Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rep. Shimabukuro to speak on child protection legislation

Representative Maile Shimabukuro (District 45 – Wai'anae, Makaha, Makua) will speak at the Parents for Righteousness Conference, an annual public event on issues related to protecting Hawaii's children.

"Parents for Righteousness" is a support group for families affected by Child Protective Services.

Rep. Shimabukuro will discuss child welfare legislation on Saturday, July 18 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Wai'anae High School in the Career and Counseling Room.

"Child welfare issues have always been near and dear to me, particularly now that I am a parent," said Rep. Shimabukuro. "Although the Legislature was forced to make some difficult decisions this year because of severe economic conditions, we still managed to pass legislation that will benefit our keiki."

Those interested in attending should call Ivan Kapaona at 808-697-8384 to reserve a seat. Space is limited.

Rep. Shimabukuro will talk about child protective policy in relation to last year's "Grandparents' Bill" (SB 2730 from 2008), and the following bills passed during the 2009 Legislative Session:

HB 200, Act 162: Child Protective Services; Purchase of Service Contracts. Continued the provision of necessary support programs for struggling families in Hawaii by allocating $7,000,000 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds for FY 2009-2010 and $6,200,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2010-2011 to purchase service contracts for child protective services.

SB 108, Act 6: Temporary Guardianship of Minor; Family Court. Provided a more stable environment for children placed under the care of a temporary guardian by extending the term of temporary guardianship from six months to one year.

HB 200, Act 162: Group Home; Foster Girls. Continued support for girls in the foster care system by appropriating $80,000 for FY 2009-2010 as a grant to Hale 'Opio Kauai, Inc. for design and construction to repair the Therapeutic Behavioral Health Group Home for foster girls in Lawai, Kauai

HB 200, Act 162: Foster Care Services. Increased assistance to the foster care system by adding $2,300,000 for FY 2009-2010 and $1,300,000 for FY 2010-2011 in increased federal matching funds resulting from the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage adjustment reflected in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to fund additional foster care services.

SB 851, Act 115: Child Support Enforcement. Clarifies that all income withholding payments be sent through the Child Support Enforcement Agency; allows the agency to disburse support by electronic transfer or direct deposit; allows for electronic copy or facsimile of a signature as proof of service for certified mail; clarifies lien payment and enforcement.

HB 1364, Act 67: Federal Funds; Appropriations. Promoted transparency in the use of ARRA funds and addressed the general revenue fund shortfall for FY 2008-2009 by appropriating federal funds for the following programs, among others, expected to receive funding under ARRA: Child Protective Services Payments; Cash Support for Child Care; and Cash Support for Families – Self-Sufficiency

HCR 5: Foster Families; Faith-Based Organizations. Encouraged the development of additional community-based support systems for foster children and foster families by urging faith-based organizations in the state to network and collaborate to support foster families, including through the formation of foster family ministries

HCR 39: Foster Care Awareness Month. Worked to improve the foster care system in Hawaii by declaring May "Foster Care Awareness Month" as a time to educate the public about various components of foster care and the foster care system (H.C.R. No. 39, 2009).

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