September Newsletter


The National Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center recently invited me to be an advisor on youth trends and issues and organizational management concerns. This will help them determine what kinds of training and technical assistance is needed to support federally-funded runaway and homeless youth programs across the country. Hawaii Youth Services Network has received federal funding to support a statewide Runaway and Homeless Youth Collaborative since 1981.

Last week, we held our first conference call with advisors from Vermont, Florida, Indiana, California, and other parts of the country. We shared our issues and concerns, and most of them will sound very familiar to you.

My colleagues talked about engaging youth with school and employment, domestic violence, human trafficking, migrant workers, decriminalizing status offenses, and pregnancy/STI prevention. We emphasized the need to provide culturally relevant services to ethnic and cultural minorities. People talked about working with youth with mental health and substance abuse issues.

Then we moved on to challenges and needs for our staff and our agencies. Some of the issues shared by my colleagues included:

  • Recruiting and retaining qualified staff on a small budget;
  • Need to establish credentialing options for youth workers;
  • Managing multiple funding sources and meeting funder requirements;
  • Tying together research and practice; using research data in advocacy efforts;
  • Getting Boards of Directors involved in resource development; and
  • Increasing capacity in rural areas.

Have you identified issues or trends about the youth and communities with which you work that I should share with RHYTTAC? Please share with me by sending an e-mail to or calling me at 531-2198 ext. 1.





Judge Mark Browning, Chief Justice of Juvenile Court, was a speaker at the Hawaii Youth Services Network Annual Meeting in July. For those of you who were not able to attend, here are some of his thoughts about reforming the juvenile justice system, excerpted from the Honolulu Star Advertiser, August 22, 2014.

It’s a very complicated problem. … Eighty percent of our kids (in the system) have serious substance abuse issues. ..

And yet we as a community, at least up until this point, haven’t really prioritized the needs of our children. Because, if 80 percent of our kids suffer from those problems, why don’t we have resources to treat kids? And we simply didn’t have enough resources …

Mental health: 60 percent of our children have … everything from depression to schizophrenia, to you name it. I’ve had kids who’ve attempted suicide five or six times … we can’t get them treatment. …

Those are the kinds of issues we as a community were facing for years. If we care about these children and we really prioritize the needs of our kids, then we understand that we need to put the money up front toward treatment and toward resources in terms of helping these kids, instead of incarcerating these kids.

We’re talking about kids who, for the most part, are not serious threats to our community. They simply are kids who have suffered trauma and have had serious family problems, have been treated in ways that are sometimes horrible, or sometimes have suffered horrible things that they shouldn’t ever have. As a result they’re acting in ways that are either self-destructive or not consistent with society’s norms. . .

Before this reform, kids who committed misdemeanors would many times be placed in incarceration. Now, you don’t see adults going to prison or being incarcerated, for the most part, for shoplifting. . . and that had to change.

So the point is, it’s almost like a cost-benefit analysis. We know from all the years we’ve been doing this as a judiciary system, and this is nationwide, that the system has been essentially built upon the notion that you invest in prisons and you invest in those kinds of facilities. We’re putting all the money at the back end.

And that is exponentially much more costly, both in tax dollars and in terms of human capital, than placing money up front to intervene as early as possible, to redirect these kids in a positive way.



Soroptimist International of the Americas is offering a wonderful opportunity to provide cash awards to women who are seeking to overcome adversity in their lives by pursuing a higher education. The money awarded can be used toward expenses related to their educational goals, such as the cost of tuition, books, childcare, or transportation. Through the Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards, $1.6 million is awarded each year.

Informational flyer and application. Applications are due by November 15th.



The Hawai’i Children’s Trust Fund, in partnership with Joyful Heart Foundation launcehd the the One Strong ‘Ohana (OSO) toolkit to assist organizations in spreading the message of child abuse and neglect prevention. The OSO Partner toolkit includes information related to branding, downloadable flyers, tipcards, as well as digital and social media resources.



The FRIENDS web-based Evaluation Toolkit has been revised and updated. Visit, and click on the Evaluation Toolkit link on the left side of the main page. You will find a wealth of information on evaluating the outcomes of prevention programs, from developing a logic model through analyzing evaluation results. The toolkit includes infographics, tips for evaluation, and links to other relevant evaluation resources.



