Child Find

Child Find is the Hawaii State Department of Education (Department)’s process of identifying, locating, and evaluating children and youth who are suspected of having or have been identified as having a disability and may need special education and related services.

When should a child be referred to Child Find?

  • The child's health or medical condition is interfering with development and/or learning.
  • The child seems to have difficulty seeing or hearing.
  • The child appears to have social, emotional, or behavioral difficulties that affect his/her ability to learn or interact with others.
  • The child has a diagnosed progressive or degenerative condition that will eventually interfere with the child's ability to learn.
  • The child seems to have difficulty understanding directions like other children his/her age.
  • The child's speech is not understood by family or friends.
  • The child has difficulty with reading, writing, math, or other school subjects.

How can a child be referred?

The child's parent(s)/legal guardian can contact the child's neighborhood school (the student attends or– would attend if not school age) and request an evaluation. Explain or write down all of the concerns that appear to be interfering with learning. The request can be made:

  • In-person, or by phone; 
  • In a written letter, faxed, or e-mailed; or 
  • On the State of Hawaiʻi Request for Evaluation form obtained from the school.

What happens next?

  • The school may invite the parent to a meeting, consisting of teacher(s), principal, or other school personnel who have knowledge in the area of concern to discuss the student's concerns.
  • The team reviews all information from the parent and /or teacher (i.e. student records, grades, test scores, other reports, etc.), to determine whether an evaluation is needed and the type of assessment(s).
  • The school will respond within 15 days if an evaluation will or will not be conducted. Parental consent will be required for an evaluation to be conducted. You and your child(ren) have rights in this process.

For more information, please call Operation Search at 800-297-2070 statewide. View our brochures by clicking on the language below, download the document and open in Adobe PDF.


  • CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN THE AGE OF 3: For children younger than the age of 3 (birth and two years, contact the Early Intervention Referral Line, at (808) 594-0066. You can also visit Early Intervention Services online here: http://health.hawaii.gov/eis/home/eiservices.
  • PEOPLE OLDER THAN 22 YEARS OF AGE: For Youths 22 years of age or older:  contact the Hawaiʻi State Department of Human Services, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Services for the Blind Division at (808) 586-5269, or the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health, Case Management and Information Services Branch at (808) 733-9172.


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