Our children come to Tikva as young as newborns and stay until they are at least 16 years of age, emotionally and academically ready to begin life in Israel, or continue their studies at Tikva’s University Program in Odessa. These bright and inquisitive children flourish in our care, despite the fact that most arrive with medical, psychological, developmental and social difficulties due to their traumatic early experiences. Many of our children also have siblings and cousins who are reunited in our homes. Tikva strives to ensure that each child’s needs are met so that he or she can develop into a fully-functioning, self-sufficient adult who is then able to become a contributing member of society.
Tikva employs a full time staff member who is in charge of locating orphans and other children in need. “Need” is defined by the same definition the Ukrainian government uses for admittance into the State orphanage, which is a child who is either from an abusive home, a home where there is an imminent danger for the child (e.g., drugs or alcohol), no home (e.g., living on the streets) or children with no parents.
Children typically arrive at Tikva for one of three reasons:
These children do not have parents. They are usually found in state orphanages, separated from their brothers and sisters.
These children may have parents and/or a living adult relative, but they are neglectful and abusive caretakers. The children often come to Tikva after running away from home or being abandoned by a caretaker. Tikva serves in effect as a permanent foster home for these children, assuming all custodial responsibilities. A western style or family based foster care system does not exist in Ukraine.
These children have at least one parent, or a family member that would like to take care of the child, but simply cannot afford to give the child the basic necessities needed for survival. These children often stay in contact with their family even after arriving at Tikva, and continue to see them on weekends and holidays.