social Service Departments in the general delivery of services and in family casework, as well as in the allocation and maintenance of premises for the CPCs.
    The study revealed that the mobile CPC model can be implemented by modifying and adapting the basic model.

The study findings were presented to the service developers and staff of the CPCs countrywide and are a basis for the continued development of the service and of additional models of CPCs. The study was initiated and funded by the National Insurance Institute Fund for Demonstration Projects.