Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 669

       H.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Human Services, to which was referred H.B. No. 669, H.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to streamline the reporting requirements of the Department of Human Services and the family courts by:


     (1)  Requiring the Department, upon direction of the court, to provide the family court with an oral or written report regarding the safety of a minor child of the parties on or prior to the next regularly scheduled court hearing;


     (2)  Providing that if the Department provides a written report, the Department need not appear at the hearing unless ordered to do so; and


     (3)  Requiring the court to provide copies of all written reports to the parties.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Judiciary and one individual.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Human Services.


     Your Committee finds that victims, victims' children, and perpetrators need case management and access to critical and timely services to address the multi-faceted problem of family violence.  Presently, the family courts report all temporary restraining orders in instances where there are minors present in the home to the Child Welfare Services Branch of the Department of Human Services, regardless of the minors' exposure to the alleged domestic violence.  Many reports do not indicate any safety concerns for minors in such cases; consequently, Child Welfare Services staff must undertake the additional burden of screening referrals, investigating cases, and submitting written reports to the court in advance of the hearings.  This measure ensures timely communication of information that may be critical in addressing the needs and safety of children.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Human Services that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 669, H.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary and Labor.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Human Services,