Our mission is for every father on the Big Island to have a productive and positive relationship with his children because FATHERS MATTER.

The West Hawai’i Fatherhood Initiative (WHFI) seeks to strengthen families in our community by encouraging fathers to play a more active role in nurturing and raising their children. The Initiative responds to escalating social concerns regarding “father absence” by providing fathers with access to services designed to prepare them to better meet the emotional, psychological, and financial needs of their children. The WHFI also seeks to increase public awareness of the importance of father involvement.

Research has conclusively shown that children with involved and loving fathers are much more likely to be financially and emotionally secure. Fathers, you matter, and the assistance you need to become the father your child needs is more accessible today than ever before.

The Need

‘Ohana disintegration in Hawai’i County is at a crisis point. In 2012 the state of Hawai’i was ranked at the 7th highest in the U.S. poverty, due in part to being near the top in both father absent households and out-of-wedlock births. Research has consistently shown a direct correlation between father absence and poverty. Unfortunately, poverty is just one of the consequences that children living without their fathers face. Children whose fathers are absent are more likely to perform poorly in school, develop substance abuse problems, engage in criminal activity, and experience teenage pregnancy, ultimately perpetuating the cycle of poverty. Ensuring the welfare of our youngest citizens is a societal responsibility. We must all commit to finding ways to create opportunities that will allow every child in Hawai’i County to grow up with a loving, nurturing, and involved father or father figure.

Goals

  • The goals of the Fatherhood Initiative are:
  • To promote public awareness of the role of fathers
  • To provide linkages to other public systems and improve our current service delivery to fathers
  • To fund fatherhood related programs on the county level

Why?

A father is a key element in a strong, healthy family.
Research has clearly shown the negative impact of fatherless families upon children. Children from fatherless families are more likely to live in chronic poverty, do poorly in school, be abused, become teen parents, drop out of school, be incarcerated, abuse drugs or alcohol, bring drugs or weapons to school, commit crime, commit suicide, and experience psychiatric illness
Fatherhood Support Groups

  • Ka’u  – 12:00 pm Monday at Manuka State Park
  • Kona – 5:30 pm Monday at Pahoehoe Beach
  • Waimea – 5:30 pm first Wednesday of every month at Tutu’s House

For more information, call (808) 334-4154 or email fatherhood@familysupporthawaii.org.

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