Frequently Asked Questions
Amudim is a community-based nonprofit that has extensive expertise in working with those within the Orthodox Jewish community to provide support to those suffering from addiction, sexual abuse, and other mental health challenges, finding clients and their families a safe place to get much-needed help and support.
Amudim offers comprehensive clinical case management services which can include therapy and treatment referrals, psychoeducation, support between therapy sessions, and holistic support. Our case managers are mental health professionals, and their job is to assist clients and, if necessary, their families, friends, and/or other affected persons, by identifying proper care and treatment.
Referrals are given for a specific need, with a provider supplied to address that need. Case management involves having a case manager stay in touch with clients and/or their families while they are undergoing treatment to ensure that the therapy or treatment is effective. Unfortunately, we have seen many cases of individuals who have undergone therapy without the benefit of case management, only to realize years later that their treatment did not adequately address their issues.
Referrals are an important service for those seeking help to find a therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or any mental health professional. Clinical case management may surely include referrals but is not limited to Mental Health referrals. At times, our clients need referrals to other social services agencies. Clients may also need psychoeducation and support and guidance during trying times. Often a client calls Amudim in distress about a particular situation and understandably does not know what to ask for, because they never had to deal with a mental health crisis. Amudim will do a thorough intake, assess the situation, and then provide clinical suggestions as needed.
Amudim does not provide in-house therapy in the United States. Amudim Israel does have a clinic for clients.
People who contact Amudim for help are asked a few preliminary questions before being assigned to a case manager who does a comprehensive intake to assess their situation. A case manager will determine how to proceed based on the information gathered during that process – some individuals may be helped on their first call and may not need any follow up care, while others may find a case manager’s ability to serve as a listening ear extremely beneficial.
When further services and support are appropriate, a case manager will identify those options for the client and will start them on the proper treatment path, which could include therapy, detox, rehab, or an inpatient program. Case managers may also provide clients or family members with a better understanding of the matter at hand and educate them about what type of insurance may be available for their needs. By remaining involved with the client as they continue treatment, case managers ensure that they are headed in a positive direction and may suggest adjustments as needed. Typically, clients remain under Amudim’s case management for 18 months (about 1 and a half years).
Studies have shown that connection is the most crucial factor in healing trauma and addictions and our case managers are devoted to helping their clients through this difficult part of their lives, sometimes just by listening and in other cases, helping them navigate the complex world of treatment.
While Amudim’s case managers do not provide therapy, all hold credentials such as LMSW, LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker), LMHC, CASAC (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor) and are social workers, mental health workers or psychologists. In addition, case managers go through intensive training, once hired, to ensure that the clients will receive the best care available.
Although Amudim’s case managers do have the qualifications to provide therapy, they function in a different role, monitoring their clients’ care and ensuring that they are receiving the best possible treatment, building a rapport with their clients, and providing crucial support in a non-therapeutic manner.
Amudim provides case management only to individuals and their families but can guide schools or camps on working with specific situations as they arise. We can connect educational institutions or camps to appropriate resources, including our Darcheinu program which works with schools, supplying an SEL (Social Emotional Learning) curriculum, and running awareness events.
Making the Call
You can expect to be treated with care and respect, with a caring professional asking you a variety of questions about your individual experiences, finances and health insurance, family dynamics, and other items to get to the root of the problem and identify proper treatment, when appropriate. You can expect to be supported and validated and educated about treatment options, when applicable, which can also include receiving referrals that go beyond therapy as your case manager follows up with you to make sure you are getting the most effective care for your needs. Amudim can also work with your family members to make sure that they understand your firsthand experiences and your needs as they evolve and can also guide you on pressing charges or filing a civil suit should you be interested in doing so.
Amudim can guide a third-party caller in encouraging someone in need to call for help. While we can suggest a therapist based on a third-party caller’s description, we cannot contact someone based and a third-party recommendation and suggest that they see a therapist.
Callers always have the option of remaining anonymous, except when applying for Project Heal funding.
While clients can choose to remain anonymous, certain questions must be asked to find appropriate care. Clients can always choose not to answer questions, but having more information gives our case managers the ability to offer the best possible help and care. Rest assured that no information given to Amudim will be shared with anyone outside our agency.
Amudim is HIPPA compliant, and we respect and uphold our client’s right to confidentiality, maintaining the highest levels of privacy.
Because of our commitment to complete confidentiality for all callers, we cannot share any information or data without our clients’ permission, even with family members.
Amudim Services and Programs
Amudim does not provide in-home services now, and speaking with clients on the phone provides confidentiality and anonymity, giving clients a greater comfort level. We provide callers with guidance and resources to get their loved ones the help they need and will assist them in getting emergency care in cases of imminent danger.
In some cases, Amudim’s case managers have accompanied clients to court cases and trials and have assisted and supported clients in conversations with law enforcement and prosecutors. In other instances, we have helped clients identify the best person within their circles to accompany them to legal proceedings and, when necessary, have also referred clients to lawyers and other organizations that can be of assistance.
Amudim runs several prevention programs. Our proprietary Darcheinu curriculum, developed with an understanding of the Orthodox community, provides a school-based education, with a secular curriculum also available. In addition to hosting awareness events throughout the United States and Israel, Amudim has been invited to speak at awareness events hosted by others and our award-winning PSA videos have prompted many to seek help for long-ignored issues. To date, Amudim has run more than 240 Narcan training sessions, with over 11,000 Narcan kits distributed, and we publish frequent articles, have been quoted by secular and Jewish media outlets, and have been featured on podcasts to raise awareness about addiction, abuse, and mental health issues in the Orthodox community.
