COVID Update from our Board Chair

Apr 19, 2021


We are indeed living through an unprecedented moment in time but what gives me hope is the resolve and commitment that we have experienced here in Hawaii and across the world to see each other through, together. Family Programs Hawaii (FPH), especially its leadership and staff have demonstrated this resolve and commitment like no other and I am proud to be affiliated with FPH, its employees, and the children and families FPH serves.

Providing Services During the Pandemic

Like many organizations here on the island, within days of realizing the global nature of the COVID pandemic, FPH pivoted to ensure that we continued to respond to the needs of our community. We remained open throughout the entire year, providing essential services and care to children and families involved in Hawaii’s child welfare system. To ensure the health and safety of its staff, individuals began working from home, utilizing the latest technology to stay connected. In addition, our programs were quick to adjust to the changing environment.

    • The Family Strengthening Center initiated tele-assessments and conducted virtual therapy services.
    • In lieu of face-to-face visits among siblings in foster care, Project Visitation received a grant to purchase Amazon Fire Tablets and made it available for siblings, who are separated by different resource families, to stay connected.
    • The Resource Families Support Services, which provides training and resources to the families who care for foster children, converted from its traditional in-person training and consultations to virtual services and online training, as well as creating digital resources for additional guidance.
    • Hoʻomalu o Na Kamaliʻi, our temporary receiving shelter for children and siblings awaiting placement in foster care, also kept its doors open amidst the pandemic and implemented contingency plans in the case of a foster resident contracting COVID-19.
    • The 22nd Annual Holiday Party was transformed from a 2,000-person gathering for foster youth and resource families to a gigantic and highly successful drive-thru celebration. Thanks to the support of 500-plus volunteers and sponsors throughout the entire planning process, over 330 families and more than 1,200 keiki and youth were in attendance. Each family was provided 2 large food boxes and the children received upwards of 1,500 presents and giveaways. In total, we surpassed our goal, receiving over $150,000 in financial and in-kind donations.

Because of You, We Were Able to Help Others

During this period of uncertainty, we, at FPH have been humbled and encouraged by the outpouring of generosity from our community. Remarkable individuals, organizations, trusts, foundations, community groups, businesses, and corporations have all stepped up to support our frontline team in their continued service to children, youth, and families involved in the island wide child welfare system.

We are beyond grateful for your partnership and trust given to us in caring for our foster care ʻohana. To those who are now becoming familiar with FPH, we ask that you continue to learn about our organization and the youth and families we serve. And to those we have known for years, thank you for your incredible generosity and support.

May you and your family continue to be safe and healthy and our entire community continue to come together for one another.

Mahalo nui loa,

Greg Schlais, Esq.
Board Chair

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