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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Governor's Office 'Listening Sessions' on Child Welfare System
By News Release @ 11:59 PM :: 303 Views :: Family, Hawaii State Government


Community Members with Lived Experience and Expertise with Child Welfare System are Invited to Participate

News Release from Office of the Governor, May 29, 2024

HONOLULU — The Office of Wellness and Resilience (OWR) announces 11 upcoming community listening sessions to be conducted by the Mālama ‘Ohana Working Group (MOWG) both in person and virtually beginning today across the islands, with a culminating virtual statewide meeting on Tuesday, July 2.

“The purpose of these sessions is to build a foundation,” said Governor Josh Green, M.D. “We hope people from keiki to kūpuna will share their hearts, so the Mālama ‘Ohana Working Group can work to help bring positive, transformative change to the child welfare system.”

“We are hosting these listening sessions for youth, mākua (parents), kūpuna and people with lived experience with the child welfare system in Hawai‘i to lift up keiki and ‘ohana voices in order to improve and transform it,” said Venus Rosete-Medeiros, one of the working group’s co-chairs, as well as president and CEO of Hale Kipa.

Food will be provided at each meeting. Registration is requested to attend. For more information on each session, including registration details, visit the MOWG website:

“We believe that, to better support and care for our families and children, we have to make time to listen and learn from those who have lived experience and expertise in our state systems,” said OWR Director Tia Hartsock.

The MOWG was established during the 2023 legislative session and signed into law as Act 86 by Governor Josh Green, M.D. on June 14, 2023. The concept of the working group originated within the work of the Nā Kama a Hāloa Network, which consists of more than 30 organizations working collaboratively to improve the lives of Native Hawaiian keiki and ʻohana, especially those over-represented in the state’s child welfare system.

Convened by the OWR in the Office of the Governor, the group is seeking input from youth, parents, kin and others with lived experience with the child welfare system in Hawai‘i to redesign and recommend transformative changes. The MOWG will submit its formal recommendations to the legislature prior to the 2025 legislative session. For more information, visit

The full list of 11 community meetings is below.

Wednesday, May 29, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Kamehameha Schools Kalanihoʻokaha Learning Center, 89-102 Farrington Hwy., Wai‘anae, O‘ahu

Friday, May 31, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Keaukaha Elementary Cafeteria, 240 Desha Ave., Hilo, Hawai‘i Island

Thursday, June 6, 5:30 to 8 p.m. OHA Conference, Kulana ʻŌiwi Halau, 600 Maunaloa Hwy., Kalamaʻula, Molokaʻi

Monday, June 10, 5:30 to 8 p.m. University of Hawaiʻi at Maui College, Pilina Center, 310 W. Kaʻahumanu Ave., Kahului, Maui

Friday, June 14, 6 to 8 p.m. Virtual Meeting (via Zoom) for Hāna community, Hāna, Maui

Tuesday, June 18, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Liliʻuokalani Trust Kīpuka Kona, 74-5490 Makala Blvd., Kailua-Kona, Hawaiʻi Island

Tuesday, June 25, 5:30 to 8 p.m. War Memorial Convention Hall, 4191 Hardy St., Līhu‘e, Kauaʻi

Thursday, June 27, 6 to 8 p.m. Virtual Meeting (via Zoom) for Lānaʻi community, Lānaʻi

Friday, June 28, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Blanche Pope Elementary School Cafeteria, 41-133 Huli St., Waimānalo, Oʻahu

Monday, July 1, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wahiawā Elementary, 1402 Glen Ave., Wahiawā, Oʻahu

Tuesday, July 2, 6 to 8 p.m. Statewide virtual meeting (via Zoom)

About the Office of Wellness and Resilience:

The mission of the Office of Wellness and Resilience is to strengthen our state systems and services, using healing-centered care principles as strategies to make Hawai‘i a trauma-informed state. We break down barriers that impact the physical, social and emotional well-being of Hawai‘i’s people – from keiki to kūpuna. To learn more, visit

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