HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.C.R. NO.            H.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                     HOUSE  CONCURRENT


 1        WHEREAS, currently, it is estimated that there are more
 2   than half a million boys and girls in the foster care system in
 3   America and about one-quarter of them will linger in the system
 4   indefinitely, moving from one home to another, changing schools
 5   and being separated from their brothers and sisters; and
 7        WHEREAS, about 40 per cent of former foster children have
 8   required public assistance as adults while others have ended up
 9   homeless; and
11        WHEREAS, the Children's Village concept offers an
12   innovative and effective alternative to traditional foster
13   care; and
15        WHEREAS, under this Children's Village concept, the
16   parents in each of about eight to fifteen families in the
17   village commit to raising a permanent family without adopting
18   the children, who are biological siblings if possible, in a
19   close-knit existing neighborhood of single-family homes that
20   allows the children to experience and participate in normal
21   community life, and where each family is independent, but gives
22   and receives mutual support to each other and who are
23   additionally helped by trained, specialized staff ranging from
24   village assistants who have backgrounds in social work, staff
25   social workers, tutors, on-call psychologists, and possibly
26   even people and organizations who donate various types of in-
27   kind assistance such as donated yard service; and
29        WHEREAS, in other words, the Children's Village concept is
30   based on four principles:  the village, the home, brothers and
31   sisters, and the parent; and
33        WHEREAS, the architect of the first village was Herman
34   Gmeiner, who started SOS Children's Village International in
35   Austria in 1949, for orphans whose parents had died in World
36   War II; and

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                                  H.C.R. NO.            H.D. 1

 1        WHEREAS, the SOS Children's Villages International is a
 2   private, nonprofit, non-political, non-denominational
 3   humanitarian children's organization second in size only to the
 4   United Nations' UNICEF (United Nations International Children's
 5   Emergency Fund), and has spread to over 1,500 villages in 128
 6   countries; and
 8        WHEREAS, the first SOS Children's Village in the United
 9   States was opened in 1993 and currently there are two villages
10   operating -- one in Florida and the other in Illinois -- while
11   a third is nearing completion in Wisconsin, and the development
12   of a fourth and fifth is being discussed in Arizona and
13   Washington, D.C.; and
15        WHEREAS, under the Children's Village concept, volunteer
16   single parents (single women are preferred because of the
17   chance that a married couple's marriage may not last) receive
18   room and board and $22,000 a year, and together with their
19   assistants, are rigorously screened and trained and continue to
20   meet monthly with a clinical team of social workers and
21   psychologists; and
23        WHEREAS, in the Children's Village in Florida, money to
24   build the village homes came from a grant from the
25   international SOS group, the land on which the homes were built
26   was donated, the children's medical needs are seen to by
27   Medicaid, $3,000 for each child is provided by Florida's
28   Department of Health and Rehabilitation Services and Broward
29   County, and of the estimated $30,000 in operating costs for
30   each child, 90 percent must be covered by donations; and
32        WHEREAS, when reunification with biological parents is out
33   of the question, adoption of abused and neglected children is
34   the best alternative, however, adoption of a large number of
35   biological siblings is often impractical; and
37        WHEREAS, the Children's Village concept has proven to be
38   effective throughout the world, it is in the interest of the
39   people of Hawaii to avail itself of an alternative to the
40   breaking up of biological families either for adoption or for
41   placement in separate foster homes; now, therefore,

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                                  H.C.R. NO.            H.D. 1

 1        BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the
 2   Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session
 3   of 1999, the Senate concurring, that the Department of Human
 4   Services (DHS) is requested to consider utilizing the
 5   Children's Village concept for out-of-home placement, when
 6   appropriate; and
 8        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DHS is urged to assess the
 9   Children's Village concept and determine the feasibility of
10   bringing this model to Hawaii; and
12        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Hawaiian
13   Home Lands and the Housing and Community Development
14   Corporation of Hawaii are urged assess the Children's Village
15   concept, in particular the housing component, and determine the
16   feasibility of bringing this model to Hawaii given Hawaii's
17   housing environment; and
19        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DHS report its findings and
20   recommendations to the Legislature no later than twenty days
21   prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2000; and
23        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Hawaiian
24   Home Lands and the Housing and Community Development
25   Corporation of Hawaii submit one report of its findings and
26   recommendations to the Legislature no later than twenty days
27   prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2000; and
29        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
30   Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Directors of Human
31   Services and Hawaiian Home Lands, the National Executive
32   Director of SOS Children's Villages-USA, Inc., and the
33   Executive Director of the Housing and Community Development
34   Corporation of Hawaii.