The Social Services Department is a huge social welfare infrastructure that encompasses a wide range of subsidized social services to low-income populations living in Israel. Specifically, the Social Services Department provides social support and services designed to improve the well-being and safety of children, families, and individuals living in Israel.
The Social Services Department addresses many social problems including but not limited to substance abuse, addictions, eating disorders, depression, child abuse, domestic violence, prostitution, and housing/rental assistance. Professional mental health services (e.g., counselling, therapy groups, inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities, etc) are funded by the Social Services Department in order to ensure that even low-income individuals and families, persons with mental or physical disabilities, and the elderly receive the support they need. The services are dependent on each individual's own needs and are often available at a very low cost.
One of the Social Services Department's focus is child welfare and family services. It addresses issues such as child abuse, child neglect, at-risk teenagers, parenting, and complicated family dynamics to name a few. Often case managers are assigned to a child, adolescent, parent, or families to investigate the problem and help find a solution. Case managers help address the needs of individuals and/or families by helping them get the appropriate resources or referrals they need (e.g., therapy, foster care, etc).
English speaking individuals living in Israel who do not speak Hebrew can also benefit from the Social Services Department. The Social Services Department's website is in Hebrew which can make it difficult for English speakers to navigate. Fortunately, the Social Services Department functions throughout Israel with local offices in each city. Individuals seeking help can contact their local Social Services Department office to find the support and services they need.
Often larger cities with larger English-speaking populations, such as Jerusalem, have an array of services with plenty of English speaking support available. Most cities are able to accommodate English speakers; however, it is important to understand English services can vary and may be more limited in some cities in Israel.
Overall, the goal of the Social Services Department is to provide social services and support based on the individual or families own personal needs and connect them to services in their community. Therefore, if an English speaking individual is in need, they will be referred to social services where English is available.