Report Title:

Blueprint for Change; Appropriation


Appropriates funding through the department of human services for the Blueprint for Change.


H.B. NO.









making an appropriation for the blueprint for change.



SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the rate of child abuse and neglect cases continues to rise dramatically in both number and severity of cases, with an overwhelming majority of these families having problems with substance abuse, mental health issues, domestic violence, and poverty.

In response to the need for child welfare reform, the legislature created the Blueprint for Change task force in the mid-1990s. This task force, of over five hundred child welfare professionals, para-professionals, and community leaders, identified the need to provide community-based services to families at-risk for child abuse and neglect. The primary factor contributing to the incidence of child abuse and neglect has been substance abuse.

The Blueprint for Change task force created the neighborhood place concept allowing professionals and para-professionals to work with families assessed by the child welfare system or identified by community members as families at-risk for child abuse and neglect. It is through the neighborhood places that families can be provided services before the risk level rises to the point of more costly intervention efforts within the child welfare system. The neighborhood places allow communities to build safer environments for their children and youth.

The Blueprint for Change network of neighborhood places are located in Kona and Puna on Hawaii, Wailuku on Maui, and Waianae and central Kalihi on Oahu. The temporary assistance to needy families funding is available to fund approximately sixty per cent to sixty-five per cent of the neighborhood place target populations for families at-risk for child abuse and neglect. The remaining thirty-five per cent to forty per cent of funding needs for the neighborhood places and the Blueprint for Change must come from other sources. A combination of state and private funding resources must be secured to ensure the ongoing success of the neighborhood places.

The overall average cost of working through the Blueprint for Change neighborhood place is approximately $300 per family. The average cost of a family entering the child welfare system is conservatively estimated at $20,000.

In 1999, limited start-up funds were provided by private agencies, funders, and the federal Title IVB program to run a pilot project where the overwhelming success of the neighborhood place concept established a path for future neighborhood places to follow.

The State entered into partnership with the Blueprint for Change in 2000 and again in 2003 to support community-based programs.

In 2002 and 2003, the Blueprint for Change was able to end its pilot project and expand its neighborhood place network to communities on the Waianae Coast, central Kalihi, and the Puna District on the Big Island. In late 2003, the Blueprint for Change was awarded funding to open the neighborhood place of Wailuku. These communities were identified by the department of human services statistics as having high incidence of confirmed child abuse cases.

Funding for safe and healthy communities requires a commitment of federal, state, and private dollars. Federal dollars to support the families qualified as eligible under the temporary assistance to needy families program are available. Without matching state funding, the Blueprint for Change system of neighborhood places would not be able to continue to carry out important system reform and outreach efforts to assist at-risk families.

The purpose of this Act is to appropriate funds for the Blueprint for Change program, existing neighborhood places, and additional sites as funding allows.

SECTION 2. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $400,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2004-2005, for the delivery of prevention and diversion services to target families, including the establishment of neighborhood places, as follows:

(1) $270,000 of the needed $675,000 for the existing system of four full contract neighborhood places and one-half contract;

(2) $40,000 of the needed $100,000 to support the master contractor, Blueprint for Change and educational, training, and public awareness arm of the Blueprint for Change for prevention of child abuse and neglect; and

(3) $90,000 of the needed $225,000 to expand the existing system of neighborhood places for one additional full contract and one and one-half contract.

SECTION 3. The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of human services for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2004.