The stories featured in our weekly emails are written by our case managers and are all true, albeit with certain identifying details changed to preserve client confidentiality.
The numbers are accurate and reflect the number of new cases that came into our offices over the past seven days, broken down by category. Those charts are made by Salesforce, which we use to collect and document all our data.
Amudim is funded by generous private donors and government grants and provides its services at no cost. In some cases, we may ask clients for their insurance information to bill for covered services or may request certain information to provide data for government grants.
Amudim has a fund created by a group of generous philanthropists to benefit survivors of sexual abuse who have not previously had any subsidized treatment. This program is called “Project Heal,” the fund is intended to give survivors of sexual abuse a boost that will allow them to start the therapeutic process. Project Heal is a subsidy program and is not designed to pay for continuous treatment.
A clinical review board allocates subsidies on a case-by-case basis, assessing each situation to determine the amount and duration of each subsidy.
Subsidies typically cover six months of therapy, and a second six-month period can be approved in some cases. The maximum that a client can receive subsidies is one year.
While every situation is different, clients can often choose their therapist if they are vetted and approved by Amudim and have proper trauma and abuse training.
Clinically appropriate switches to another therapist who meets Project Heal’s parameters and guidelines may be possible, depending on the reason for the change, with a final determination made by our clinical review board. Project Heal may terminate funding for clients who switch therapists repeatedly.
Due to our Project Heal budget being several million dollars, we simply don’t have the budget for other issues for the time being. We embrace the opportunity to provide funding for other issues should donations be made for those specific concerns.
Amudim does not have the financial bandwidth to cover the $50 million annual cost of rehab, detox, or residential treatment for its clients, whether inpatient or outpatient, although over the years, we have found that many of our clients are covered under their existing insurance policies. In cases where clients do not have insurance coverage for their treatment, Amudim helps find the best care at the most reasonable price and will attempt to identify discounts or scholarships from various programs to help alleviate the cost.
Amudim has a platform that allows clients to raise funds to cover the cost of their treatment. All donations made by non-relatives are tax deductible following IRS (Internal Revenue Service) laws. In addition to helping clients determine if their insurance covers the cost of their treatment, Amudim can help clients decide if they should switch to a different plan that may have better coverage. Amudim can also assist clients when filing for an SCA (Single Case Agreement), with their insurance provider, and our case managers work diligently to pinpoint other forms of assistance that may cover the cost of treatment, tuition, or other needs, whenever possible.
Our policies and procedures prohibit Amudim accepting donations from programs or clinicians whose services we recommend to our clients, but we can try to negotiate a discounted rate for our clients.
In simple terms, Amudim uses the funds raised to cover the staff salaries in both the United States and Israel and to fund Project Heal, Darcheinu, and our Gavz Boyz summer camp. In keeping with our tradition of transparency, all our financial statements and IRS 990 forms are posted on our website for public viewing. Since the audits and tax returns can be difficult to understand, we plan to post charts to further clarify how all funds are being spent.
Amudim's Public Impact
While others post that information, every organization has its purpose and mission statement. At Amudim, we focus our efforts on providing healing through intervention, education, and awareness and cannot issue warnings, which can open us up to potential lawsuits. Rest assured that there are systems in place to warn people about convicted perpetrators, and they are readily available to the public.
Amudim cannot take any action against perpetrators, including publicizing their names. We encourage our clients to use the legal system whenever possible, including pressing charges, and our case managers can help clients file police reports when applicable.
Amudim is legally prohibited from filing a report on behalf of another person but can educate clients about the process and support the clients, as well as be there with the clients when they file the reports, meet with law enforcement, and go to court.
As a licensed mental health organization, Amudim is required to follow all local, state, and federal laws and reports cases to the authorities as required. We encourage clients to report cases to the authorities. Still, we leave that decision up to them when the case is not legally mandated to be reported, supporting them in whatever decision they make.
Amudim’s position is that any survivor of abuse is entitled to receive all help available to them, even in cases involving criminal or civil prosecution. We encourage our clients to consult with a mental health professional to decide if they can withstand the rigors of a potential trial, testifying, and cross-examination because their mental health is our highest priority. When our clients decide to proceed with a civil action, we suggest that our clients consult a second attorney who is not planning to accept the case to be a second voice and evaluate the strength of the case. This is because we do not want survivors of sexual abuse to have their hopes up and only be let down should the case be dismissed early on.
Understanding that current laws do not consider that child survivors may not fully comprehend the traumatic effects of their abuse for years, we support permanently extending the statute of limitations on the Child Victims Act.
Click here to read more about the New York State Child Victims Act: https://www.safehorizon.org/get-help/child-victims-act/
While some states have moved in a better direction, we hope to see the statute of limitations on criminal sexual abuse cases eliminated because the effects of these heinous crimes can linger for decades. This is extremely important in the Orthodox community, where the original statute of limitations expired when most victims were involved in shidduchim, making them hesitant to act, while extending the statute of limitations gives those who are married an opportunity to seek justice without affecting their marital prospects. Amudim strongly encourages the public to urge their elected officials to enact this legislation in both criminal and civil cases.
Amudim has been in constant contact with legislative offices to have the statute of limitations removed completely, or at least extended, in criminal cases. We have also been actively involved in the push to reopen the window for reporting civil suits, since confusing terminology during the last reporting window had many individuals and even lawyers mistakenly thinking that only cases involving institutions could be reported.