In the Islands for 120 Years . . .

Child & Family Service began as Associated Charities of Honolulu in 1899. Over a century ago, the organization came into being as an effort to coordinate the charitable work of many agencies in the community. Giving financial “relief” was the major function.

In the century since its founding, Child & Family Service has operated under several names. But its mission remained constant: Strengthening families and fostering the healthy development of children.


March 27, 1899 – Associated Charities
Child & Family Service began as part of Associated Charities of Honolulu, an effort to coordinate the charitable work of many agencies in the community. Giving financial “relief” was the major function. Sanford B. Dole served at the first President, and the hui included the Women’s Board of Missions, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and the Y.M.C.A.

Associated Charities becomes Social Service Bureau. Its work expands to include advocacy, prevention, and addressing poverty issues.

A new division, the Children’s Bureau, is added to the Social Service Bureau, designed to care for homeless and neglected children.

The Children’s Bureau becomes an independent charity called the Children’s Service Association. Services now include cleaning up slums and providing adoption services.

Social Service Bureau becomes Family Consultation Service and turns over the responsibility for child neglect to the Public Welfare Department.

1941 – Child & Family Service
At the recommendation of the 1940 Honolulu Plan, the Family Consultation Service merged with the Children’s Service Association to become a single, strong entity.
The merger was complete in 1941 and the new entity was renamed Child & Family Service, the name that endures today. That year, Child & Family Service moved into a new headquarters on Beretania Street, where the State Capitol now stands.

1940s – 1960s
The newly consolidated organization explores unfamiliar areas of social need and devises innovative new programs to meet those needs. New services address issues such as unemployment, unwed parenthood, needs of the elderly, housing for the disabled, fathers in prison, and advocacy for protective services for abused children.

Group residences for teenagers are pioneered by Child & Family Service, and soon after, begin to shelter victims of domestic violence.

Hale O Ulu, an alternative school for at-risk youth, opens its doors as a nationally innovative model offering both counseling and education.

Family Services of Kaua`i joins Child & Family Service. In the next few years, Child & Family Service adds and expands programs on all neighbor islands.

The Child & Family Service Guild is formed to assist with community relations and fundraising events. They initiate such projects as “`Ohana of the Year,” the “Child’s Play Golf Tournament” and other events, and the award-winning cookbook “Flavors of Hawai`i.”

Child & Family Service begins offering gerontology programs. Its programs now span the full continuum of life.

Child & Family Service opens a project in the Philippines to house abandoned street children. In the same year, land is acquired and planning begins for the West Oahu Center — a community center that houses nearly 20 programs and the administrative headquarters of Child & Family Service.

Child & Family Service West Oahu Center opens, offering comprehensive services to the Leeward community.

Child & Family Service expands autism programs, receives contract to operate Head Start program on Kaua`i, receives a record $500,000 gift from the Hartley Foundation.

Child & Family Service receives three-year reaccreditation from the National Council on Accreditation, conducts statewide conference on autism featuring nationally recognized experts in the field, participates in “Hawai`i Together” initiative to address aftermath of the September 11th tragedy.

Child & Family Service expands Healthy Start programs (receives award to administer Early Identification efforts and expand home visiting services), opens new Family Center in Kapa`a, opens Hale O Ulu Step II (to assist drop outs receive G.E.D), launches Mehana Videoconferencing Project.

20th Annual Child’s Play Golf Tournament raises more than $150,000, `Ohana of the Year program also celebrates 20th year, budget reaches $30 million per year with more than 750 employees statewide.

Child & Family Service negotiates a parent-subsidiary relationship with an existing provider to operate a domestic violence shelter in West Hawai`i. Plans are underway for an expansion of the Ewa campus. For the first time, Child & Family Service makes Hawai`i Business Magazine’s Top 250 List (No. 186). Pacific Business News names Child & Family Service as the #1 Nonprofit Service Provider in Hawai`i.

Planning and launching of the quiet phase of the 10th Anniversary Capital Campaign to build a new emergency shelter and transitional housing facility for victims of domestic violence and their children. Turning Point for Families, a Big Island domestic violence treatment and prevention organization in Hilo and Kona, becomes a subsidiary of Child & Family Service.

Child & Family Service enters into collaborations with the YWCA of Oahu, develops a Human Services Hui, and collaborates with the Consuelo Foundation in efforts to grow its Philippines adoption program.

On January 1, 2008, Turning Point for Families, a domestic violence treatment and prevention organization in Hilo and Kona, merged with Child & Family Service. On March 24, ground was broken on the new emergency shelter and transitional housing facility.

The “House of Hope”, our new emergency shelter and transitional housing facility for victims of domestic violence, was completed in April. The 25th Anniversary Child’s Play Golf Tournament was held in May. And, in the fall CFS hosts “Happy Days”, a highly successful special event.

Child & Family Service merges with Hawai‘i International Child to continue to provide high quality adoption services for the community. The CFS Board and CFS Guild organize “American Bandstand” building on the success of the previous year’s event.


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