HONOLULU (KHON2) - It's National Foster Month and here's a growing need to help Hawaii children without a stable home life and your support is needed to open your home and heart to offer foster care.
The Partners in Development Foundation runs a program called Hui Hoʻomalu, which helps to enhance and advance Hawaiiʻs foster care system.
Stephanie Helbush says, "Currently, there are about 1,500 children in foster care and about 50% of them are Native Hawaiian. These children are moved from their homes for reasons such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, neglect, and various other reasons. We are always in a high demand to recruit foster families to help foster these children and also help reunite them with their biological families."
Partners in Development Foundation helps help families overcome difficult challenges that they may be facing.
They have a wide range of free programs in education, social services, environmental sustainability and integrating Hawaiian culture for our at-risk communities in the State of Hawaii.
They address the identification, recruitment, screening, assessment, training, ongoing support, and retention of resource families for children and families that are in the care of the Department of Human Services.
Requirements of being a caregiver include the desire and ability to accept a foster child into your home based on the reunification plan made by the state, you need to have space in your home for an additional child, your income must cover usual household expenses, and you must complete a criminal background check.
Resource caregiver Allene Uesugi said her motivation to help was simple, "I became a resource caregiver because all children deserve happiness and ultimately all these kids want to feel and be loved and supported. If you have the means to open your home with a loving heart, then please consider being a resource caregiver. There is a very strong support system within the resources that Hui Ho'omalu provides and you really are not in it alone. There are so many resources out there to help during all stages of the process. The biggest thing is you must have the heart to want to help others."