Development of `Ohana Conferencing
The ‘Ohana Conferencing project began in Honolulu, Hawaii in
July 1996 as a collaborative effort by the family court of
the first circuit, the department of Human Services – Social
services Division, and the Wai’anae community on the island
of O’ahu. Funded by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and
with support from the National Council of Juvenile and
Family Court Judges, the project has developed a powerful
community-based intervention strategy which diverts child
abuse and neglect cases from court and assists families
involved in the court process.
The ‘Ohana Conferencing Project was one of four
demonstration jurisdictions in the nation which are a part
of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’
“Diversion Project”. Each jurisdiction formulated a
multi-disciplinary team of court personnel, agency
professionals, and community leaders to design partnerships
to divert families into community-based services. In
Honolulu, the team developed the ‘Ohana Conference model,
drawing from Hawaiian values and the example of New
Zealand’s Maori people in their development of Family Group
Currently, 'Ohana Conferencing is funded by federal and
state dollars through a contract with the Department of
Human Services and provides statewide services.
Development of E Makua Ana Youth Circles
EPIC began offering E Makua Ana Youth Circles in Hawaii
in 2004. The program applies a solution-focused approach
as developed by Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer. Youth
Circles are primarily funded by a contract with the
Department of Human Services. A grant from the Victoria S.
& Bradley L. Geist Foundation allows EPIC to offer Youth
Circles to youth aged 16-24 who are former foster youth or
foster youth who emancipated from foster care.