At Girls Court we strive to introduce girls to new positive experiences and introduce them to inspirational role models. The girls are provided a variety of experiential activities that allow them to explore education, recreation, meet healthy women in a variety of jobs and roles, focus on their strengths and meet new goals. We believe that positive group activities help to promote team-building and positive personal growth as well as help the girls develop decision making and self-confidence skills.
Girls Court actively connects and partners with resources in the community. Activities and services that the Hawai`i Girls Court shares with the girls and their families provide a powerful context for girls to build relationship skills and maintain healthy relationships.
Some of our many supportive community partners include: (Click on the community partner for information.)
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PUBLIC HEALTH NURSES HEALTH INFORMATION Pulic Health nurses provides sessions with our girls to learn how to stay healthy with hygiene habits and women's health overall. Health contributes to happiness and quality of life. Sessions covers the importance of hygiene habits, including menstruation, female reproduction and sexually transmitted diseases. Public Health nurses also can help the girls family members understand conditions or connect with a health care provider if they need more support.
“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” -Lilo & Stich The Girls Court programming requires parent(s) and/or guardian(s) to be parties to the case and legally requires their active participation in the Court. This innovative and holistic approach to juvenile justice, results in more stable families and, ultimately, sustainable progress and improved relationships between the girls and their parents. In addition to Girls Circle sessions, parent(s) and/or guardian(s), along with the girls, are also required to attend family group sessions for 8 weeks. Family group sessions occur in the evenings, after work hours. The timing is offered to accommodate the work schedules of parent(s) and/or guardian(s), but to also provide the opportunity for all those who live in the home to attend as well. This allows for positive engagement of the family as a whole. A dinner meal is provided to the families, promoting a moment for the families to sit at a table together to enjoy one another’s company while sharing a hot meal. Some topics focused on at these Family Group sessions include areas such as developing parenting skills, conflict resolution skills, healthier family communication and informational sessions on educational and therapeutic services available for the girls and families in the community. A once a month parent support group is also offered. This is a voluntary group where past and present parent(s) and/or guardian(s) of girls that are or were involved with Girls Court can attend a parent centered group where they can continue to be supported by our Girls Court therapist and other parent peers
EAGALA (Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Association) Girls participate in a rich rewarding six weeks, one-hour session experience. Each session includes an equine specialist and a health provider who holds the space for the client and horse to interact. Horses respond with a unique insight into exactly who we are in the moment.
Community Service Learning is a required part of the Girls Court programming. The goal is for the girls, families and girls court staff to actively engage in a community service learning project at least once every quarter. Some of our projects have included feeding the homeless, planting native plants, environmental/beach cleanup, helping to care for a community Lo'i, in addition to hosting a night of holiday bingo at an elderly care home during the holidays to name a few.
SURFRIDER SPIRIT Surfrider Sessions with our girls will get a chance to learn how catch waves and to make a difference in their lives and to build a strong connection with a mentor and our community. Through their holistic, ocean-based, experiential mentoring programs, the girls also engage by using surfing as a metaphor to rise up to real life challenges and to make positive choices that support them in thriving in all areas of life.
Women Speaking Out (wsohawaii.org - Women Speaking Out is an innovative 501 (c) (3) nonprofit created in 2008 that focuses on the prevention of dating violence and teaching self love to Hawaii's youth. The organization offers Character Development workshops, an annual Speak Love Conference, and a multitude of hybrid community events both virtual and in-person focused on awareness) will be hosting a holiday event for our GC girls/staff that will include a "Dream Board" workshop, Makeup Class and lunch, as well as providing holiday gifts for the girls.
Haleakala Experience Our girls will get a chance to spend 3 days learning about Hawaiian species and ecology, Hawaiian culture, and themselves. The group stayed in the historic Holua visitor cabin, cooking meals together and assisting with invasive plant removal in and around the Silversword Loop Trail. Picture Taken October, 2022
Building Positive Relationships
Connecting with the community...
The Hawai`i Girls Court convenes once every 4-5 weeks with our presiding judge. With exception to CSEC related Girls Court proceedings, sessions are held in an open court setting, with the girls, their families, attorneys, probation officers and service providers present. These court sessions serve to provide positive reinforcement of their strengths and accomplishments as well as a method for imposing graduated sanctions and creating accountability for the girls. The open court setting allows for the girls to learn from and share each other’s experiences, successes, and challenges. It provides an innovative and effective base from which positive and permanent behavioral and cognitive changes can be made In 2017, Girls Court expanded to include a specialized court calendar and supervision services for girls identified as survivors of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC). Court proceedings involving CSEC youth are not conducting in an open court setting, rather remains as a closed setting, individualized to the youth’s case.
Throughout the Girls Court journey, the girls and their families are all offered a variety of group opportunities where they can learn new skills, learn from one another and provide support to each other. These sessions are facilitated by our Girls Court Therapist and co-facilitated along with a trusted community partner, in a safe environment. For 8 weeks, the girls have the opportunity to engage in Girls Circle sessions and meet as a group for 1.5 to 2 hours discussing and learning about topics such as teen pregnancy prevention, healthy relationships, domestic violence prevention and intervention, trauma coping skills, substance abuse issues, HIV/AIDS and STIs prevention, and escaping sexual exploitation to name a few. These sessions remain confidential and consists of just the girls and the facilitators.
Mental Health Services are a critical component of the continuum of care that Girls Court offers to help the girls and families develop in healthy and positive ways. Because a majority of the girls in the juvenile justice system have experienced sexual, emotional, and/or physical abuse, recognizing and treating issues related to the abuse, from which many maladaptive behaviors stem, is critical in the continuum of care. Individual and family therapy is provided by the Girls Court therapist. The Girls Court staff also coordinates with Department of Health clinical/therapeutic contracted providers and agencies, private therapists, school counselors, behavioral health specialists, psychiatrists, psychologists and various drug treatment providers to work for the success of the whole girl.
While engaged with Girls Court, the girls are provided the consistent message encouraging the importance of education and opportunities for women in non-traditional learning and employment for their future. Girls Court provides opportunities for the girls to tour and receive information from trade schools, community colleges and universities. Additionally, Girls Court staff, along with community partners, guide and teach the girls skills about how to seek out a job, how to fill out a job application, resume writing and even conduct mock interviews. The girls are required to return to school or enroll in alternative learning centers or pursue a General Education Diploma (GED). Girls Court staff diligently work with the schools and parents and/or guardians and are active participants in the development of an appropriate Individualized Education Plan (IEP) when necessary. Many of the Girls Court girls have graduated from High School, despite numerous years of truancy, gone on to community college, vocational training, and or 4 year colleges. Others have also successfully entered the work force with a positive view that they can accomplish their goals.
Girls Court staff actively engage and participate in a variety of cross-system trainings extended to statewide and community wide youth serving agencies to build skills and augment awareness of the need for gender-responsive services.
Art Therapy Works
By: Girls Court Youth