Home > About Us > Summer 2019 Update

Mahalo, Huggo’s!

Family Support Hawaii is honored to be the ongoing recipient of proceeds generated by Huggo’s Annual Wahine Fishing Tournament, which is now in its 24th year.  The tournament took place this year on Saturday, July 27, with the awards banquet held on Sunday, the 28th.  Every year the tournament has a different fun theme, and this year it was Walk Like an Egyptian.  FSH staff and associates volunteer to partner with Huggo’s hardworking staff for the event and enjoy being part of the festivities.  The agency is very grateful to Eric von Platen Luder and his staff for their generosity and contribution to our agency’s ability to provide family support in our community. 

Mahalo, Kona Commons!

Kona Commons teamed up with FSH to celebrate their 10th Anniversary this past June! Coupon books were sold and each and every dollar raised helped support FSH in our mission! 

Early Head Start

Family Support Hawaii offers several great programs for families. Early Head Start is just one of the programs under the FSH umbrella. But what is Early Head Start? Well, here’s the official word:

“Early Head Start (EHS) is an evidence-based, federally funded, and community-based program with a two-generation approach that provides comprehensive child and family development services to pregnant women and children under 3 years old in families with incomes below the poverty level. The mission of EHS is to support healthy prenatal outcomes and enhance the intellectual, social, and emotional development of infants and toddlers to promote later success in school and life.”  Wow! That’s a mouthful… Let’s simplify that. Basically, it means that if you have a child under three, or you’ve got one on the way, and you’re struggling financially, we’re here to help you!

There’s a lot that Early Head Start does, but let’s just focus on one thing today: Education. One of the foundations of Early Head Start is supporting parents in being their child’s first teacher. As a parent, ask yourself the following:  How can you promote your child’s success, and provide the best possible start in life? We know that one good option is to give your child an Early Head Start!

Kids are learning constantly and there’s no time in life when they are learning faster than those first three years of life. Just think about how much we learn as we go from the womb to the world. We learn to recognize the faces of our loved ones. We learn to communicate through facial expressions, signs and gestures, as well as the spoken word. We learn how to walk and navigate the world around us. And we watch and learn from our parents and from those around us. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, our keiki are observing and learning from each of us.   Children who have participated in Early Head Start programs have had tremendous outcomes. They are more likely to attend formal preschools, and score higher on a range of measures that include cognitive, language, and social-emotional development.

Parents have also reported positive outcomes from the education that they received during their participation in an Early Head Start program. By the time their child turned three, parents scored higher on many aspects of providing a positive home environment and parenting skills, felt better able to be self-sufficient, and felt more capable to engage in positive discipline techniques. Early Head Start isn’t just a program to serve your child. It’s for the whole family!

If you or someone you know would like more support in being your child’s first teacher, or you would simply like to find out more about what else Early Head Start can do for you, please give us a call at (808) 334-4123.

Also, last spring, members of our Early Head Start team joined other Head Start and Early Head Start programs from around the state at a joint training on O’ahu. We had some fantastic discussions surrounding home-based services and how Home Visitors are in a unique position to be able to really engage with families and provide assistance to help them thrive! We are lucky to have such an AWESOME team that does this each and every day! A great day with great people!!! 

Newborn Enhanced Support Team

The Newborn Enhanced Support Team (NEST) offers FREE support to families with newborns. We assist with breastfeeding, understanding your baby, finding community resources, and postpartum recovery.  NEST reaches out to West Hawai‘i and Ka’u families when they welcome a new child.  The NEST team visits new families who give birth at Kona Community Hospital and accepts referrals for families birthing at home or in other facilities.  NEST offers families a range of support during their babies’ first year of life:

  • Early Identification screens families to identify needs and establish connections to local service providers. Our text messaging system provides support to all   families leaving Kona Hospital. This text messaging system has been very successful in supporting mothers in their breastfeeding journey.
  • First Connections engages families in ongoing peer support through texts and phone calls throughout their infants’ first year.
  • First Foods for Island Families supports families to feed their babies breast milk, and later to provide other nourishing local foods beginning at six months old.
  • NEST provides a direct link for families in need of services through Family Support Hawaii’s Early Head StartEarly InterventionWest Hawai‘i Fatherhood Initiativeand Island Therapeutic Specialists, LLC.

West Hawaii Fatherhood Initiative

The 2nd Annual Daddy-Daughter Dance was a huge success! What an amazing night filled with fun, laughter, and memories that our dad’s and daughters will treasure forever. Mahalo again to Marlina and Gertrudes Jazz Bar for hosting us and to all of the amazing volunteers who mad it happen. What an amazing night! The following are links for the photos where they can be downloaded, shared and enjoyed by all: [Entrance] [Portraits] [Dance Floor]

Home Visiting Services has recently had the pleasure of working with some excellent foster parents who surpass the highest standards we’ve seen in the past.  We typically work with foster parents to support them in understanding the special needs of their foster children and responding in ways that promote their development.  But we have found that this new cadre of foster parents is proactively seeking and accessing information prior to meeting with us.  One highly skilled and dedicated foster family associated with a private university in the community was able to recruit others in the same organization, and thus not only eased the shortfall of foster families, but also raised the quality.  These families are proactively promoting their foster children’s emotional adjustment and their physical and cognitive development, exposing them to books, imaginative play, and music/art experiences.  They are providing the children nutritious foods and exposing them to healthy socialization with other children.  Though these extraordinary foster parents support reunification of the children with their parents if possible, they also look forward to the possibility of adopting the children if that cannot happen.