AMERICAN FRIENDS OF THE ISRAEL NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR THE CHILD INC

Potomac, MD

Mission

The American Friends of the Israel National Council for the Child, a non-profit organization, exists to raise awareness of, and support for, the Israel National Council for the Child, Israel's foremost children’s advocacy organization working to protect the rights, welfare and well-being of all children in Israel. The AFINCC is a partner in the NCC’s mission to be a central body in the cooperation, coordination and direction of efforts toward ensuring the welfare, well-being and rights of all children in Israel, by initiating and promoting policy, and serving as a source of information for professionals, government, and the social sector.

Ruling year info

2011

President

Ms. Beth Lakenbach

Secretary

Dr. Barbara Cohen

Main address

7883 Heatherton Ln

Potomac, MD 20854 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

26-2169840

NTEE code info

Children's Rights (R28)

Victims' Services (P62)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Children are among the most vulnerable members of society, unable to protect themselves, and unrepresented before authorities. Children face risks of violence and abuse, exploitation, disability-related issues, lack of accessibility or availability to critical health and welfare services, education or care, family distress, and others. Some of the risks are individual occurrences requiring intervention, others may be grounded in a social injustice to children due to flawed policy or legislation, or the lack of enforcement. These risks exist in families, communities, and society, across all populations and socioeconomic levels. For children who face these risks or whose fundamental rights are infringed upon, their well-being, social and physical development may be at risk impacting their childhood and their future, with serious social and economic implications for Israeli society as a whole.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Ombudsperson for Children and Youth

Strong, independent and effective, the Ombudsperson for Children and Youth (OCY) is the place for children, families, professionals and concerned citizens to contact to report and receive help regarding the infringement of children's rights.
The OCY was established in 1990 to defend and protect Israel's children against violence, cruelty, exploitation, deprivation, neglect and other forms of maltreatment and to serve as an advocate for children in all aspects of life. It serves as the vital link with the community of all Israeli children and youth.
This important service provided by the NCC is the only address in Israel that deals with all children’s issues for all children in Israel.
The OCY addresses each call for help individually, through a variety of different methods of intervention, appropriate to the needs and best interest of each child. The OCY provides information and advice, directs and coordinates the proper services towards a solution, mediates disputes, monitors services responsible for children's welfare, and advocates for the child to relevant authorities.
The OCY considers the multi-dimensional aspects of the child: familial and social; physical and emotional; and works to initiate and strengthen cooperation and communication between the different bodies involved with services for the child, and the child's family, enabling them to coordinate more effectively towards a comprehensive solution for the child.

The OCY's objectivity and independence, and highly respected reputation, elicits trust from persons seeking help, and willingness to cooperate from professionals involved in intervention.
No other service offers the expertise on children's issues that the OCY offers. The OCY has an astute knowledge of Israel law and its implications for children and a keen understanding of how systems work in Israel, and who to contact. Moreover, the unique framework enables the OCY to harness the benefit of direct contact with the population to expose needs and problems that children face on a broader level and to work towards change in policies and practice, primarily in government offices and Parliament.
The OCY may be the first call made for someone struggling with who to contact or may be the last resource for those who have not reached solutions through other sources. Nonetheless, the OCY has the influence and expertise to resolve cases previously unsolved.
The impact of the Ombudsman’s work is two-fold: 1) the protection and improvement of the lives of those children for whom we intervened, and 2) the improvement of the lives of future children who will be protected by changes in processes, policy or legislation carried out following requests for assistance.

Population(s) Served

The Child Victim Assistance Program is a unique and vital program established to address the special difficulties of children and youth victimized by crimes of sex and violence by providing information, support, accompaniment and mediation throughout the legal process. Over 50 trained volunteer companions accompany the child abuse victims and their supporting families from the moment the complaint is filed until the conclusion of the criminal proceedings, providing sensitive and accessible support focused on the victim's needs. Over 400 children are helped each year.

In Israel, child victims of abuse may initiate the criminal justice process and may testify, however they are not considered a party in the process. They face difficulties in dealing with a stressful, unfamiliar and threatening legal process not suited to children and in which the child's needs may not be met. They often have questions but no place to turn for answers. They are not always informed of decisions made throughout the process, decisions that have a real impact on their lives and on their physical and mental well-being. Testifying in court can be a stressful experience, adding to the trauma of the abuse. The stress is compounded when the accused is a close relative, such as a parent. These stressful circumstances often lead to additional trauma and have serious implications on the child's wellbeing and on the ability to participate effectively in the legal process. It is especially in these situations that the child needs support from someone familiar with the legal system who will protect their rights.

