Kalani Makanui

Kalani Makanui, PhD, is a ZERO TO THREE Fellow. He is Director of Psychology Training at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services.

Kalani Makanui

Director of Psychology Training , Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services

Dr. Kalani Makanui is Director of Psychology Training at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services in Los Angeles, California. He provides Doctoral Psychology Interns with a comprehensive pre-doctoral internship experience within a community mental health setting. Additionally, Dr. Makanui is involved in developing programs to support the agency’s mission and strategic goals of bringing trauma-informed, evidence-based early childhood mental health and assessment services to at-risk communities.

As Director of the Early STAR (Screening, Trauma-informed Assessment and Referral) program, Dr. Makanui’s current work focuses on integrating early childhood developmental assessment into routine care within community settings. The Early STAR program allows clinicians to identify and alleviate the potential impact of trauma exposure on the developing child. Dr. Makanui’s other professional experiences have included contributing to scientific publications on the effects of maltreatment on foster youth, implementing trauma-informed practices at an agency-wide scale, and utilizing evidence-based practices alongside resilience-building in a clinical capacity when working with foster and adoptive youth as well as youth exposed to chronic community violence.

Dr. Makanui received his Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Kansas and is deeply committed to working within community systems of care in the service of creating long-lasting and sustainable system changes that benefit young children and their families. Dr. Makanui is also an Adjunct Professor at California State University, Los Angeles, and holds a passion for creating training opportunities for the next generation of mental health providers seeking experience working with young children and their families.