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Child & Family Service Announces Leadership Changes

Child & Family Service, (CFS) Hawaii’s family-centered full-service nonprofit, today announced it has launched an executive search for a new CEO. Karen Tan, LCSW, President and CEO of Child and Family Service is stepping down after 18 years with the organization to move to Texas to support her family. Her last day is August 31.  

“Child & Family Service is all about family, and now I’ve made the difficult personal decision to move to Texas to be close to and care for my aging mother. In addition, my three daughters also are on the mainland, so this was a family-motivated decision,” said Karen Tan, LCSW, CEO and President of Child and Family Service. “I’m so sad to leave this wonderful organization, but I have the utmost confidence in our executive and senior leadership as well as our amazing board, who will ensure we continue to improve the lives of families statewide.”

Tan first joined CFS in 2005, as Director of Training. A fierce yet empathetic leader, she quickly rose in leadership to oversee the 124-year-old organization. During her tenure, Karen inspired a guiding vision of HOPE; concepts of humility, ownership, perseverance and engagement. These pillars are infused throughout every aspect of CFS, and something each employee holds close.

Notably, Karen brought Results Based Accountability (RBA) to measure CFS’ program impact and uses the data to inform and course correct when needed. Under her leadership, CFS implemented a groundbreaking, anti-poverty model of care – Transition To Success™ – into its vast array of programs. Transition To Success™ treats poverty as a condition, not a character flaw. This model currently is being scaled across CFS programs statewide and is proving that the cycle of intergenerational poverty can be successfully treated and eliminated.

“This is such a bittersweet moment for the board, as we’ve worked so well with Karen in her role as CEO for the past six years,” said Louise Ing, Child and Family Service Board Chair. “She will be sorely missed, and we wish her the best in this next life chapter. The board’s Executive Committee will be working with Karen on a smooth leadership transition.”


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