For several years, the Beit Tuvia community has offered a broad-scope, long-term program to rehabilitate, nurture, empower, and prepare teens as they get ready to leave the dormitory and move on to their next stages in life.
Established in 1997 and upgraded in 2012, the Teenagers’ House provides adolescent dormitory residents and other teens in need of an out-of-home solution a home-like atmosphere that meets their personal and social needs. The home also provides its teenage residents with a supportive training program that helps them prepare for army service and independent adulthood.
The daily schedule includes a “morning circle" in which residents gather to sing and discuss the coming day's events; individual therapy sessions in the afternoons; and joint evening activities. On Friday evenings, a festive cultural event culminates each week, while Saturdays are devoted to rest and creative activities. Daily social and cultural activities in the Teenagers’ House include boys’ and girls’ nights, classes, hikes, special work weeks, and more.
The teens also participate in a life skills workshop, designed to prepare them for various social situations they might face in the future. Facilitated by social workers and experienced counselors, the workshop includes single-sex and mixed discussion circles, lectures on various topics, and role-playing exercises emphasizing non-violent communication, getting to know the opposite sex, and coping with crises.
Teenagers’ House residents learn in different schools in the region, based on their skills, needs, and limitations.
The Teenagers’ House provides its students with a tailor-made therapy plan, as part of the overall treatment plan offered by Beit Tuvia. Therapies include art therapy, movement therapy, drama therapy, therapeutic horseback riding, and more. In addition, care from psychologists and social workers are also provided as needed.
We place special emphasis on renewing and improving the teens’ connection with the home from which they were sent to the dormitory. Attempts to renew and intensify ties with the teen’s family are done gently and carefully, via frequent visits with the parents and involving them in their child’s life, while at the same time paying close attention to and meeting the children’s needs.
All of the teens carry out household chores in turn at the Teenagers’ House, designed to help them acquire basic skills and independence. They are also required to keep their rooms clean and organized. In addition, some of the teens work in the overall Beit Tuvia community, as well as in the kibbutz itself. Participation in these tasks is based on the teen’s level of responsibility, seriousness, and abilities.
The pre-professional training program helps the teens gain skills and knowledge in such crafts as woodworking, sculpture, jewelry making, and photography. Many of the students participate in the wide variety of employment and training opportunities available on Kibbutz Harduf, such as the organic vegetable garden, working with animals, the local restaurant, and the supplementary education system on the kibbutz. The teens can also undergo training in building construction and maintenance, and participate in a workshop on fashion and textile design. In the future, we intend to open a training program for the culinary arts, based on Kamah's new professionally equipped kitchen. Work experience is an extremely valuable resource for teens, helping them develop such skills and capacities as responsibility, initiative, teamwork, diligence, and self-discipline. More than pre-vocational training, this program allows the teens to experience different things in a variety of areas.
Near the end of high school and life in the dormitory, students participate in a preparatory life skills program. They experience working for wages, saving money and opening a bank account, using public transportation, and developing strategies for setting and achieving personal goals. Prior to army or national service, a personal plan is worked out with each of them, and every student is assisted by a social worker before and after they leave Beit Tuvia