Guiding Values & Principles

Guiding Values

Kuleana (responsibility)

Laulima (working together)

Ha‘aheo (pride)

Sharing Mana‘o (thoughts)

Lōkahi (unity)

Mālama kekahi i kekahi (care for each other)

Guiding Principles
Project Kealahou’s Guiding Principles are based on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s system of care core values. The system of care model is an organizational philosophy and framework that involves collaboration across agencies, families, and youth for the purpose of improving services and access and expanding the array of coordinated community-based, culturally and linguistically competent services and supports for children and youth with a serious emotional, behavioral or mental health challenge, and their families. The system of care philosophy is built upon these core values and guiding principles:

The core values of the system of care philosophy specify that systems of care are:

Culturally and linguistically competent, with agencies, programs, and services that reflect the cultural, racial, ethnic, and linguistic differences of the populations they serve to facilitate access to and utilization of appropriate services and supports and to eliminate disparities in care.

Learn more about SAMSHA’s system of care core values and system of care guiding principles.


Bloom et al. (2005) define gender-responsive as:

Creating an environment through site selection, staff selection, program development, content, and material that reflect an understanding of the realities of women’s lives and address the issues of the participants. Gender-responsive approaches are multidimensional and are based on theoretical perspectives that acknowledge women’s pathways into the criminal justice system. These approaches address social (e.g., poverty, race, class, and gender) and cultural factors, as well as therapeutic interventions. These interventions address issues such as abuse, violence, family relationships, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. They provide a strengths-based approach to treatment and skills-building while emphasizing self-efficacy.

Other definitions include the following:

Source: National Girls Institute.

The system of care should be culturally and linguistically competent, with agencies, programs, and services that are responsive to the cultural, racial and ethnic differences of the populations it serves. Cultural competence is the integration and transformation of knowledge, behaviors, attitudes, and policies that enable policy makers, professionals, caregivers, communities, consumers and families to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. Cultural competence is a developmental process that evolves over an extended period of time. Learn more about cultural and linguistic competence.
Source: SAMHSA.


Most individuals seeking public behavioral health services and many other public services, such as homeless and domestic violence services, have histories of physical and sexual abuse, and other types of trauma-inducing experiences. These experiences often lead to mental health and co-occurring disorders such as chronic health conditions, substance abuse, eating disorders, and HIV/AIDS, as well as contact with the criminal justice system.

When a human service program takes the step to become trauma-informed, every part of its organization, management, and service delivery system is assessed and potentially modified to include a basic understanding of how trauma affects the life of an individual seeking services. Trauma-informed organizations, programs, and services are based on an understanding of the vulnerabilities or triggers of trauma survivors that traditional service delivery approaches may exacerbate, so that these services and programs can be more supportive and avoid re-traumatization. Source: SAMHSA.

To learn more about trauma, we recommend visiting resources from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network:

What is child traumatic stress?

Trauma Types

Resources for Parents and Caregivers

Resources for School Personnel

Resources for Other Professionals

The system of care should be family-driven, with the needs of the child and family dictating the types and mix of services provided. “Family-driven” means that families have a primary decision-making role in the care of their children, as well as in the policies and procedures governing care for all children in their community, state, tribe, territory and nation. This includes:

For more on the definition of family-driven care see the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and their Families Program RFA 2008 and the definition of family-driven care developed by the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. Learn more about family-driven care.
Source: SAMSHA

The system of care should be youth-guided. Youth-guided means that youth are engaged as equal partners in creating systems change in policies and procedures at the individual, community, state and national levels. Learn more about youth-guided care.
Source: SAMSHA