The ITAO Advisory Committee created the Kaukini Award in 2013 to honor DHS staff that goes above and beyond in accessibility, advocacy, commitment and dedication to bring about positive outcomes for children and families affected by child welfare.
The name of this award comes from the chant “‘Ike iā Kaukini he Lawai‘a Manu.” Kaukini was a legendary bird catcher of Waipi‘o Valley. He and his wife Pōkahi were chosen by the gods to become the adoptive parents of the infant girl Lauka‘ie‘ie who would, in time, became one of the guardian goddesses of hula. Their devotion to the girl has become symbolic of dedicated, selfless service to a person or ideal of great value; to serve in this manner was their one desire, their greatest burden, and their greatest delight ~ all rolled up in one. Such service can be characterized as “luhi” (laborious…to care for and attend with affection; a child raised with devoted care): it can be exhausting, but it is always inspired and rejuvenated by love, and it is always its own best reward. The chant calls on us to see, know, and understand these parents and to follow their lead by identifying and serving our own “luhi” with the same determined, joyful purpose.
We are SO thankful for the love, time and energy the following Awardees of the Kaukini Award give to the world:
- Dina Koyanagi, O‘ahu Child Welfare Services Unit 1
- Deborah Yoshizumi, O‘ahu Child Welfare Services Unit 1
- Nora Kaaua, East Hawai‘i Child Welfare Services Unit 1
- Korin Wakuta-Kenney, Kauai West Child Welfare Services Unit 3
- Anne Fitzpatrick, Maui East Child Welfare Services Unit 1
- Sandra Davenport, West Hawai‘i Child Welfare Services Licensing Unit
- Janelle Naone, Oahu’s Resource Home Licensing Unit
- Puafisi Tupola, East Oahu’s Child Welfare Services Unit 1
- Dianne Pana, Oahu Special Services Unit
- Marcia Ota, Kauai Child Welfare Services Section
- Maria Jiminez, East Hawaii CWS Unit 1
Mahalo nui loa to ALL who go above and beyond to help bring out positive outcomes for resource families and foster children!