Hawaii legislature moves forward to reform child-welfare system after grantee series exposed problems

Kapolei Judiciary Complex.

The state House and Senate in Hawaii each passed bills this month that would significantly change the legal process for taking children from their parents when they’re accused of abuse or neglect. With support from the Fund, Honolulu Civil Beat published a series of reports investigating the state’s child-welfare system. That series showed that children are frequently removed from their parents’ custody without court orders. The two bills that were just passed, which are nearly identical, would increase judicial oversight of such removals. The Senate bill will now be sent to the House for consideration, and vice versa.