The Adolescent Therapeutic Community

Therapeutic Community

The unit deals with treatment and mental rehabilitation among candidates aged 18-23 who suffer from mental and functional problems, who are motivated for treatment and rehabilitation. In most cases, these are young people after psychiatric hospitalization who need comprehensive treatment combined with housing. The duration of treatment and rehabilitation is about three years. The therapeutic-rehabilitation program is based, first, on integration into a unique therapeutic community in a homogenous age group, and after that, leaving for independence, with a move to continued apartments and training in the occupational framework of the Summit Institute. 

This department provides treatment and rehabilitative therapy programs for participants suffering from mental health issues that interfere with their ability to function. The participants, aged 18-23 upon entering the Community, are all highly-motivated to seek treatment. In most cases, these young people were recently hospitalized and require comprehensive treatment that includes housing. The treatment and rehabilitation process is approximately three years.

The rehabilitative therapy program is based on unique in-community treatment methods within groups of similar-aged participants. The participants gradually gain independence and move to transitional apartments while undergoing job training through the Summit Institute’s Rehabilitative Vocational Support Center. The initial framework is similar to an all-inclusive hostel with the final treatment stage taking place in the community’s external apartments. An additional interim stage eases the transition between the two, helping participants move toward greater independence. Each stage offers greater daily independence, both socially and in terms of employment.

The staff includes administrators, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, dieticians, and counselors.

The community is located in a residential building in Jerusalem that includes participant apartments, dining room, lounge, treatment rooms, fitness center, and offices.

The Therapeutic Community

The Summit Institute provides participants with a variety of social and psychological therapies. Each adolescent meets with a psychologist twice a week, who guides the participant throughout all stages of the rehabilitative process and supervises each individual's treatment plan. At the same time, social programming integrates all aspects of daily life within the community.

The community’s management resembles a hostel, with oversight committees comprised of both staff and participants. These include a central management committee as well as maintenance, finance, culture committees, and many more. The staff conducts community-wide meetings to discuss all personal and group aspects of community life. The communal lifestyle is a key treatment tool used to teach coping mechanisms for a variety of issues including difficulties with social absorption or separation anxieties.

Transitional Apartments

Transitional apartments serve as a branch of the treatment community, helping participants gradually adjust to independence and responsibility. The administrative staff gradually transfers authority to participants, encouraging them to take advantage of Jerusalem’s social opportunities. The participants maintain direct connections with the therapeutic community through regular meetings for psychotherapy, vocational support, clubs, and social activities. Relationships with Families We believe in creating an accessible treatment community that interacts openly with its surroundings. All participants visit their parents at home every two weeks and are present at meetings between staff and parents. These meetings are held at the beginning of treatment, at all transition stages, and on an as-needed basis with advanced notice.

Contact with the families

We believe in an open therapeutic community, which is not a total framework. Those recovering go to their parents' house every two weeks. Personal team meetings with the parents are held in the presence of the rehabilitators. The frequency is determined according to need and prior arrangement. The meetings take place in any case both at the entrance stages and at the various transitions.


  1. Willingness to integrate into psychological and social rehabilitation and reasonable initial motivation.
  2. The rehabilitator does not use drugs and/or alcohol.
  3. Reasonable level of self-control in destructive behavior.
  4. Intelligence level below average or higher.
  5. The applicant must have a disability allowance of 40% or more. Applicants without an allowance and those approaching the age of 18 are obliged to start the processes with the National Insurance Institute, before applying to the Institute.

The rehabilitation program is mostly financed by the Ministry of Health (rehabilitation basket). Each rehabilitator participates, from the amount of his disability allowance, cost of living and rent, and all according to the amounts determined by the Ministry of Health, from time to time.

Application and Admission


Candidates should send hospitalization and treatment summaries along with any welfare reports to the Summit Institute. After an initial selection process, candidates will be invited for an interview and suitable candidates will be invited for a second interview with the relevant department. The interviews primarily explore each candidate’s motivation to pursue treatment and create lasting changes through rehabilitative treatment. The candidate’s family plays a key role in the treatment and therefore the interview also explores the family’s willingness to support the participant and cooperate with the treatment framework.

The participant, the family, and the referring body all receive the final decision and treatment recommendation along with the Ministry of Health – who is responsible for approving admission.

