Challenges to Hawaii’s Foster care system amid the Pandemic

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Fewer people are signing up to become foster parents amid the pandemic and the lack of in-person education has created a new type of isolation for foster youth.

“For the at-risk children that we deal with, the truth of the matter is they’re safer in school,” said Joe O’Connell, a team lead supervisor for Parents, Inc.

According to the Hawaii Department of Human Services, calls from educators reporting abuse are down. In 2019, about 30 calls a month came from educators to check up on kids.

Olevao said overall call volume was down during the pandemic, but her team is beginning to see those numbers rise again with more services opening up…

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