STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1473
RE: S.R. No. 79
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Health and Human Services, to which was referred S.R. No. 79 entitled:
"SENATE RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE OFFICE OF WELLNESS AND RESILIENCE ESTABLISH THE MALAMA OHANA WORKING GROUP TO IDENTIFY, DESIGN, AND RECOMMEND TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGES TO THE STATE'S CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to request the Office of Wellness and Resilience to establish the Malama Ohana Working Group to identify, design, and recommend transformative changes to the State's child welfare system.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Wellness and Resilience, Hawai‘i Youth Services Network, and one individual.
Your Committee finds that there is a collective desire to reform the state child welfare system, particularly in regard to the overrepresentation of Native Hawaiian children and families within the system. Collaboration between the State and its communities is critical to these reform efforts due to the complexity and diversity of the issues children and families involved in the state child welfare system face. Formed and prototyped by Nā Kama a Hāloa, a network of more than thirty community organizations and individuals with lived experience in the state child welfare system, the Malama Ohana Working Group exemplifies this collaborative, community approach and has successfully implemented several projects that have led to system reforms. This measure therefore supports the continuation of the Malama Ohana Working Group to uplift the voices of those with lived experience in the state child welfare system and provide community input for the system's improvement.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Health and Human Services that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of S.R. No. 79 and recommends its adoption.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Health and Human Services,
JOY A. SAN BUENAVENTURA, Chair