After receiving Ministry of Health approval and before arriving at Summit, each candidate attends an orientation day. By spending a day in the rehabilitation center and therapeutic community and taking part in activities, candidates become familiar with the framework and ensure they are fully invested.

Admission process: sending appropriate documents to the secretariat via email-

  • Medical documents - letter from a psychiatrist, diagnosis, medications, history of hospitalizations/treatments.
  • A letter from the candidate detailing after reading the program on the website, what are the reasons for them
    Interested in integrating into the community, a letter from supporting factors (caregivers/care coordinators) and me
  • Confirmation of the disability clauses of the unemployment insurance + confirmation of the rehabilitation basket.
  • Photocopy of ID card

Adolescent Therapeutic Community:

Email address for sending documents-

Unit's Mail

Director of the Adolescent Therapeutic Community- Eitan Gafan

Phone: +972-2-5670840 Fax: +972-2-6722141

Questions and Answers

Important questions to ask.

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A child is separated from his or her parents' custody only after efforts have been made to assist the parents and maintain the child's presence within the family. Priority is given to exploring the possibility of placing the child with a close relative, such as grandparents, uncles, or older siblings, before considering placing the child with an unrelated family.

Foster families who are relatives undergo the same screening and training as other foster families. These individuals are committed and dedicated to providing a stable and secure home for a child from their own family, often transforming their lives to do so.

Within the family, foster care helps the child maintain a sense of belonging and often allows them to remain in a familiar environment.

The Summit Institute offers specialized and comprehensive support for these families, including customized courses and group activities, according to their unique needs.

In 2006, the foster care law was enacted thanks to the efforts of Karin Elharer (Yesh Atid movement). As a result of this legislation, many relative foster families are now able to receive the same services and assistance as other foster families.

The Summit Institute supports close foster families by providing professional guidance throughout the process and assisting the children with their fundamental needs.
The term emergency foster care refers to a temporary arrangement for infants and children who have been urgently removed from their homes due to immediate danger. For up to 3 months, these families provide children with all the necessities they need after being removed from their homes, including physical and educational support, as well as a safe and nurturing environment. In addition, emergency foster families facilitate meetings between children and their biological parents at designated contact centres.
During emergency foster care, welfare service care planning committees determine the children's future arrangements, including whether they will live with a long-term foster family, move to another out-of-home placement, or return home.
The Summit Institute supports close foster families by providing professional guidance throughout the process, accompanying the children, and assisting them with their fundamental needs.
The therapeutic foster care system is designed to support children and adolescents with challenging backgrounds who have faced traumas, primarily due to their biological parents' inability to provide essential emotional and physical care for their normal development. 
Therapeutic foster care focuses on helping children exhibiting extreme and diverse behaviours, often requiring ongoing psychiatric supervision and emotional or medicinal treatment.   
In order to accommodate these children, therapeutic foster families must possess emotional resilience and family strength.
Therapeutic foster families receive extensive support throughout the process, including emotional support for the child as well as financial aid to alleviate the burden on the foster family.
When a child enters foster care, it is a transformative event that necessitates a high degree of readiness from the foster family. In the case of foster care for children with special needs, additional considerations come into play.

The CMAD foster care system addresses three types of limitations:

1. Masha - Mental-developmental limitations

2.     Autism

3.     Physical limitations

A family choosing to become a foster family for children with special needs receives comprehensive support from the moment they make the decision and throughout the process. This support encompasses psychological, financial, and enhanced medical assistance. 

We deeply admire and appreciate the families who choose to provide foster care for children with special needs.
It is natural for biological parents to be involved in their children's lives.
In most cases, they continue to be the children's legal guardians 
guardians and retain many parental rights. Foster care is essentially a cooperative parenting effort between the child's biological parents and the welfare services.
The involvement of biological parents is crucial for the development of children in foster care, and we always encourage fostering a positive relationship between foster and biological parents whenever possible.
In accordance with the child's and biological parent's needs, meetings with the children are scheduled weekly, biweekly, or monthly. These meetings take place at supervised contact centers or, in cases where supervision is not required,
at pre-arranged locations like the parents' home or a public park. Contact may be limited to phone calls in some instances, depending on the case.
For a child's mental health, it is vital to foster a strong relationship between the biological and foster parents.
All decisions made by welfare services, foster parents, and biological parents should prioritize the child's best interests and foster a healthy connection with their parents.

Foster care for children at risk

Treatment and rehabilitation for the mentally injured

Parent center for teenagers

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