Spingold Child Development Center Safed
The Safed Child Development Center provides diagnostic and treatment services to children of Safed and neighboring cities for a wide variety of childhood disorders, syndromes and developmental delays.
In 1986 the Child Development Center of Safed’s Rivka Ziv hospital was located in a small bomb shelter on the hospital premises. The founder and director of the Center, Dr. Celia Korzokov, a pediatric neurologist, envisioned creating a regional center which would evaluate children with developmental delays, provide accurate assessments and treatment plans and follow up with the help of a team of highly-trained therapists and support staff.
Over the years the Spingold Child Development Center has expanded in size and scope of services offered. The Center now occupies a two-story complex on the grounds of the Rivka Ziv Hospital where physicians evaluate children who are referred by their health fund pediatricians or local mother-child well-baby clinics due to suspected developmental delays.
The staff at the Center includes pediatricians and other physicians who specialize in a wide range of medical disciplines. Other team members include occupational and physical therapists, speech therapists, psychologists and music, art and drama therapists.
There are three kindergartens on-site at the Center which work with children with severe disabilities. Due to language differences, there is one kindergarten which is specifically geared towards children who come from the Arab sector with Arabic-speaking personnel, a Jewish kindergarten with Hebrew-speaking staff members and a mixed kindergarten for the most severely delayed children. There are several other special needs kindergartens throughout the city which are supervised and receive therapy assistance from the Spingold Center. All children in the special needs kindergartens have therapy sessions from Center therapists as part of their daily schedule.
Families receive referrals from their health fund pediatrician or from the staff at their local mother-child clinic when the health professionals believe that the child may be experiencing a developmental delay or be afflicted with a condition which will cause developmental delays. The Center accepts referrals for children from birth through six years of age.
A team of therapists, under the direction of a physician, evaluates each child and draws up a treatment plan for the child. These plans may include guidance to the parent about how to work with the child to facilitate the child’s development, treatment on a limited basis at the center with one of the Center’s therapists or inclusion in one of the Center’s special education programs where the children have scheduled treatment sessions during their school day.
All of these services are covered by government funds -- health funds cover the evaluations and treatment sessions and the Ministry of Education covers all costs for a child’s education. Diagnoses of specific impairments may also qualify a family to receive supplemental income from the National Insurance Institute to cover additional costs.
Staff members from the Spingold Center offer in-service training sessions to the nurses who staff regional mother-child clinics, educational personnel in area kindergartens and schools and the staff of the children’s ward at the Ziv hospital.
The Center has also initiated a number of innovative programs in the community including a support group for siblings of special needs children and extra services for families of special needs children. The center works closely with social service organizations in the area as well as with the Social Welfare offices in the region.