Moriah (pseudonym), 15, was sexually abused by her brother for years. After she gained the courage to report her abuse, her family defended her brother and she found herself alone and on her own. She turned to the Child Victim Assistance Program for help. Through the program, she was provided with a trained volunteer companion who listened to her and provided support and accompanied her throughout the legal process. She was provided information in simple and understandable terms, keeping her informed about what was happening in her case and what lay ahead. The companion assisted in maximizing her rights as a victim of crime and accessing services available to her, empowering Moriah and giving her someone she could trust. For the first time Moriah felt that someone believed her.

From a thank you letter to the companion:
"... I hope you will continue to help other children because you are saving lives ... You helped me in a way that no one did, no friend or family member helped me like you, and I will never forget you ..."

Population(s) Served

The Children’s Rights Mobile Unit introduces elementary school children to the concept of children’s rights and responsibilities; stressing violence prevention, equality and respect for themselves, and the responsibility to protect these rights for others. Engaging children in a variety of fun experiential activities, the Mobile Unit teaches children about their rights (while clarifying that rights do not mean a lack of boundaries) and provides them with tools to cope with situations of a violation of their rights, especially in situations of harm and abuse. Mobile Unit visits take place in elementary schools, hospitals, summer camps, and youth groups across the country reaching close to 10,000 children annually. Moreover, it is a regular occurrence that after the Mobile Unit visit, a child (or children) will report to the Mobile Unit team about a friend they feel is being abused, or their own personal experience. In the majority of cases, this encounter is the first time that the abuse or distress is revealed. The National Council for the Child then intervenes and follows up on these cases to ensure that the child in question is being cared for.

Population(s) Served

Children and youth are vital stakeholders in society and they have the right to be heard in decisions regarding their lives. Their inclusion in policy development contributes to a more democratic society, helps ensure that services and policies more genuinely meet their needs and, on an individual level, enhances their personal and social education and development.
The new Youth Parliament aims to develop a model for including youth from the periphery in policy-making and decision-making processes at the national level. The program aims to expose the potential for and advantages of youth participating in policy making towards just and relevant policy affecting their lives, and to encourage government ministries and offices to establish and operate similar mechanisms for youth inclusion in policy and service development.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

NCC envisions an Israel in which every child is safe, healthy, educated, and given an opportunity to grow and develop to their fullest potential.
NCC envisions a country in which children are protected from those who may harm them, where every child knows there is someone looking out for him or her, that there is someone who cares. NCC realizes this vision by directing a national effort to safeguard the rights and the wellbeing of all children in Israel. NCC leads that effort in the private and public sphere, in the legal system and in government.

The American Friends of the Israel National Council for the Child works to raise awareness of, and support for, the Israel National Council for the Child. The AFINCC is a partner in the NCC's mission to promote and protect the welfare and well-being of children in Israel and to bring forth significant social change for children.

NCC strategy is based on the premise that no one method alone can bring about social change.
NCC is alerted to children's issues requiring intervention by:
• Operating direct services that provide contact with children, families, professionals (Ombudsperson for Children; Child Victim Assistance Program)
• Collection and analysis of data
• Professional contact and collaboration with other organizations
• Monitoring court rulings, government action and reports, and media
Upon the decision to act, strategies to influence change:
• Participation in government and Knesset committees
• Raising public awareness and influencing attitudes through the media and dissemination of information
• Presenting our position and information to policymakers
• Setting legal precedents
• Developing and operating model programs (best-practices)
To retain critical independence and freedom to act in defense of children under all circumstances, NCC does not accept government funding.

Micro - Macro: NCC's benefits from direct contact with individuals that exposes problems children face on a broader level, and works towards change in policy and practice that impact all children. NCC has successfully brought about critical change to improve children's lives and ensure their protection for over 30 years.
The whole child: NCC considers the multi-dimensional aspects of the child: familial and social; physical and emotional; and works to initiate and strengthen cooperation and communication between the different bodies involved with children, towards effective and comprehensive solutions.
Expertise, Experience: Expertise in the range of children's issues and policies; experienced and dedicated multi-disciplinary team
Objective, Independent, Respected: Free from outside interests, NCC can act on behalf of every child and in the child's best interest. NCC's reputation elicits trust from persons seeking help and willingness to cooperate from professionals and policy-makers.

The American Friends of the INCC has made progress over its first years in operation and has been able to provide significant support to the INCC for their programs for children in Israel.

Financials

AMERICAN FRIENDS OF THE ISRAEL NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR THE CHILD INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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AMERICAN FRIENDS OF THE ISRAEL NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR THE CHILD INC

Board of directors
as of 7/2/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Beth Lakenbach

Beth Lakenbach

Lisa Levy

Barbara Cohen

Cary Lakenbach

Kim Rosenfield

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No