Hawaii foster care providers sought

| August 14, 2015 | 0 Comments
(courtesy artwork/photo)

(courtesy artwork/photo)

ACS hosts Aug. 19 information session

David Ascher, Ph.D.
Family Advocacy Program
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Each year across the United States, approximately 400,000 children are temporarily removed from their homes and placed with foster providers.

While the demand for foster providers is high, the role is challenging. leaving some in the United State struggling to find a sufficient number of qualified and caring adults.

Addressing the problem
At any given time in Hawaii, an average of 1,200 children are unable to remain in their homes due to a parental, or care-giver, issue. To ease the challenges these children face when being removed from their current situation, foster providers offer a temporary safe haven for the children.

“Members of our community have expressed an interest in becoming a foster providers, but are not sure about all the details involved,” said Cindy Morita, the Army Community Service Family Advocacy Program manager.

Morita went on to describe how ACS, FAP, and Hui Ho’omalu (a group to protect and shelter), have teamed up to offer a Foster Care Information Session. Hui Ho‘omalu, a local agency created by the Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF) and the State of Hawaii Department of Human Services (DHS), was created to help enhance and advance Hawaii’s foster care system by addressing the identification, recruitment, screening, assessment, training, ongoing support and retention of foster families.

Like other states, Hawaii has a program to train and assess families to become either “general” or “child specific” resource caregivers. General resource caregivers provide care for unrelated children while child specific caregivers provide care for a specific child they have an existing relationship with (such as a family friend, neighbor or relative).

Direct-care giving is not the only way to help foster children; there are other avenues of support available other than becoming foster parents.

Upcoming information session
The Foster Care Information Session on Aug. 19 is designed to provide interested individuals and couples a chance to learn more about licensing requirements and the process of becoming a foster provider.

Foster youth and foster care providers will be on-hand to describe the realities of being a foster care provider and lunch will be provided.

According to Hui Hoomalu’s website, Hawaii is home to many different cultural groups and they need resource families of every cultural background, in every community in Hawaii.

“It’s about knowing you are contributing to your community. “It may be difficult but can be very rewarding,” Morita said. “And it takes a community of individuals to support these families in need.”
(Ascher is the prevention, education, and outreach senior prevention specialist for the Family Advocacy Program.)

Info Session
The Foster Care Information Session will take place 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 19, at the Schofield Barracks ACS, 2091 Kolekole Ave.
Call ACS 655-4227 to register.

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