Family Programs Helps Foster Families Prosper

By Linda Santos, president and CEO Family Programs Hawaii

Every child deserves a loving, nurturing family. But the reality is that when parents are unable to provide a safe home for their children, the foster care system must step in with safety, security and nurturing through out-of-home care. Since 2004, Family Programs Hawaii has supported youths and families through high-quality preventive, support and transition services.


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Two brothers, ages 9 and 7, living in separate foster homes on Oahu, enjoy their monthly visit through Project Visitation | Photo from Family Programs Hawaii

A few examples are:

* A Leeward Oahu mother, who struggled with substance abuse for years, had her children removed twice from her care because of drug relapses. She finally was able to succeed with the help of drug monitoring, therapy and our Voluntary Case Management program. Her children now are thriving in her care.

* Twenty-six high school seniors who successfully transitioned out of foster care are receiving support and mentoring to continue their education at community colleges, universities and vocational programs in the state.

* Four siblings living in different foster homes finally are able to maintain their relationship with each other thanks to a community volunteer with Project Visitation, who facilitates a monthly visit and events for them.

Family Programs Hawaii is a growing and vibrant social service agency that annually provides services to 6,000 children and families involved in the child welfare system. We offer 15 programs that target the needs of youths and families in preventing children from entering foster care, supporting children and families involved in the foster care system, and assisting youths transitioning out of foster care. Our approximately 60 employees work in offices in Honolulu, Hilo and a receiving home in Ma’ili.

We help kids. We believe that it is the responsibility of the entire community to help ensure the safety and well-being of our children. We depend on community members to help sustain our services and programs. Please visit to donate, volunteer or support our programs and fundraisers.

Join us!

For more information on how you can help, call Connie Sizemore at 540-2534 or email

One final note: Aloha to Linda Santos, who will retire from Family Programs Hawaii in April, leaving behind a legacy of 40 years of dedicated service to children, youths and families, especially those in the state foster care system.

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