We at ITAO believe strongly that “Knowledge is Power”, thus work to bring the information you need as a resource family to you. In particular, we believe that information about your foster child and the case plan is necessary for you to have so that you can provide the best care for each child in your home. In light of that need, we worked with the Hawai`i Department of Human Sevices to put together a “Information Resource Caregivers are Entitled To”. Follow link to download and print.
One of the most important things a caregiver of children and youth in foster care can do is to help them heal from trauma. If you can give the children in your home nurturance, structure, predictability, they have a chance of building good things inside themselves. We want to help you foster such an environment! Click here for a quick read that will explain some of the basics and give you tips by the author of “The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog” and“Born to Love”, Dr. Bruce Perry.
Another important factor in bringing good outcomes for our children and youth is education. According to the National Working Group on Foster Care and Education’s October 2011 report, “Success in school can be a positive counterweight to the abuse, neglect, separation and impermanence experienced by children and youth in foster care. Click here for the entire report.
It Takes An `Ohana (ITAO) became a part of Family Programs Hawaii’s (FPH) in 2010, allowing ITAO to renew our concentration on our core mission with greater support and resources. Click here to check us out on Facebook.
In January of 2015 ITAO worked with DHS to update the list of phone numbers that resource caregivers may need in the course of fostering the children in their care. Follow this link to download the Who-To-Call list.
We send a big MAHALO to each and every person who steps up to the plate to help children and families in need and hope that this information is helpful to YOU!
The 2015 Annual Child Welfare Law Update Conference was held August 14, 2015 at the Ko’olau Golf Course, Kaneohe, Hawai’i with the Honorable R. Mark Browning, Senior Family Court Judge, Family Court of the First Circuit and Rachael Wong, Director, Department of Human Services, providing the opening remarks. Follow this link to view handouts and information from the conference.
The Judiciary’s Hawai‘i Court Improvement Program held the 9th annual ‘Ohana is Forever:Beyond a Label conference on July 24, 2015 at the beautiful Ko‘olau Golf Course, Kaneohe, Hawai‘i with over 350 of Hawaii’s current and former foster parents as well as their supporters attending. Follow link for to download handouts and videos.
One of the most important things adults can do to help Foster Children and Youth develop into caring, competent, and confident adults is to incorporate these 4 vital Protective Factors* into their lives.
Relationships with caring and supportive people
Every foster youth needs at least one supportive adult who provides steadfast encouragement and guidance. This caring adult presence plays a crucial role in determining the Foster Youth’s success. This person may be a family member, older sibling, teacher, coach, or other caring adult.
A Sense of Hope & Purpose
These often come from religion/spiritual association, faith, and culture. Identifying with a particular group or culture can instill a sense of pride. Believing that God (or whatever spiritual deity they have been exposed to) loves them, is a reminder that with the presence of hope and faith, they are never alone and can persevere through anything. Supportive adults (ministers, resource caregivers, Sunday school teachers, coaches, judges, social workers, etc.) who say positive things such as “you are great”, “we love you,” and “God loves you” are powerful messages for a child who may not hear them anywhere else.
Work and Responsibilities
Foster Children and Youth given the opportunity to develop a strong work ethic, even in the face of adversity, have important tools to fall back on when things get tough. Youth given household responsibilities and/or are able to work outside of the home are more resilient because later in life they are able to persevere, even when things are difficult.
Opportunities to Participate in Meaningful Activities
Help instill a sense of self in Foster Children and Youth by encouraging them to be active in dance, music, art, student government, clubs on campus, sports teams, etc. These are all meaningful ways to develop a sense of identity. Learning new skills will lead to greater self-confidence, which will in turn help Children and Youth make good life choices.
*Protective Factors based on Emmy Werner’s Kauai Longitudinal Study. Download the guide for adults who support foster youth.