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 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.
We recently updated our “Resource Brochure for Current & Former Foster Youth”. Follow link for great resources available to support foster youth.
Unique tax rules affect resource, foster, kinship care, and adoptive families. The best information regarding these tax rules that we have seen so far this year come from NYS Citizens’ Coalition for Children’s website. Follow link for more info.
Follow link to learn about law changes made at this year’s legislature.
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.