HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige has appointed Merton Chinen to lead the Office of Youth Services (OYS). OYS is administratively attached to the Department of Human Services.
Chinen has worked at the Department of Human Services for more than 25 years. He served in the Child Welfare Services Branch for 13 years as an assistant program administrator and a social worker for foster care youth and adoptions before moving to OYS. He spent 16 years at OYS as a youth specialist, program development officer and most recently as OYS’ acting executive director.
“Merton brings decades of invaluable experience to his position as executive director of OYS. He understands what it takes to move our youth forward in their lives and guide them as they become contributing members of our community,” said Gov. Ige.
“I appreciate and am humbled by the Governor’s confidence and support. I look forward to leading our team and continuing to integrate holistic approaches to heal and build resilience in Hawai‘i’s youth and families,” said Chinen.
Chinen’s professional experience is bolstered by his commitment to community. He has worked with the Aloha Council Boy Scouts Troop 164, Central O‘ahu Youth Baseball League and Hospice of Tacoma. He continues to be involved with the Hawai‘i Forgiveness Project and the Hawai‘i Center for Attitudinal Healing.
Chinen earned his Bachelor of Social Work degree from Pacific Lutheran University and his Master of Social Work from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
Chinen’s appointment is not subject to senate confirmation.
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