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CAI Holds Congressional Briefing to Unveil New Report:

Shame on U.S.
Failings by All Three Branches of Our Federal Government Leave
Abused and Neglected Children Vulnerable to Further Harm
January 27, 2015

The federal government's dereliction allows states to fall short on meeting minimum child welfare standards. Below is information specific to Hawaii.

CFSR Results Summary: In its Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process, HHS determines whether each state is in substantial conformity with 7 specific outcomes (pertaining to the areas of safety, permanency and family and child well-being) and 7 systemic factors (relating to the quality of services delivered to children and families and the outcomes they experience).  In the first two rounds of the CFSR, HHS has concluded that Hawaii was:

Round 1 (2003)

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 6 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 5 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Round 2 (2009)   

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 7 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 2 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Although federal law mandates that any state found not to be operating in substantial conformity during an initial or subsequent review must begin a full review within two years after approval of the state's program improvement plan, HHS has announced that Hawaii will not undergo Round 3 of the CFSR until FY 2017 (see CFSR Technical Bulletin #7 (March 2014)).

Documents from the U.S. Health & Human Services Children's Bureau

Child Welfare Litigation*

  • Chong v. McManaman
    Class action filed in 2013 by Hawai‘i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing, and Morrison & Foerster LLP against the Head of the Hawai`i Department of Human Services for violating federal law by failing to pay foster parents enough to adequately care for the foster children in their homes.. The federal Child Welfare Act requires that reimbursements cover the expenses of children in foster care, but the $529 per month payment — set by the state nearly a quarter century ago — does not come close. Had the payment been adjusted for inflation, it would be over $950.

*litigation summary taken from information provided by the website of the Hawai‘i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice

Child Welfare In the News**

  • Foster children to get additional legal help (Associated Press - December 26, 2014) A new Oahu Family Court rule helps ensure children injured in foster care get legal help to determine whether to pursue damages.
  • Two Men Assaulted By 'Zack Morris' As Minors Sue Foster Care System (Huffington Post - December 23, 2014) The plaintiffs, who are identified as John Doe 1 and John Doe 2, allege that the state's foster care system failed to protect them from the man despite numerous warning signs about his behavior, including a strange lawsuit he had filed against the state, claiming he was the subject of unlawful investigations.
  • Former foster kids sue the state after sexual abuse by foster dad (HawaiiNewsNow - December 22, 2014)
    The victims of a former foster dad on Maui is suing the Department of Human Services. Their attorney says the state should have known that the man was homeless, unemployed, and recently changed his name. Information Gateway resource: Criminal Background Checks for Prospective Foster and Adoptive Parents

**news summaries taken from daily newsfeed service of HHS' Child Welfare Information Gateway


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Children's Advocacy Institute
University of San Diego School of Law
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