Legislature: Triumphs Looking for Help
Stop Passing the Buck (or lack there of) for Human Services
Juvenile Justice Update
Peter's Principles (Peter Herman)
Convention '85 Elections: Not Such a Trivial Pursuit
Program: New Election Laws Study Proposed
Anorexic Budget Shows Need for Future Calories
Proposed Slate of Officers/Directors 1985-87
Stop Passing the Buck (or lack thereof) for Human Services
The State, County and private human services agencies should all assume greater responsibilities for meeting the human needs of the people of Hawaii. That was the main recommendation of a study conducted by the Citizens Advisory Committee on Human Services (CACHS).
The roles of private agencies, counties and the state and federal governments in providing human services have drastically changed over the last few years, leaving the funding of human services in some confusion. The LWVH has been very concerned about how social services in Hawaii are funded and delivered. Recognizing this problem, the 1984 Legislature requested that the CACHS study whether counties should have more responsibility in providing human services and what role private agencies should play in their delivery.
The study, recently submitted to the 1985 Legislature, recommended specific policies which establish the state's responsibility for "safeguarding the economic health and social well-being of its people by providing social welfare services to assure a minimum subsistence level, basic health services and supportive human services administered on a state wide basis and funded by state appropriations and federal grants." The report states that state agencies should not be precluded from contracting services from private agencies, and that the role of counties should include augmenting and supplementing state services. "Private agencies should be recognized as an integral part of the government's delivery of human services through contract arrangements," the report concludes.
The report gives a comprehensive view of the changes that have occurred in the funding and delivery of human services in Hawaii since Territorial days. Over the years, state and local governments and private agencies have tried to maintain many of the services begun in earlier years, but have found the burden greater because of the reduced amounts of federal funds available for human service programs.
Another of the report's recommendations, this one raising some controversy, directed that a new comprehensive planning process be established for the delivery of human services in Hawaii. A model of such a process was proposed.
Says Muriel R. Roberts, State Human Services Chair, "The work of the committee will probably not be acted upon by the Legislature immediately, but will provide a guide for future planning and lawmaking in this most improtant area of government responsibility." Stating the LWV national position, Roberts said, "The League will continue to support efforts to promote social and economic justice, secure equal rights for all and combat discrimination and poverty."