From Dependence to Independence

Each year, some 200 young adults complete their period of stay in Youth Protection Authority institutions. Their transition from these institutions to independent living situations poses significant  challenges.  Most of these youth have experienced emotional and physical neglect and/or abuse before entering the Youth Protection programs and they return to the community with little financial, social and emotional support.

What is From Dependence to Independence?

This project assists graduates of the Youth Protection Authority institutions and prepares them to become independent adults and contributing citizens. The comprehensive endeavor creates an individual plan for independent living based on each  participant’s personal goals. A trained ELEM volunteer mentors the young adult for up to two years, meeting with them on a weekly basis to help him/her to achieve their goals and integrate into the community. Through the project,  the young adults acquire vocational skills so they can take responsibility for their future. They become acquainted with the services and support options in the community that are relevant to their needs and they build a social, emotional and financial network to support them after the program has finished.

Where is it located?

The program is located in the South, Center, Sharon, Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley, the North and villages in the Taiybe, Tira and Qalansuwa triangle. For a map of ELEM’s programs, click here.

New Trends

  • Increase in the number of graduates from youth protection drug rehabilitation programs who struggle with the lack of suitable housing and do not return to their communities.

  • Increase in the number of 15-16 year olds referred to the project.

  • Increased number of young adults who cannot attend vocational training programs due to rising costs of these programs.

Who is served?

Young men and women, Jews and Arabs, age 16 to 24, who had been living in Youth Protection Authority institutions and are undergoing a transition to independent living in the community.


  • A greater number of graduates enlisting in the army or national service.

  • Increased cooperation in the field to advocate for rights for young adults at- risk.

  • Conducted a national “Exposure Day” for future graduates in all the youth protection homes and created a pilot program for an Independent Living workshop.

  • In 2018, about 500 young people utilized the program.

Goals and Development Plan

  • Develop new staff and volunteer training programs to better respond to trends in project data.