Achuzat Sara is a supportive, therapeutic residential home to 100 children-at-risk, aged 8-18, from dysfunctional families, referred to us by child services to protect them from neglect, abuse, parental dysfunction, and maladaptive social behavior. The children we serve have been traumatized by their own life experiences and most of them suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). They deal with significant learning disorders, emotional difficulties and challenging behavior. It is the goal of Emunah Achuzat Sara to break the cycle of distress. This is done by a unique therapeutic and educational program of interventions, tailor made to meet the needs of each individual child.
Most of our children have great difficulty expressing their emotions and their pain. Achuzat Sara is constantly looking to develop innovative and effective methods to respond to their therapeutic needs.
Social Clowning or Social Clown Care for traumatized children in residential care, is an original and previously never tried therapy method aimed at easing symptoms of PTSD and helping the children to cope with their painful reality. This is a therapeutic startup, developed and introduced at Achuzat Sara little over 3 years ago. The program is run in cooperation with Dream Doctors, the primary provider of medical clowning in Israeli hospitals.
For the first time in Israel (and perhaps the world over) the skills of medical clowns are used to help traumatized children in residential care. In hospitals, the clowns help people to overcome their fears, to undergo painful procedures, calm family members and generally make people smile and feel better. Over the past two years we have discovered that application of the same principles used by the clowns in the hospitals, is extremely effective in the treatment of our traumatized, anxious, hurting yet wonderful children.
Through a combination of fun, non-judgmental and non-threatening encounters with the children, the clowns, professionally trained and less likely to generate suspicion or anxiety, are able at least initially, to reach the children and interact on a deeper level, than more traditional therapists.
Our request is for a donation that will enable Emunah Achuzat Sara to expand the Social Clown Care program and make it available to many more children, who will benefit greatly. In addition, at Achuzat Sara we pride ourselves on our comprehensive intervention program which encompasses not only our children but also their parents and/or older siblings. The goal is to strengthen relationships between parents and children, to teach parenting skills and to enrich and reinforce parenting roles, thereby breaking the cycle. It is our dream to include social clowning in programs for parents and staff, so that they too will benefit from this intervention.