In September, 2011, Family Programs Hawaii’s (FPH) It Takes An ‘Ohana Program (ITAO) brought together a group of experienced resource caregivers and adoptive parents who have a passion for creating the best outcomes possible for Hawaii’s children affected by out-of-home care. The ITAO Advisory Committee (IAC)was trained by author and consultant, Shanah Trevenna, on how to find effective solutions to issues and how to create “bridges” between all stakeholders in the child’s life including resource caregivers, families and the Department of Human Services (DHS). In 2012, DHS and Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) representative joined our group.
IAC identifies focus areas we believe to be most pressing for resource families and work to improve them. The first issue identified was “How to assist resource caregivers help foster youth transition into adulthood positively”. We worked with the State Legislature, DHS and EPIC `Ohana Conferencing to help create Imua Kakou – Hawaii’s program that allows foster youth to continue to be supported into their transition to adulthood and assisted in their journey to become independent and self sufficient. In 2014, we were finally successful in advocating for an increase in the foster care reimbursement rate.
Resource and adoptive families give children a chance to heal and feel supported through a very difficult time in their lives. It is challenging work, but this guidance and love can make a big difference in a young person’s life while benefiting the whole community. And that is why IAC is committed to helping all resource families have the resources and information needed to be the best caregivers they can be to the children and youth in their home.
Are you interested in becoming involved with IAC? If so, please contact Judith at (808) 540-2543 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mahalo for your time and for all you do to create a better world for Hawaii’s keiki and youth!