Why Do Hawaii Children Keep Dying in Foster Care?

September 21, 2011

It seems to me that Child Protective Services has some serious explaining to do about why multiple children have died after being taken into the foster care system in Hawaii. The problem is, it doesn’t seem like anyone is forcing them to provide an explanation.

4 deaths have been reported since 2006. While this may seem low to you, the fact of the matter is that 1 death being reported is too many. The latest tragedy involves 9-month old Jayvid Waa-Ili.

Sheila Deal and her husband David are trying to get information from Child Protective Services and the state Department of Human Services about what happened to their grandson, Jayvid Waa-Ili, after he was taken from a relative’s Hauula home on Aug. 10 and ended up dead on Aug. 26 at the Wai­anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center.

“I don’t care how much it is,” Sheila Deal said. “If it’s one, it shouldn’t even be one — no matter how many children they have. It just shouldn’t happen. It just shouldn’t happen.” So far no answers have come forth, and it seems as though Child Protective Services and the state is able to dance around any inquiries. Someone (HPD) should step in and force the hand of Child Protective Services and force them to find answers.

An autopsy was performed on Jayvid, but came back inconclusive, and as of right now there are no signs of foul play. Still, there needs to be something done about this problem. What is the point of taken children out of harmful situations if they die after the fact?

The previous head of the Department of Human Services released case files in other high-profile deaths. But current Director Patricia McManaman “reinstituted long-standing departmental policy to maintain confidentiality in all child welfare cases immediately upon assuming her position” in December, then-department spokesman Joe Perez said last week. (Perez left the job Friday.)

Toxicology reports for Jayvid are due in 6-8 weeks, so we will see if that brings any new infor

mation to light.

You Can Help

Donations to pay funeral expenses for Jayvid Kawika Waa-Ili are being accepted in his name at Bank of Hawaii branches. Help the family out in their time of need.