Healthy Start Program
Hawai‘i’s Healthy Start program (HHS) began as a demonstration child abuse prevention project in July, 1985. A nationally recognized program, HHS has been replicated in the U.S., Canada, and the Philippines. Starting at one location on Oahu, a para-professional service model was developed to support at-risk families with newborns through home visits. The program was expanded statewide in the fall of 2001 in order to identify and intervene with eligible environmentally at-risk families.
Previously a statewide model, due to budget restrictions, home visitation services are now limited to one site in Leeward Oahu, and one site in Hilo on the Big Island.
Home visiting services foster family functioning, promote child health/development, and enhance positive parenting skills to address the risk of child maltreatment through linkages with community resources. These resources include health and mental health services, early childhood education, childcare, family literacy, employment, social services, developmental screening and appropriate child development, child health, and positive parenting skills and problem-solving techniques.
Because of limited funds, families are served in partnership with the Department of Human Services (DHS). All referrals into the Leeward and Hilo sites come through Child Welfare Services (CWS). Families previously known to the DHS Enhanced Healthy Start program may also transfer into this program when CWS discharges their services.
The Department of Health’s Healthy Start program utilizes the Nurturing Parenting curriculum which is designed to strengthen families through education in empathy and caring, responsibility and discipline and family growth.
The Healthy Start Program sites:
• Child and Family Service: Waipahu and Ewa/Ewa Beach Phone: (808) 681-1547
• YWCA of Hawai‘i Island: Census tracts – 201-209, 219-221, 210-211
(East Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Island) Phone: (808) 961-3877, ext. 114