Report Title:

Transitional living programs


H.R. NO.








requesting the departments of human services, health, and labor and industrial relations to examine transitional living programs for youths in foster care.



WHEREAS, over 3,000 Hawaii youths are provided with foster care through the Department of Human Services; and

WHEREAS, these children and adolescents have often endured traumatic and tragic events and suffer through an inordinate amount of problems; and

WHEREAS, one fourth of all foster care children between the ages of sixteen and eighteen have a disability of some kind, most of whom are diagnosed as emotionally disturbed; and

WHEREAS, children and adolescents in foster care drop out of school twice as often as their peers and very often do not graduate from high school, with 75 percent of those who age out of foster care having no high school diploma; and

WHEREAS, upon attaining the age of eighteen, these youngest of adults are no longer eligible for foster care, and are thrust into a world for which they are seldom prepared, without the support of a family; and

WHEREAS, 25 percent of youths making the transition out of foster care endure homelessness at some point, and 27 percent of all homeless people were at one time in some form of foster, group, or institutional care setting; and

WHEREAS, transitional living programs help youths who are or who will soon be ineligible for foster care gain independent living skills; and

WHEREAS, evidence shows that without transitional services, many more young adults formerly in foster care suffer through problems such as mental illness, substance abuse, and homelessness; and

WHEREAS, there are federal funds available for these transitional youths under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, and the 1999 amendments to the Welfare-To-Work law of 1996; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2001, that the Departments of Human Services, Health, and Labor and Industrial Relations are requested to examine existing transitional living programs for youths in foster care; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that these agencies are urged to work collaboratively to support and expand these programs and pursue federal funds for transitional foster care youths; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Departments of Human Services, Health, and Labor and Industrial Relations are requested to submit a report of findings and plans to support and expand transitional living programs for youths in foster care to the Legislature no later than twenty days before the convening of the regular session of 2002.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Human Services, the Director of Health, and the Director of Labor and Industrial Relations.