Empowering Parents to Navigate the Child Welfare System

Kimberly (Kim) is a Birth Parent with lived experience navigating the child welfare system. Kim is a survivor of domestic violence and an individual in recovery who has navigated incarceration and homelessness and was a teenage parent. She was able to successfully navigate HOPE Adult probation, has an AA degree in Human Services/Pre-Social Work, and has completed a Co-SAC (Substance Abuse Counseling) practicum.

We can be what our babies need.


Currently, Kim is a Parent Partner and Makua Ally within the Family WRAP Department at an agency in Hawai’i called EPIC ʻOhana. In that role as a parent partner, she assists parents involved in the child welfare system (CWS) in navigating systems so they can reunite with their children and close their CWS case. Ultimately, her role is to assist in a process that can support healing, empowerment, and self-advocacy. In addition to her Parent Partner role, Kim also works as a Makua Ally, partnering with pregnant women with perinatal substance use to connect them to health services, prenatal supports, and resources to increase healthy outcomes for the mother and baby including prevention of entrance into the child welfare system.

Kim is very actively engaged in advocacy efforts at the local, state, and national levels. She serves on an Indigenous workgroup, Nā Kama a Hāloa. Kim is a member of Birth Parent National Network (BPNN) and the Children’s Trust Fund Alliance.  Kim is a Parent Leader for Safe Babies, a program of ZERO TO THREE, to bring parent voice and support informed practice and policy change for young children and families at the national level. Kim is also a member of the Casey Family Program Birth Parent Advisory Committee and provides her guidance and support to its important consulting work.

Parent leaders are parents with lived experience as parents who have navigated the reunification process within the child welfare system. Their focus is on incorporating the lived experience at the child welfare and court systems level. They serve as a parent voice to help shape the direction of services for themselves and other families. They are individuals who have lived experience navigating the child welfare system as a parent, understand how the child welfare system works, have no open case and demonstrate their own personal and family stability. Learn more about parent leadership.

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