Ulpanat Dolev, since 1988, is home, family and an experimental school (grades 7-12 and post high school supervision), sponsored by the Ministries of Education and Welfare and a treatment centre for approximately 130 girls with emotional difficulties. These girls are referred by court order and by welfare officials from around the country – Hatzor Haglilit to Dimona in the South. Ulpanat Dolev is designed as a special place that gives them a therapeutic environment, with an emphasis on providing a lot of “TLC”: an experimental school, small classes and a loving professional team. Their living conditions (mishpachton) consist of a nuclear family with 12 girls together. There is a significant personal relationship with the staff throughout the day, and daily exposure to a family model and family dynamics. In addition, eight social workers constantly supervise and relate to each student as a unique individual. National Service volunteers also serve as “big sisters” in the 10 mishpachton dormitory settings.
The Therapy Center provides individual and group myriad therapies including an interventional program built for each girl, according to her emotional and academic level, and her skills. For example, therapies in art, drama, gardening, music, movement, equestrian (horses) and dog training. The therapy sessions are attended by the school counselor, psychologist and psychiatrist, depending on each girl’s individual needs.
Each student is hosted weekly by a volunteer Dolev family who wraps the girl with love, includes her in the family, and is also a healthy family role model. These hosting families help girls overcome difficulties and obstacles, and constitute a significant design model and their way of girls.
Innovation and creativity at Ulpanat Dolev are the landscape and the basis for success. The range of options is open to each girl to select her own suitable path, to walk safely, and to acquire life skills and the development tools for personal and educational empowerment in order to be productive citizens of the future.
In order to reinforce the success of Ulpanat Dolev, they received the National Education Prize of Education for their creativity in handling students of various needs with educational innovation.