If you are a resource caregiver, you have a unique perspective on the strengths and needs of the children and youth you are fostering. That is why it is so important for you to attend their court hearings. It Takes An `Ohana’s recently revised Caregivers and the Court Guide gives you the “Whys” and “Hows” of doing so.
The Department of Human Services & the Family Court also encourages resource caregivers to participate in the proceedings to provide information to the court, both in person and/or in writing*, concerning the children in their care.
Attending court hearings can benefit foster youth, too. In Hawai`i, foster youth age 14 and older are strongly encouraged to attend their court hearings. This can help them to understand and have impact on the court process. Plus, the court learns more about the youth when they attend than simply what is presented in reports.
Click here to view the guide or contact us for a hard copy. Hawai‘i resource caregivers, check your mail during the week of July 9 for your hard copy.
ITAO would like to thank the Hawai‘i Court Improvement Program, Hawai‘i Women’s Legal Foundation and Victoria S. and Bradley L. Geist Foundation for making this booklet possible.
* Help on submitting written information to the court can be found on page 9 of our guide. When sending written info to the court, submit it 2 weeks prior to the hearing date to:
- On O‘ahu, mail or fax it to the attention of the court officer in Juvenile Intake. Mailing address: Juvenile Client Services Branch, Kapolei Court Complex, ATTN: Name of court officer, 4675 Kapolei Parkway, Kapolei, HI 96707. Fax number: 954-8187. (If you do not know the name of the court officer, send it to the attention of 587 Court Unit.)
- On Kaua‘i, Maui, Moloka‘i and Hawai‘i, send the report to the guardian ad litem or the DHS social worker, requesting that they attach the entire report to their report to the court. At the court hearing, be sure to confirm with the judge that he received your report.