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Rob Perez's Blog

Less than a decade ago, Native Hawaiians represented about a third of the children in Hawaii’s... more »
posted 07/13/15

Rob Perez's Work

Hawaiian parents were describing a foster care system that was biased against Hawaiians, yet they had trouble providing solid examples. As a reporter, how was I to find an entry point to a system cloaked in confidentiality? Here's what I learned.

At program for troubled youths in Hawaii revolves around a cultural practice called "hooponopono," a self-reflective process that stresses healing and strengthening relationships to restore balance in one’s life. “This is a very unorthodox program, but it’s not new,” the director says.

At his lowest point in prison, Simeon U‘u, a broad-shouldered man with tattoos down one arm and a thick silver chain around his neck, doubted he would get his children back. “I felt like I was a bad parent, that I abandoned them.”