The HI H.O.P.E.S. Youth Leadership Boards are comprised of current and former foster youth between the ages of 14 and 26. HI H.O.P.E.S. stands for Hawai‘i Helping Our People Envision Success. Their roles are to:
- Educate others about the experiences and needs of young people affected by foster care, particularly those who are about to or have transitioned out of care and into adulthood,
- Advocate for improvements in the child welfare system and for opportunities that improve the lives of young people affected by foster care, and
- Collaborate with community partners and young people to raise awareness, effect change and increase opportunities for young people currently and formerly in foster care.
Board members receive training, meet monthly and participate in a wide range of advocacy work in their community. There are HI H.O.P.E.S. Boards on O‘ahu, East and West Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i and Maui.
The HI H.O.P.E.S. boards serve as the Youth Advisory Council for the Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Services and as the youth voice for the Hawai‘i Youth Opportunities Initiative (HYOI). As part of their efforts to educate and advocate, the HYOI and HI H.O.P.E.S. Youth Leadership Boards have created videos to highlight the needs and experiences of young people affected by foster care.
- The Hawaii Youth Opportunities Initiative
- Beyond Foster Care: A Discussion about Aging Out of Foster Care in Hawai‘i
- Social Capitol: Building Networks of Support for Young People Affected by Foster Care
- Brothers and Sisters: Keeping Siblings in Foster Care Connected
- Our Next Steps: Aging Out of the Foster Care System
- Imua Kākou PSA: A New Program Supports Foster Youth up to Age 21 in Hawai‘i
- Powered Til 26 PSA: The Affordable Care Act Provides Former Foster Youth in Hawai‘i with Medicaid coverage up to age 26.