About Us


Our Purpose

Kaeru Services is an innovative program of the Hawaii Department of Health’s (DOH) Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division (CAMHD), helping to turn around the lives of Hawaii’s most vulnerable children and youth for the better.

Kaeru Services assists in returning CAMHD-enrolled children and youth who are currently placed in out-of-state residential treatment facilities back to their home communities here in Hawaii, and prevents impending out-of-state placements when possible. Kaeru Services also supports youth currently in our CAMHD system who have not shown favorable treatment responses to our current array of services as intended/planned through cross-system collaboration and a team decision-making model, fostering family and client strengths, and creative problem-solving to restore and sustain the family’s functioning in their home communities.

Out-of-state placement removes children and youth from their families, schools, culture and communities. This poses the risk of institutionalization, delayed social development and hindered family relations while potentially non-generalizable gains are made in a more restrictive environment. Moreover, because the youth is away, little progress can be made with family involvement and functioning, the number one predictor of positive outcomes in residential treatment.

Our program will help connect these children and youth back to their families and their communities, and ensure they have the services and support needed to fulfill their own hopes and dreams for their future.

In Sept. 2016, the Hawaii Dept. of Health’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division (CAMHD) received a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) System of Care (SOC) grant to create Kaeru Services, totaling $8.1 million over four years. Although our services will begin on Oahu, we plan to take our services statewide as soon as possible.

Kaeru is pronounced “kah-eh-roo” (かえる written in Japanese hiragana) and is the Japanese word for “to return (home).” It is also a homophone for “frog,” which is captured in our logo.


Our services include:

· Strengths-based treatment-planning that prioritizes family “voice and choice” to address youth and family needs in the following domains: educational, health, social, vocational, recreational, operational and mental health services,

· Monthly solution-focused youth and family team meetings facilitated by EPIC ‘Ohana, focusing on increasing natural supports,

· Provision of clinical resources, professional development and consultation by Kaeru’s Clinical Director, to ensure implementation of evidence-based treatment and practice elements,

· Dedicated staff for Kaeru clients from Child & Family Service (Parent Partners & Paraprofessionals) and EPIC ‘Ohana (Youth Peer Support) to assist youth and caregivers, and

· Access to a flexible fund to enable creative problem-solving and out-of-the-box decision-making.

Our Team

Llasmin Chaine, LSW (“Yaz-meen Chay-nee”), Program Director

Llasmin came to Kaeru from CAMHD's Program Monitoring work, and her system experience has been invaluable to the implementation of the program. She holds a B.A. in human development and family studies from Cornell University, and a M.S.W. from San Diego State University with a clinical concentration in children, youth and families. From there, she lived in England for seven years. She enjoys yoga, and also keeps active by boxing and dancing. Llasmin is a bookworm and loves to read novels most of all; ask her which one she’s reading the next time you see her.

Gianna Bailey, Administrative Assistant

Gianna is an experienced sailor and certified sailing instructor. This interest was sparked when she lived aboard a sailboat for two years as a child, sailing up and down the California coast. Gianna recently earned a Bachelor of Science in human development and family studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. At UH, she was on the sailing team and qualified for the national championship two years in a row. Gianna is also interested in fashion, and even sews some of her own clothes.

Erica Yamauchi, Social Marketing Director

You may remember Erica as the social marketer for CAMHD’s Project Kealahou, where she won several national awards in excellence in community communications and outreach from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication with a concentration in Asian studies, and master’s degree in social marketing and health communication as a Park Fellow, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Erica serves on the boards of directors for the Honolulu Bulls soccer club, Waialae School Foundation and Hawaii Children’s Action Network. She writes best listening to old-school hip-hop.

Alyssa Jaravata (“Ah-lee-sa”), Lead Family Contact

Alyssa has a heart for people and their stories. She holds a B.A. in sociology from California State University at Fullerton, where she also minored in cultural anthropology. She loves adventure and traveling, and has backpacked Mexico to see all the major Aztec and Mayan archaeological sites. She has her own jewelry line called Bare Fruit.

Nikita Hay, Psy.D., Clinical Director

Dr. Hay has worked in community mental health for more than seven years. She graduated from the University of Akron with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and went on to earn her doctorate in psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2015. Dr. Hay is certified in yoga and mindfulness training for psychologists, and has traveled to 30 out of 50 of the United States (as well as 14 different countries).

Linda Ikeda , Ph.D., MSW, LCSW (“Ee-keh-da”), Lead Evaluator

Linda has a wealth of experience in varied social services, including adolescent health program evaluation and emergency youth shelter management. Linda holds a master’s degree in social work from UCLA and a doctoral degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in social welfare, focusing on program evaluation. In addition, Linda has written more than 50 successfully funded government and private grant proposals. Ask her about her trip to India!

Amber Dorsey, Intensive Services Coordinator

Like Erica, Amber is a proud alumna of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned her bachelor's degree in psychology. Go Heels! She also holds a master's degree in psychology from Ashford University. In addition, Amber is currently pursuing her doctorate in—you guessed it—psychology. She is also a voracious reader and hiker, and loves to color as therapy (it's a thing). 

Natalia Lukey, M.Ed., Intensive Services Coordinator

Natalia brings 15+ years of experience working with youth and adults with mental health needs and intellectual developmental disabilities, as well as her energetic personality, to the grant. She earned a B.A. in psychology from Tver State University in Russia and a Master of Education degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is also currently working towards a degree in art therapy. Oh, and Natalia speaks three languages: English, Portuguese and Russian.