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Feb 28, 2019

Ka Pili ʻOhāna foster care program launched

 

Lili’uokalani Trust (LT), in partnership with the Department of Human Service–Child Welfare Services Branch (DHS—CWS), Child & Family Service, Family Programs Hawaii, Catholic Charities, and Epic ʻOhana, launched Ka Pili ʻOhāna, a culturally-grounded pilot program designed to explore new ways of supporting Hawaiian kamaliʻi and ʻohana in the foster care system.  

The official launch of the program on February 22nd at LT Kīpuka Waiʻanae brought together collaborators and stakeholders, including Hawaiʻi Family Court Judge Bode Uale and Elladine Olevao, branch administrator at the Child Welfare Branch of DHS, who both gave heartfelt and impassioned speeches about their work in the foster care system.

“It was particularly encouraging that both Judge Uale and Elladine acknowledged that this type of work could no longer be done by individual agencies working apart from each other,” said Edralyn Caberto, LT systems liaison.

Judge Uale shared his personal story of growing up in the Laiʻe community, where everyone knew each other and looked out for each other. 

“If they called you to share in a meal, you go, no questions asked. This initiative is similar to that, you are called to the table and you come,” said Judge Uale, who with some emotion shared how grateful he was to the Queen for her legacy and to LT for its involvement in this wonderful initiative.

“It’s exciting that DHS—CWS is already talking to us about partnering in other endeavors, and we have the full and ongoing support of the Judiciary. Both these relationships will prove to be critical as we move forward on the youth service engagement center and other projects,” said David Hipp, LT systems manager.

Ka Pili ʻOhāna means to cause one to thrive or flourish. The program is for Native Hawaiian kamaliʻi ages 4 to 12 who are in temporary foster custody in the Hawai‘i CWS foster care system. One of the programs purposes is to help kamaliʻi, ʻohana, and resource caregivers navigate the foster care system and access needed resources. The pilot program will be focused on kamali‘i from the Leeward Coast of O‘ahu.

For general questions about the program, please contact Iris Kauka at LT at 808-203-6150 or ikauka@onipaa.org.  

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