Source: (2005) Protecting Children. 19(4): 36-46. American Humane Association. Downloaded 2 November 2005.

In the Hawaiian language, “ ‘ohana” means “family,” and “ ‘ohana conferencing” refers to Hawaii’s application of family group conferencing for select child protective services cases. This variety of conferencing draws from traditional Hawaiian values and the example of New Zealand’s Maori people. It emphasizes building partnerships and collaboration between state institutions and families. A key Hawaiian value in all of this is the concept of “pono,” meaning goodness, uprightness, morality, and equity. In this regard, “ho’oponopono” is a group process for putting things right in response to conflict which has disturbed “pono.” In this article, Lorenn describes the use of ‘ohana conferencing in Hawaii to address child abuse and neglect cases.

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