LIHUE — When children in Hawaii, and on Kauai, are victims of family physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, or neglect, including medical neglect, what happens to them?
On Kauai, there are approximately 65 children and youth who are under the care of the State of Hawaii-Department of Human Services and not able to live with their families for any of those reasons.
Parents and caregivers need time and support to improve the home environment, or learn to provide a safe environment for their children. During this time, the children live with resource families who make a difference in the lives of these children and youth in foster care.
May is designated as National Foster Care Month and the perfect time for honoring the enduring contributions of resource families and the organizations involved in foster care, said Monica Kaauwai of Hui Hoomalu.
“Resource families serve as a primary source of love, identity, support and self-esteem for children in foster care,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. during a presentation to the group of foster care givers and organizations. “Many of the children have special emotional, physical, or developmental needs and there is a constant need to recruit, train and support new families.”
This training and recruitment is handled by the state’s Department of Human Services through the partnership with Hui Hoomalu.
Foster parents open their hearts and homes with the understanding that all children and youth, including those living in foster care, deserve to grow in a safe, stable and nurturing environment where they can benefit from lasting, positive relationships with caring adults.
Hui Hoomalu, a group to protect and shelter, was formed in 2006 in partnership with the State of Hawaii Department of Human Services to help enhance and advance Hawaii’s foster care system.