Dennis Fujimoto – The Garden Island | April 29, 2010
LIHU‘E — May is a perfect time for honoring the contributions of resource families and organizations who are making a difference in the lives of children and youth in foster care.That statement was made in a proclamation celebrating May as National Foster Care Month by Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and presented to the Hui Ho‘omalu and Tutu and Me programs, two organizations working with foster care on Kaua‘i.
Foster care affects hundreds of thousands of children and families as well as society as a whole, the proclamation states. Issues on the well-being of a child come up in families of every race, ethnicity, culture and age group.
There are approximately 65 children and youth who are under the care of the State Department of Human Services at any given time on Kaua‘i, the proclamation states. These children and youth are not able to live with their families, the very foundation of the community, states the proclamation.
Resource families in the Hui Ho‘omalu program serve as a primary source of love, identity, support and self-esteem for children in foster care, states the proclamation.
Many of the children in the care of resource families have special emotional, physical or developmental needs and there is an on-going need to recruit, train and support new families, the proclamation states.
Resource families open their hearts and homes with the understanding that all children and youth, including those living in foster care, deserve to grow up in a safe, stable and nurturing environment where they can benefit from lasting, positive relationships with caring adults, states the proclamation.
This recruitment, training and support effort is a collaborative one between the DHS and Hui Ho‘omalu, the proclamation states.