Children's Health and Wellness Policy Advocate

HCAN is hiring a full-time Children's Health and Wellness (CHAW) Policy Advocate who will serve in a leadership role in multifaceted work with staff and key partners. The CHAW Policy Advocate will work to achieve long-term policy solutions to improve child mental health, safety, and wellness in Hawai‘i. This person will work closely with the Director of Early Childhood and Health Policy in developing their advocacy work plan and goals.

The CHAW Policy Advocate has the ability to effectively persuade decision makers at the federal, state, local, and departmental levels. This person also has the enthusiasm and capacity to promote HCAN's child health, safety, and wellness goals among partner organizations, the media, and the public. The ideal candidate is an effective communicator who can build relationships with ease, is passionate about equity, and has a demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a group.


Download a full job description here.




  • Research barriers, best practices, and opportunities to improve the mental health, safety, and wellness of children
  • Evaluate and monitor relevant federal, state and county laws and regulations and departmental policies
  • Identify current and potential funding streams to support programs that improve child mental health, safety, and wellness
  • Analyze and synthesize research and data to inform policy improvements
  • Write fact sheets, issue briefs, legislative testimony, and other materials for a variety of audiences
  • Educate policymakers, media, community partners about child mental health, safety, and wellness issues in Hawaiʻi



  • Advocate for improvements and funding for child mental health, safety, and wellness programs
  • Identify key policy officials and staff at the federal, state and local levels
  • Conduct legislative advocacy, including testifying before legislative committees
  • Negotiate with state agency staff on policy issues and program improvements
  • Develop and maintain relationships with decision makers, such as elected officials and departmental staff



  • Build and sustain relationships with partner organizations and community stakeholders
  • Gather perspectives and data from partners to ground and inform policy goals and develop persuasive messages
  • Lead and/or support coalition work to advance common goals of improving child mental health, safety, and wellness
  • Collaborate with key partners to develop, expand and enhance their advocacy capacity and identify best practices



To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

  • Bachelor’s Degree required.
  • At least 2 years of working in Hawai‘i.
  • At least 3 years of organizing, coalition building, and/or policy advocacy.
  • Strong commitment to economic and social justice and the mission, vision, and values of HCAN.
  • Outstanding oral and written communication, policy analysis and research skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to develop effective relationships and interact with internal and external contacts with diplomacy, tact and discretion.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with public and private agencies and other community organizations.
  • Capacity to inspire and motivate decision makers, community partners and people of diverse social, economic, cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds.
  • Great organizational skills. Ability to manage tasks, meet deadlines, and work effectively within structured and time sensitive environments.
  • Demonstrated capacity to work in a fast-paced and changing work environment, including ability to use initiative, work proactively and problem solve, both independently and in teams.
  • Experience creating and managing work plans and time-sensitive deliverables and deadlines.
  • Experience managing grants and projects and writing reports.
  • Proficient in utilizing Microsoft Office programs, content management systems, and social media tools.
  • Ability to travel inter-island and to the mainland as needed.



  • Generally good working conditions with little or no exposure to extremes of heat.
  • Equipment Use: Computer, general office equipment.
  • Work Hours: Generally 8:00 - 4:30 Monday through Friday, occasional evenings and weekends. 



  • Generally sedentary work.
  • Occasional days in excess of eight hours.



  • Consistent demand for working cooperatively
  • Frequently stressful as deadlines need to be met.
  • Frequent interruptions and changes of pace requiring flexibility.
  • Consistent demand for multiple task management.
  • Consistent demand for sound judgement



  • Consistent demand for clear, concise written communication necessary for issue briefs, grant proposals and reports etc.
  • Consistent demand for effective verbal communication with staff, supervisor, the Board, potential funders and collaborators, the media and the public.


About HCAN

Hawaiʻi Children’s Action Network (HCAN) is an independent, nonpartisan children’s policy and advocacy 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Our mission is to build a unified voice educating and advocating for Hawaiʻi’s children. Our partner organization, HCAN Speaks!, is a 501(c)4 nonprofit whose mission is to ensure Hawaiʻi’s keiki have a bright future by building a powerful movement of families.

Together, our vision is to have well-funded, family-focused public policies and programs that prioritize keiki and give them the resources to learn, grow, and thrive in Hawai’i. We engage, educate, empower, and mobilize families, community leaders, and policymakers. We provide information on child well-being, stimulate dialogue on children's issues, and promote accountability and action.

Our commitment to equity

HCAN is committed to building a team that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve. We strive to create an inclusive, supportive work environment that values each employee’s unique skills and perspectives. Meet our current board and staff here.

One of HCAN’s organizational goals is to build the capacity of excluded and unheard communities to shift and change systems of power and oppression, and this begins with our own staff. We encourage people of all backgrounds to apply, particularly those who are traditionally underrepresented in the policy and advocacy space, even if you’ve had a less traditional path or don’t feel like you check every box.

Hiring process

Submit your resume and cover letter below. We will begin reviewing applications on a rolling basis.

In accordance with HCAN’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards, and to safeguard the health of employees, partners, and the greater community, all HCAN employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless a reasonable accommodation is approved.

Compensation and benefits

The salary for this full-time position is $65,000 - $75,000.

Benefits at HCAN include:

  • A primarily remote working environment
  • A family-friendly work culture with opportunities for flexible scheduling
  • Laptop, virtual phone line, and other work-from-home supplies
  • 20 days of paid time off and 15 holidays
  • 20 days of paid family and medical leave
  • Medical and dental insurance (100% of premium covered for employee)
  • Flexible spending account for medical and dependent care expenses
  • Cell phone and internet stipend
  • Opportunities to attend conferences and other professional development
  • 403(b) retirement plan with an employer contribution (contribution starting in 2023)


Application form