How to prevent child abuse and neglect in Hawaiʻi? New published framework available
Today, a new statewide framework was published to help individuals, communities and lawmakers prevent child abuse and neglect.
The publication of the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Framework coincides with Child Abuse Prevention Month, a national effort each April to make communities safer.
Community members from across the state worked on the framework throughout the pandemic and adopted strategies to support children and families in our changing world.
“We know that in order to effectively prevent child abuse and neglect, and to provide a loving, healthy start for all of Hawaiʻi’s keiki, the entire community must work together,” said Laurie Tochiki, President and CEO of EPIC ʻOhana.
The framework provides a roadmap on how to collaborate shared vision and purpose.
“It is a game changer,” Tochiki said. “With this roadmap, organizations, individuals, the government and the courts can support our children and families much more effectively.”
The framework is designed to make engagement in prevention strategies accessible to all. It is organized into five pillars: commitment, supports and services, communities, policy and coordination. Each pillar includes action strategies and definitions of success. The framework is a dynamic document that can be amended over time.
The pandemic’s impact on child abuse and neglect will be long-lasting. Although rates of child abuse and neglect have remained steady throughout the pandemic, there have been increases in requests for assistance in parents’ programs and family violence assistance.
In Hawaiʻi, the majority of confirmed cases of child maltreatment are under the age of 6, and the most common types of maltreatment are threatened harm, neglect and physical abuse, according to the Department of Human Services.
The framework can be used to guide policy makers, local philanthropy and community organizations in how they respond to these needs.
“The Framework builds awareness and understanding of the issues in our communities,” said Keith Kuboyama, President and CEO of Family Programs Hawaiʻi. “It connects the issues of child abuse and neglect and what steps organizations, the government and the community might take to resolve these issues in an integrated fashion. By working together, we can build stronger communities where our children and families thrive.”
The framework was funded by Hawaii Children’s Trust Fund, Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation, Hawaiʻi State Department of Health, Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation, Partnership for America’s Children and the Alliance for Early Success.
The framework can be viewed at: https://www.hawaiichildrenstrustfund.org/framework