S.R. NO.













requesting the department of human services to convene a task force and establish a pilot project to address the needs of native hawaiian children in child custody proceedings.




     WHEREAS, there is no resource that is more vital to the continued existence and integrity of native Hawaiians than their children; and


     WHEREAS, approximately 50 percent of the foster care cases under the jurisdiction of the Department of Human Services (DHS) involve native Hawaiian families; and


     WHEREAS, native Hawaiian communities have expressed concern that cultural needs are not being given the importance that they should, with regard to the placement of children in custody proceedings; and


     WHEREAS, the State should adopt a policy to protect the cultural and traditional interests of native Hawaiian children and promote the stability and security of native Hawaiian families; and


     WHEREAS, such a policy should include standards for the removal of native Hawaiian children from their families and the placement of these children in hanai or lawe hanai homes that will reflect the unique values of native Hawaiian culture; and


     WHEREAS, native Hawaiians should be provided assistance in navigating child and family service programs; and


     WHEREAS, H.B. No. 1895, H.D. 1, Regular Session of 2008, provides the framework for the Native Hawaiian Child Welfare Act, which establishes custody proceedings for native Hawaiian children; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-fourth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2008, that DHS is requested to convene a task force to determine the feasibility of implementing the provisions of Part I of H.B. No. 1895, H.D. 1; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DHS is requested to include in the task force, representatives of the following:


     (1)  The Office of Hawaiian Affairs;


     (2)  The Hawaii Foster Parent Association;


     (3)  The Hawaii Foster Youth Coalition;


     (4)  The Hawaii Youth Services Network;


     (5)  The Department of the Attorney General;


     (6)  Honolulu Community Action Program - Leeward District;


     (7)  Na Kupuna O Waianae;


     (8)  The Legacy Coalition;


     (9)  Na Kupuna O Kahana; and


    (10)  Any other individuals or organizations DHS deems necessary;




     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DHS is also requested to conduct a one-year pilot project based on Part III of H.B. No. 1895, H.D. 1, which requires a pilot project of no more than 25 cases handled in accordance with procedures set forth in the bill; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DHS is requested to submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including proposed legislation, if any, to the Legislature no later than 20 days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2009; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a certified copy of this Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Human Services.









Report Title: 

DHS Task Force; Native Hawaiian Child Custody Proceedings