Council of the City and County of Honolulu
HONOLULU – Neither government nor the private sector can resolve all of the challenges of our complex society. This is especially true for our young people who face adversities that we could never have imagined. Despite the presence of numerous agencies and organizations, there are none that address the legal needs of children. Na Keiki law Center is working to change that, providing alternatives for children that will help them to succeed in life.
The goal of Na Keiki Law Center is to advocate for individual children in court, to identify systematic barriers to children’s well-being and to determine the best way to deal with those barriers be it litigation, legislation or education. Na Keiki Law Center also works to resolve community-wide issues, to provide safe and nourishing environments for children and to create opportunities for children where none existed before.
Na Keiki Law Center began as a project of Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii. With the assistance of the City and County of Honolulu and the Honolulu Police Department, Na Keiki Law Center opened its doors in the Child and Family Services Family Center in Ewa in July 1999.
In less that one year, Na Keiki Law Center staff and volunteers have interviewed more than 250 children and their families and have represented more than 100 children with guardianships, adoptions, obtaining restraining orders, cases of abuse and neglect, immigration, child support, and paternity cases. Na Keiki Law Center has been able to accomplish so much by working closely with the prosecutor’s office, Child Protective Services, the Honolulu Police Department, the Department of Human Services, the legislature, the courts and private non-profits.
None of these children would have received the help that they needed had it not been for the foresight of Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii and the invaluable support from many in our community. With the help from supporting agencies along with the city and County of Honolulu, Na Keiki Law Center has been able to respond to the ever-increasing demand for services and to better identify the needs of the children who seek its assistance. In fact, the demand for Na Keiki Law Center assistance has been so great that the center has expanded services to Hilo, Kauai and Windward Oahu.
Therefore, on behalf of the people of the City and County of Honolulu, the Council hereby recognizes and commends Na Keiki Law Center for their exemplary service to the children of our community.
John DeSoto, Introducer;
Jon Yoshimura, Chair
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