About the Hawaii Family Support Institute

The mission of the Institute is to promote evidence based practice and policies to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect. We seek to achieve our mission  through identification and promotion of evidence based practices, planning, training, education and advocacy with policy makers in collaboration with other organizations committed to the well-being of young children.


The Institute was founded in 2003 based on recognition of Hawaii’s continuing need for advocacy and quality improvement of child abuse prevention and treatment services. The Hawaii Family Support Institute (HFSI) is a successor to the Hawaii Family Support Center, which for nearly three decades (1975-2003) provided leadership in advocacy for and development of child abuse prevention programs in Hawaii, on the mainland and internationally, through Hawaii Healthy Start and Healthy Families America

Achievements and current activities of the Institute include:

  • Advocacy with the legislature to establish two task forces which were convened to address quality improvement issues for the Healthy Start program.
  • On-going collaboration with the DOH and service providers to advocate with the legislature on need for and benefits of funding for Healthy Start.
  • Contracted with The Institute for Family Enrichment to develop the “Healing the Hurt” curriculum for Healthy Start family support workers and clinicians.
  • Collaboration with the University of Hawaii MBT School of Social Work and Department of Human Services to develop and implement a community based training curriculum for public and private personnel working with child welfare cases.
  • Collaboration with other advocacy and service organizations in planning and advocacy for early childhood services.
  • Support to Healthy Families America as a member of the National Advisory Council and the Research Practice Policy Council including work on a logic model, identification and dissemination of information on evidence based practice.
  • Leadership in establishing the Hawaii Association for Infant Mental Health, which will support the work of practitioners, educate policy makers and the public on the emotional needs of young children, conduct training of providers and advocate for needed services.

Advisory Board

The Board of Advisors includes professionals who have been in the forefront of policy, legislative advocacy and program development in child abuse and early child development in Hawaii for many decades. Learn more about our Advisory Board Members.

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