Child development support systems

Ensuring access to high-quality professional services addressing the needs of children with developmental delays in the geographic and social periphery.


Forum of child development units

Child development units, sometimes operating within early childhood centers, treat children with developmental delays in Israel’s geo-social periphery. These units help to close development gaps through early detection and holistic intervention based on a community-oriented approach.

The forum of developmental units is a coalition of some 100 clinics that was established with the support of Rashi and the Agnes and Beny Steinmetz Foundation. Its goal is to ensure the long-term sustainability of the units, so that they will be able to continue and enhance their work of providing high-quality professional services to all Israeli children.

Although child development services are part of the public healthcare system, in recent years the reimbursement by the HMOs fell short of covering the actual cost; this caused some units to close while others struggle to carry on. Following a campaign led by the forum, an agreement has been signed that sets for the first time a standard fare for treatment services, in addition to increased budget allocation by the Ministry of Health.

Distance therapy

While the coronavirus crisis has multiplied the demand for treatment for children and families, it also made it more difficult to deliver such services. Working at a distance, the therapists needed both technological tools and knowledge in using these tools.

Distance therapy has many challenges, but also opportunities for increasing access to first-rate services in the periphery, in combination with face-to-face treatment sessions. Recognizing these opportunities, Rashi has joined the Ministry of Health and the Israel Child Development Association in designing a long-term training and support system.

The training takes place in groups of 40 participants and focuses on key issues such as: tools for synchronous and asynchronous online therapy; ethical dilemmas in distance therapy; advantages vs. limitations; etc. The initiative also includes creating a support system for implementation within the developmental units, a database and a community of practice.



Government | Local authorities | Philanthropy

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