Pictured, from left to right: Keala Kaku, Hale Kipa administrative assistant; Cheryl Jorgensen, Hale Kipa mental health professional; William Takaba, County of Hawaii managing director; Leinaala Kahanaoi, Hawaiian Acres resident; Josephine Kahanaoi, Leinaala’s mother; and Jaque Kelley-Uyeoka, ACSW, LSW, Hale Kipa deputy CEO-Outreach Services
Hawaii Mayor Billy Kenoi recently proclaimed the month of May as Foster Care Month in the County of Hawaii, urging communities to celebrate foster care programs.
On May 18, 2012, County of Hawaii Managing Director William Takaba presented the proclamation to Hawaiian Acres resident Leinaala Kahanaoi and members of Hale Kipa’s Oahu and Big Island staff. Kahanaoi and Hale Kipa were recognized for helping affect a positive, lifelong connection in the lives of youths in foster care. Earlier this year, Kahanaoi became the legal guardian to her 16-year-old foster daughter, who has lived with her since April 2011 as part of Hale Kipa’s Therapeutic Foster Care Program.
In May, National Foster Care month is recognized throughout the country as a time to focus on the issues facing the 408,000 American children and youth in foster care. According to the 2010 Annual Report from the Hawaii Department of Human Services, there are around 1,400 children inHawaii’s foster care program.
The County of Hawaii recognition follows Governor Neil Abercrombie’s proclamation on May 9 of May as National Foster Care Month in Hawaii and recognition of Hale Kipa for its important and outstanding Foster Care Program. Additionally, Hale Kipa foster parents Butch and Remedios Alegre of Oahu were recognized on May 2 by Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle for providing a safe haven for Hawaii youth and for their ongoing support of Hale Kipa’s Foster Care Program.