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While building the Ministry of Health’s “First Thousand Days” strategy, the ministry found that supporting parents during the first years of their children’s lives is a key issue that isn’t dealt with properly. Following these findings, the ministry committed itself to creating a meaningful change in this field, including the Tipat Halav services provided to parents and young children. The Tipat Halav clinics in Israel are the initial treatment centers that pregnant mothers, infants and young children (up to the age of 6) and their parents, come in contact with, and therefore they serve as a window to cultivating and promoting the children’s welfare, as well as their parents. The understanding that the first years of every child’s life are critical in forming their health, welfare, learning and behavior throughout life leads to the creation of services for promoting child health and welfare, and the PBP Program – Partnership for Beneficial Parenting is part part of this.
The PBP Program is a nation wide and multi–year program for promoting the Tipat Halav nurses’ professionalism in the field of parenting and their work with the parents, for their children’s optimal development. The program is led by the Ministry of Health and is supported by the Bernard Van Leer Foundation and the Yad HaNadiv Foundation. The Lotem company is also one of the project’s partners and, together with the rest of the projects partners, is responsible for unique and professional development of the Tipat Halav nurses.
As part of the program an extensive and nation-wide process is promoted for training and implementing the PBP Model that’s goal is to make sure that all families are receiving the support they need to provide their children with a healthy starting point for their lives. To do this, new programs and content is studied, which enhances the nurse’s ability to support the parents, thus leading to healthier development of the children in their early years.
The PBP Model is supported by research that includes knowledge, perceptions and skills that support the promotion of parental behavior that reinforces the relationship between the parent and the child, and improves the child’s emotional, social, mental and cognitive development. The model is inspired by the “communicating vessels” model’s principles – a structured process that allows the establishment of a partnership, that includes in-depth work, between the parents and the various staff members treating their children, including the nurses at the Tipat Halav stations. It also includes a reference to four topics that we would like to increase parental abilities in and promote beneficial parental behavior: parental welfare, emotional regulation, shared playing and playability, and language and literacy.
The new training model is aimed to provide the nurses with a professional support system, that will allow them to implement innovative tools for working with parents and to set in motion a meaningful change in the community. This is especially true in regards to Tipat Halav stations in weakened communities – communities with low-income families, with little awareness to child health and development.
Alongside the nurses’ training, the program promotes the model’s principles and makes knowledge accessible to both professionals and parents through various activity channels, including:
The goal of all of these is to provide parents with a wide variety of tools, support and knowledge, that will help them promote their children’s health and welfare, and this way will help their healthy development in the future as well.