Ho‘oikaika Partnership invites Maui County residents to celebrate National Child Abuse Prevention Month this April by attending the Mayor’s Proclamation and Uncle Wayne and the Howling Dog Band’s concerts, and by promoting the protective factors to prevent child abuse.

In 2012, 229 Maui County children were confirmed as victims of child abuse or neglect out of the 556 children reported to child welfare services (CWS). These 229 children represent 17% of the confirmed cases in Hawai‘i.

Mandated reporters, people such as teachers, medical providers and childcare employees who are required by law to report suspected abuse, made 73% of CWS reports in Maui County in 2012. Parents, relatives, neighbors, anonymous reporters, and other individuals made the other 27% of reports.

“One of the most effective ways to prevent child abuse and neglect from occurring is to ensure all parents have the knowledge, skills, resources, and social support they need to provide safe, stable, nurturing environments for their children,” says Paul Tonnessen, director of the Friends of the Maui Children’s Justice Center, a nonprofit that provides assistance to abused and neglected children.

Jeny Bissell, a registered public health nurse with the State of Hawai‘i Department of Health, explains, “When parents and communities possess five protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminishes and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted.” The five protective factors are:

• Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development

• Parental resilience

• Social connections

• Concrete supports for parents

• Social and emotional competence in children

This April the Ho‘oikaika Partnership is collaborating with Uncle Wayne and the Howling Dog Band to raise awareness about child abuse prevention and to promote the protective factors.  The Band’s unique interactive concerts encourage parents and children to connect with each other and other parents and children while dancing, singing and moving to inspirational songs of love and caring for each other.

Other sponsors of the free family concerts are the Maui Friends of the Library, the Hawai‘i State Public Library System, the Hawai‘i Association for the Education of Young Children, and the UH Manoa Children’s Center. These partners are coming together because in addition to being National Child Abuse Prevention Month, April is also the Month of the Young Child. It is appropriate that the two occur in the same month because 43% of child maltreatment victims nationally and in Hawai‘i are under the age of five.

This April the Ho‘oikaika Partnership is also supporting Sexual Assault Awareness Month activities. Nicole Hokoana, Director of the Maui Sexual Assault Center, a program of Child and Family Service, serves child and adult victims of sexual assault and families affected by child maltreatment. She says “without appropriate interventions, being a victim of one type of violence, such as child abuse, increases a person’s risk of being a victim of other types of violence, such as sexual assault. Maui County provides a great example of organizations strengthening the entire community because they work together to raise awareness about and prevent all types of violence.”

Sponsors of Maui County Child Abuse Prevention Month Activities:

·         Child Abuse Prevention Planning Council
·         Hawai‘i Children's Trust Fund
·         The Ho‘oikaika Partnership
·         Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii
·         State of Hawaii Department of Health

Maui County Child Abuse Prevention Events for April 2015

Monday, April 6, 9-11am: Mayor's Proclamation and concert by Uncle Wayne and the Howling Dog Band outside the Maui County Building in Wailuku

Tuesday, April 7, 10am: Reading of Mayor’s Proclamation and concert followed by a brief reception hosted by Maui Family Support Services and Ho‘oikaika Partnership, Lanai Public School and Library

Wednesday, April 8, 9:30am: Reading of Mayor’s Proclamation and concert, Sacred Hearts School in Lahaina

Thursday, April 9, 3:00pm: Reading of Mayor's Proclamation and concert followed by a reception hosted by Child & Family Service and Ho‘oikaika Partnership, Molokai Public Library

Additional events for Month of the Young Child:

Friday, April 10, 10:30am: Concert by Uncle Wayne and the Howling Dog Band at Kihei Public Library

Saturday, April 11, 10:30am: Concert by Uncle Wayne and the Howling Dog Band at Makawao Public Library

Saturday, April 11, 11am-4pm: Valley Isle Keiki Fest at UHMC

About Ho‘oikaika Partnership

The Ho‘oikaika Partnership is a coalition of over 40 organizations and individuals working to prevent child abuse and neglect in Maui County. The work of the Partnership is guided by the Core Partners: Edeluisa Baguio-Larena, Executive Director, Maui Family Support Services; Jeny Bissell, Family Health Services Division Supervisor, Maui District Health Office; Nicole Hokoana, Director, Child & Family Service Maui County Programs; Tina Kiyabu-Crowell, Quality Assurance Specialist, Maui Family Guidance Center; Karen Worthington, Children’s Policy Attorney, Karen Worthington Consulting.

For a complete listing of the Ho‘oikaika Partnership members and for child abuse prevention resources including brochures about the Protective Factors, visit http://www.hooikaikapartnership.com/.
 


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