Both of Avi’s parents were substance abusers. In fact, Avi’s mother used drugs the entire time that she was pregnant. While still in the hospital, the staff observed that Avi’s birth mother was disinterested in her newborn baby; she did not want to hold him, soothe him when he cried, feed him or change his diapers. The concerned hospital staff intervened and contacted the department of social services on Avi’s behalf, before his birth mother would have a chance to harm him.
Based on a decision by the department of social services and the family court, it was determined that Avi’s birth mother was not suitable to raise him. Avi was removed from his home and sent to a residential care center for babies, toddlers and children under the age of six.
Avi arrived at Ahava Village for Children and Youth when he was six years old. Already, he was a very troubled little boy. He was withdrawn and exhibited signs of depression. He constantly acted out and had little or no self-control.
Avi was placed in an Ahava family unit consisting of a married coupleand nine other children between the ages of six and 11. The house parents created a warm and loving environment for all members of the family in general, paying special attention to Avi, helping him adapt to his new home.
With the additional services provided by Ahava’s dedicated staff including a psychiatrist, three psychologists, 11 social workers, 12 special therapists, caregivers and special education teachers Avi’s life began to improve. Avi responded particularly well to Ahava’s pet therapy program provided at Ahava’s petting zoo.
With time, Avi became more comfortable at Ahava; he made many friends, became a very good student and was an important and contributing member of his Ahava family.
Today, Avi is 17 years old. He is an excellent student and has been designated as a candidate for advanced officer training. Inanother year and a half, Avi will complete his high school studies and will join the 18+ Program. His Ahava family will remain beside him during and after his National Service.