The Mental Health Association has announced the udated version of Finding Help Human Services Directory. It contains phone numbers and websites for more than 500 aagencies, programs, and institutions. Issues covered include Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services, Bereavement & Grief Support, Community Health Centeres, Counseling Programs, Health Insurance Providers, Senior Services, Domestic Violence programs, Support Groups, and many more.

You can order printed copies donated by the Bank of Hawaii by emailing your name, phone number and address to or you can download it from the MHA website


20th Anniversary
Thursday, October 23, 2014
12:00 p.m. – Meet at Hawaii State Capitol Rotunda
To be followed by a rally at 12:20 p.m. at Honolulu Hale

This year the Men’s March Against Violence will hold its 20th march in honor of the memory of the women of Hawai`i who have been victimized by domestic volence and to thank all those who have worked to create safety for women in our community over the past 20 years.

The march will be co-sponsored by the following organizations:

  • Catholic Charities Hawaii
  • PHOCUSED (Protecting Hawaii’s Ohana, Children, Under-Served, Elderly & Disabled)
  • Domestic Violence Action Center
  • Coalition for a Drug Free Hawaii
  • City & County of Honolulu
  • Kapiolani Community College



Stop Flu at School consent forms are due October 16.

Vaccination is a child’s best protection against the flu (influenza). The Hawaiʿi State Department of Health will conduct its annual school‐based flu vaccination program, Protect Hawaii’s Keiki: Stop Flu at School, this fall. All students statewide, kindergarten through eighth grade, who attend a participating school can receive a free flu vaccination.

For more information on the flu, tips on staying healthy and reducing your risk of flu complications, visit the Flu Hawaii page at or call 2‐1‐1.


November 7, 2014
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Harm Reduction is a philosophy and set of strategies for working with people engaged in potentially harmful behaviors. The main objective is to reduce the potential dangers and health risks associated with such behaviors, even for those who are not willing or able to completely stop. Harm reduction uses a non-judgmental, holistic and individualized approach to support incremental change & increase the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

The tipping point is the time when many small changes become significant enough to create larger, more important changes. Many in Hawaii and across the country feel we are at the tipping point in our response to drug use, drug users and recovery. A collaboration of service providers, community organizations, and concerned citizens will convene for a one-day interactive conference to discuss ways of developing more holistic and culturally appropriate evidence-based interventions in the context of harm reduction practice.

Conference Topics Include:

  • Housing first, homelessness & drug use
  • Harm reduction and recovery
  • Trauma informed care
  • Youth and drug use
  • Marijuana and medicinal cannabis
  • Drugs and sex work
  • Prescription drugs and overdose
  • Self-care for harm reduction workers
  • Kupuna and drug use
  • Overview of harm reduction

Conference Partners Include:

AIDS Education Project * AIDS Community Care Team * Community Alliance on Prisons * Drug Policy Forum of Hawai’i * Gay Straight Alliance Hawai’i * Gregory House Programs * Hale Kipa *Harm Reduction Hawai’i * Hawai’i Appleseed * Hawai’i Department of Health’s Injury Prevention and Control Section * Hawai’i Department of Health’s STD/AIDS Prevention Branch * Hawai’i Island HIV/AIDS Foundation * Hawai’i Pacific University’s School of Social Work * Hawai’i Public Health Association * Hawai’i Youth Coalition * Hawai’i Youth Services Network * Hep Free Hawai’i * Hepatitis Support Network of Hawai’i * Hina Mauka * Kawai Foundation * Life Foundation* Mālama Pono * Maui AIDS Foundation * Mental Health America of Hawai’i * Planned Parenthood of Hawai’i * University of Hawai’i at Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry *University of Hawai’i at Mānoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene *Waikiki Health Care-A-Van Program


Registration Now Open at




The Kemoeatu Brothers Foundation was founded by NFL players, Chris and Ma’ake Kemoeatu in the effort to help improve the lives of underprivileged children in Hawaii by providing assistance in their educational, social, and economic development.

The organization hosts sports camps and toy drives; creates celebrity engagement opportunities; pursues and creates scholarships for its program participants; and partners with other fundamental non-profit organizations to assist in reaching its goals.


The Kemoeatu Brothers Foundation offers a variety of programs and services aimed to assist, promote, and protect the underprivileged youth of Hawaii.

