Mālama ‘Ohana seeks child welfare lived experiences to inform new legislation

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Governor Josh Green, M.D., accompanied by community leaders signed Mālama ‘Ohana into law signifying the State’s commitment to uplift the voices of ‘ohana and keiki affected by the Child Welfare System. PC: (6.14.23) Office of Gov. Josh Green.

A group formed to suggest changes to legislature regarding Hawaiʻi’s existing child welfare system wants to hear from people with lived experiences of the state’s child welfare system.

The Mālama ‘Ohana Working Group will conduct 11 in-person and virtual listening sessions across the islands. There are two meetings scheduled on Hawai‘i Island, the first taking place today from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Keaukaha Elementary Cafeteria, 240 Desha Ave., in Hilo.

There will be a sign-waving campaign from 4 to 5 p.m. before the meeting at Puhi Bay at Keaukaha Beach Park.


The second meeting is scheduled on June 18 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Liliʻuokalani Trust Kīpuka Kona, 74-5490 Makala Blvd., Kailua-Kona.

The sessions culminate in a statewide meeting on Tuesday, July 2.

“The purpose of these sessions is to build a foundation,” said Governor Josh Green. “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 Mālama ‘Ohana Working Group website at

The working group was established during the 2023 legislative session and signed into law as Act 86 by Green 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.  


The working group will submit its formal recommendations to the legislature before the 2025 legislative session.

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