Inter-agency Model for Israel’s Child Safety Action Plan

April 15, 2014

A note from Flaura K. Winston, MD, PhD, Scientific Director of CIRP@CHOP: Last month, Ayana Bradshaw (CIRP’s Administrative Director) and I had the honor of participating in an Israeli inter-ministry celebration in Jerusalem that launched a new era in child safety in Israel. For two years, the Israeli NGO and a friend of CIRP, Beterem, has been working with a dozen ministries in Israel to identify their roles and national goals for child safety. The event marked the end of the planning phase and resulted in a unified effort that prioritizes children across the Israeli government’s policies and plans. Today, we are pleased to welcome a guest blog post from Esti Golan, manager of the Israel Child Safety National Action Plan, who shares with us some insight into the planning of this groundbreaking initiative in Israel.

Over the past two years, much work has been done to plan a perennial program to promote a National Child Safety Action Plan (CSAP) in Israel. Led by the Health Ministry, 16 ministries and governmental agencies took part in the planning process and each had a representative in the inter-ministerial committee, which served as a compass and directive to ensure that all of the agencies were working in a coordinated and timely fashion. Beterem staff served as professional consultants throughout the process and provided consultation to each of the agencies.

One of the challenges of the CSAP planning process was the need to collaborate across ministries and agencies on specific topics that do not naturally fall under a specific jurisdiction. Beterem worked with the inter-ministerial committee to identify these fields and, then, subcommittees were established to tackle these specific cross-cutting issues. For example, a subcommittee was established regarding coordination of national data collection on child injury and safety.

Israel's CSAP is based on the working model developed by the European Child Safety Alliance (ECSA) of EuroSafe, which is supporting a similar initiative in other European countries. In addition to our extensive use of the ECSA materials, during the planning process we reviewed existing child safety plans from various countries including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Hungary and Wales. The goal of the review was to identify the strategic framework and components of the different plans in order to assist in developing the Israeli plan. In reviewing all of the different programs we were able to identify common strategies and goals, such as data surveillance, research and evaluation, that are important to Israel, as well as certain unique characteristics that needed to be taken into account here.

With the initial planning phase complete, the next step will be to present the CSAP to the Israeli Government for approval in the upcoming months. Once the program is approved we anticipate roll out within six months. I’m looking forward to putting all of our exciting plans into action to help improve the safety and well-being of children and families across Israel.