  • Football camps and clinics
  • Tutoring
  • College entrance exam preparation
  • College academic and athletic scholarships
  • College athletic placement
  • Holiday economic assistance
  • Athletic facility renovation and development
  • Injury Prevention
    • Youth suicide prevention
    • concussion awareness and prevention

Additional information can be found at





Wednesday, September 17
8 a.m. to 9:30a.m. HST (2 p.m.- 3:30 p.m. EDST)

Want to mobilize your community to take action to prevent sexual an domestiv violence? This web conference takes a look at how to leverage community education efforts into opportunities for norms change dialogue and policy change. A wide variety of resources and tools from existing movements and promising approaches for movement builidng in the field will be discusssed. Guests and paricipants will explore strategies grounded in this moment in time and discuss how to utilize the increasing visibility of norms that foster sexual abuse and domestic violence to mobilize acation and advance primary prevention.

By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Identify examples of community education efforts that can be expanded to norms change strategies.
  • Understand the key characteristics of a mobilization approach.
  • Be familiar with examples of successful efforts and tools to further refine local efforts.

Guest Presenters:

  • Paula Chun, Executive Director, Hawaii Coalition Against Sexual Assault
  • Helene Kaiwi, Senior Associate, Hawaii Department of Health, Maternal and Child Health Branch
  • Valerie Mariano, Chief, Community and Crime Prevention Branch, Hawaii Department of the Attorney General
  • Alan Heisterkamp, Director, Mentors in Violence Prevention Leadership Institute, Center for Violence Prevention

Click to register.


November 12, 530P-830P—It’s pau work; bring a little something to eat!
HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union, 1226 College Walk, Honolulu HI
Seating for 50; $20 Earlybird registration

Talking story about Trauma Informed Care with Elizabeth Power, who presented at Ko’olau in March 2014 and whose work includes serving Hale Kipa and Ku Aloha Ola Mau. Join us for a relaxed evening of talking story about the power of focusing on “what happened instead of what’s wrong” and the power of culture in healing.

Registration now open on Eventbrite (

Contact Elizabeth Power, or, on Oahu, for more information


One Day Trainings November 13/14
November 13 or 14, 830A-530P—Breakfast, lunch, materials included;
Ko’olau Ballrooms & Conference Center, 45-550 Kionaole Road, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744
Seating for 125 each day; $150 per person

Risking Connection© is Sidran Institute’s flagship trauma-informed care model. Developed in the 1990s, it has been adopted by agencies that serve those diagnosed with mental illness, substance use issues, who are homeless, faith communities, inpatient and congregate care facilities, and even insurance claim call centers. Why? As a model that focuses on how overwhelming experiences impact people—including service providers—it reduces the time, trauma, and costs of healing for everyone.

Elizabeth Power, M.Ed. is the principal of one of two firms authorized directly by Sidran Institute to help organizations learn and implement the program, and as a person with lived experience as well as deep knowledge in cross-cultural practices in multiple communities.

This one day event—offered on November 13 and repeated on November 14—is a condensed version of the 20 hour program, and uses the core forms and learnings incorporated around two typical situations you might encounter. While only two cases are used, the same core forms as in the longer version are utilized and you receive a specially condensed version of the reference materials, the same as those used when the one-day format was developed by EPower & Associates as part of a research project with Sidran at Georgetown University.


Registration now open on Eventbrite (

Contact Elizabeth Power, or, on Oahu, for more information.


All workshops will be held at Wayland Baptist University
95-1091 Ainamakua Drive
Mililani Mauka

When Children Struggle to Read
September 6, 9:00 – 11:00 am

An overview of language-based reading difficulties such as dyslexia, a specific learning disability (SLD), how these affect learning, and what kind of teaching and intervention works best for learners with language-based reading difficulties.

Dyslexia Simulations (Interactive Workshop)
September 20, 9:00 -11: 30 am

Participants will rotate through six learning stations with simple activities designed to give a hands-on awareness of what dyslexic persons experience every day. The activities include language-related tasks similar to those encountered in the classeroom and workplace. An explanation of the aspects of dyslexia being simulated in each learning station and brief group discussion will follow.

Help/Support for Struggling Readers (an Overview)
October 4, 9:00 – 11:00 am

Individuals with language-based learning disabilities have difficulty processing and organizing information. While most people associate dyslexia with reading, it can also affect memory, organization and other skills necessary to navigate school and life. Community experts will share and discuss information about help and support for struggling readers including strategies, tips and resources.

Register by emailing