The Hale Kipa is there for Hawaii’s youth

Being a personal fitness trainer allows me to meet a great number of truly talented and wonderful people on this Island. One of the people that I have recently met is Melinda Montgomery, who is instrumental in several youth oriented initiatives on Kauai.

The Hale Kipa was established in 1970 and their motto is that they are “there” for Hawaii’s youth. Their mission statement is that they provide opportunities and environments that strengthen and encourage youth, their families and communities to actualize their potential and social responsibility.

It is a private, nonprofit, statewide, culturally responsive organization dedicated to help at- risk youths and their families. Services range from prevention to treatment to aftercare. Those with urgent needs or in emergency situations are given priority, while given the right to self-determination. All persons are treated equally and without favoritism. Very inspiring work, and in this day and age, very necessary and sometimes difficult work.

Other services include: family counseling, emergency shelter, and residential treatment, foster care and independent living programs. Hale Kipa has strong and effective partnerships with other community agencies and is a member of the United Way.

Hale Kipa’s Kai Like program works collaboratively with family court to provide opportunities and support so that youth involved in the juvenile justice system may learn to be accountable for their behaviors, comply with their probation rules, remain arrest free, develop new competencies, and achieve their educational goals and link into positive community resources.

The staff at Hale Kipa Kai Like develop individualized implementation plans so that troubled youth are supported, have proper supervision, engaging activities and have services in keeping with their needs. These services are provided for youths who have been arrested, or petitioned, or detained, or who are on protective supervision, on supervised release or on probation.

The services generally are for three months, although extensions may be granted. The staff is available 24 hours/day for crisis and emergency interventions.

The Hale Kipa has an Alternative Education Program. Through the Hale Kipa Competency-based Education program non-high school graduate youth are given the opportunity to earn a diploma. Before beginning any courses, students must provide the necessary documents and take a pre-test.

The Hale Kipa will help students by assisting them in signing up for credit recovery and also offering assistance and guidance for students to achieve their GED. The two phases of the program entail a first phase which includes completion of five courses including Community Resources, Law and Government, Health, Consumer Economics and Occupational Knowledge.

Each course runs for four weeks and is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to becomes competent well- functioning members of society. The second phase requires students to complete one hundred hours of work or volunteer services to gain experience towards future career goals.

In order to obtain the competency-based diploma students are required to pass each course, pass each unit test and pass the cumulative mastery in addition to completing the one hundred hours work.

The Hale Kipa has intensive home services as well. The Hale Kipa’s intensive in home program provides comprehensive behavioral, community based services for children and families known to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division.

The services are based on an individualized strengths based approach that focuses on the youth’s and family’s needs and goals. Licensed therapists and trained paraprofessionals are assigned to assist and support young persons and their families to meet the goals of their coordinated services plan (CSP) and reduce the need for unnecessary out of home therapeutic placements.

Services are designed to be both culturally sensitive and developmentally fitting the needs of the family. These services are available for young persons between the ages of three and 20 years of age and who have been referred by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Division.

The health and wellness of our young people is important to us all. I’m glad to know about the Hale Kipa. You can reach them at 2970 Kele Street, Suite 110 Lihue or call them at (808) 246-4898.


Jane Riley is a certified nutritional adviser and personal fitness trainer. She can be reached at, (808) 212-1451,


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