Adoption and Guardianship Assistance - Hawaii

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What specific factors or conditions does your State consider to determine that a child cannot be placed with an adoptive family without providing financial assistance? ("What is your State definition of special needs?")

A child with special needs is defined as a child that has at least one of the following needs or circumstances that may be a barrier to placement or adoption without financial assistance:

  • Age 4 or older by the date of placement with prospective adopted parent(s)
  • Race or ethnic background
  • Member of a sibling group of two or more children adopted together; or a sibling of a child previously adopted by adoptive parents
  • Presence of a severe or chronic medical, physical, mental, or emotional condition, behavioral disorder or other clinically diagnosed disability established and documented by a professional, other than the child’s placement worker
  • High risk of developing a severe or chronic medical, physical, mental, or emotional condition, behavioral disorder or other clinically diagnosed disability established and in writing by a professional, other than the child’s placement worker

 

What is the maximum amount a family may receive in non-recurring adoption expenses from your State? (Adoptive parents can receive reimbursement of certain approved, "one-time" adoption expenses incurred in the process of finalizing a special needs adoption.)

$2,000 per child.

 

Does your State enter into deferred adoption assistance agreements? (In some States, adoptive parents can enter into an agreement in which they choose to defer the receipt of a Medicaid card, the monthly monetary payment, or both and can elect to receive the Medicaid card and/or monetary payment at another time.)

Hawaii offers deferred adoption assistance agreements.

 

When can adoption assistance payments and benefits begin in your State?

Adoption assistance payments and benefits may begin in Hawaii at the signing of the adoption assistance agreement and the child’s placement into an approved adoptive home.

 

How are changes made to the adoption assistance agreement in your State?

  • When can a parent request a change in the adoption assistance agreement?
  • How does a parent request a change in the adoption assistance agreement?
  • What if a parent does not receive the change they request in the adoption assistance agreement?

Adoptive parents may request a change in the adoption assistance agreement when a child exhibits a change in their needs requiring an increased level of care. To request a change, parents are directed to contact the unit administrating the adoption assistance payments or the unit that finalized the adoption. Hawaii Department of Human Services (DHS).

 

What types of postadoption services are available in your State, and how do you find out more about them?

Postadoption services in Hawaii are administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS) and contracted through outside agencies. Parents can access postadoption services on their own or through DHS. Respite is not provided through the adoption assistance program.

It Takes an Ohama, a part of Family Programs Hawaii’s, offers resources and responsible advocacy information to those in the community concerned with protecting the interests of children and youth in out-of-home care.

Many private organizations offer a variety of respite options. See the ARCH National Respite Network Respite Locator Service, search by state to locate Hawaii’s respite programs.

Note: Not all services may be available in all cases. Contact your adoption assistance worker or post adoption services contact for information regarding process, eligibility, availability, and duration of services.

 

What mental health services are provided by your State?

The State of Hawaii provides mental health services to children and youth through the Department of Health (DOH) Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division (CAMHD).

CAMHD offers help for children and adolescents with mental health needs through the Evidence Based Services (EBS) Committee. The EBS Committee promotes best practices to serve children and adolescents with mental health needs. Multiple reports, recommendations, trainings, and studies are provided to alert mental health professionals, administrators, and parents with special needs children of the best ways to meet the mental health needs of children and youth.

MedQUEST is another resource for help with mental health needs. For services and eligibility information, contact MedQUEST.

Parents may also contact the Department of Health, Family Health Services for help.

The Department contracts with various agencies statewide to provide counseling and support services. Please contact the child’s social service assistant or social worker.

Note: Not all services may be available in all cases. Contact your adoption assistance worker, medical assistance specialist, or the Department of Health, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division for information regarding process, eligibility, availability, and duration of services.

 

Does your State provide additional finances or services for medical or therapeutic needs not covered under your State medical plan to children receiving adoption assistance?

Hawaii does not provide additional finances or services for medical or therapeutic needs not covered under their state medical plan to children receiving adoption assistance. No specific program is available to meet a child’s extraordinary needs that are not covered by the adoption assistance payments or medical plan or other eligible services provided by the Department of Health. However, social services programs are available through what is referred to as Title XX (Social Security Act reference) to children receiving adoption assistance who meet the program’s eligibility criteria and have these program needs listed in their adoption assistance agreement. Adoptive parents are directed to contact their adoption assistance or adoption program social worker to apply for these services.

Note: Not all services may be available in all cases. Contact your adoption assistance worker for information regarding process, eligibility, availability, and duration of services.

 

What is your State's process for applying for a fair hearing? (A fair hearing is a legal, administrative procedure that provides a forum to address disagreements with agency decisions.)

Adoptive parents can request a fair hearing when there is disagreement with a DHS decision which affects their child’s adoption assistance. Requests should be in writing to the adoption assistance worker or the department’s administrative appeals office within ninety days from the receipt of a notice of a denial/reduction/termination of adoption assistance. If someone makes a written request on behalf of the adoptive parents, there must be a written statement, signed by the adoptive parent(s) authorizing this person to be their representative. An administrative appeals officer will acknowledge the request for the hearing within fifteen days of the request, and will contact the adoptive parents to schedule a hearing not less than fifteen days prior to the hearing. Adoptive parents will receive a written decision in the mail, issued by the administrative appeals office, within ninety days of the hearing request. Send written requests for fair hearing to the adoption assistance worker or the following address (administrative appeals office):

Administrative Appeals Office
1390 Miller Street, Room 106
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Phone 808-586-5291

 

Does your state, territory, or tribe offer a guardianship subsidy or assistance (monthly payments and medical coverage) program?

Yes. Assistance is available regardless of the child’s title IV-E eligibility.

 

What are the eligibility criteria for a child to receive guardianship assistance?

Eligibility criteria are addressed in the Hawaii Administrative Rules 17-1621, Subtitle 11, Child Welfare Services Program, Chapter 1621, Permanency Assistance.

 

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