In response to a request by the Ministry of Education's Psychological Counseling Service (PCS), the Initiative convened a team of experts led by Prof. Rami Benbenishty of Bar-Ilan University. The team's objective was to expand and extend the knowledge base available to professionals on the topic of treatment interventions for children suffering from behavioral problems or behavioral disorders. It did so by examining evidence-based research findings regarding the success of various intervention programs and their efficacy. The team began its work in November 2012 and held joint study sessions with researchers and practicing professionals. In the spring of 2013, a report summarizing the team’s activity was produced.
The Psychological Counseling Service (PCS) at the Ministry of Education is responsible for providing counseling and educational psychological services to students, parents and educators and for assisting the ministry's administration in shaping policy that promotes mental health and fosters an educational environment in the country's educational institutions. In recent decades, social and economic changes have taken place in Israel which have led to, among other things, a decrease in employment security and the stability of family frameworks, a rise in violence (by children and directed towards them), in children’s exposure to violence, and a general increase in children's exposure to behaviors that may put them at risk. All these place ever-growing challenges in PCS’s arena and require the Service to significantly expand the treatment interventions for children suffering from behavioral difficulties and disorders. .
In response to the PCS's request and in order to provide the most current research-based knowledge inputs, the Initiative for Applied Education Research assembled a team of experts from the fields of psychology, criminology, social welfare and education. The team commissioned and examined scientific literature reviews, held learning sessions and prepared a session report. The team worked jointly with PCS staff and senior members from other Ministry of Education departments, considering issues emerging from the “field.” Within the framework of the team's mandate, they commissioned scientific literature reviews, held study sessions and prepared a report of these sessions with the goal of locating, identifying and defining the types of interventions, their target groups and the optimal conditions for their operation.
The team’s activities were coordinated by Mr. Oded Busharian