Model Family Programs for Delinquency Prevention
Rating * Model Target * 5-12 Speciality * Family Skills Training
Program * Strengthening Hawaii Families
Description *

  Strengthening Hawaii Families (SHF) is a cultural values-based primary prevention program that was developed by the Coalition For A Drug-Free Hawaii, SHF seeks to reduce and ultimately prevent such problems as substance abuse, domestic violence, and gang involvement by reducing risk factors and increasing resiliency factors in both the community and the family.

SHF provides the tools and the process for elementary-school aged youth (aged 5 to 12) and their families to build on existing family strengths. The 14-session curriculum emphasizes values clarification, family relationships, and communication skills to allow families to discover for themselves what will work best based on their values and vision. Trained facilitators work with families to cover the following topics: connecting with one another; exploring values; practicing family values; cultural and generational continuity; family vision; skill-building including communication, making choices, problem-solving, decision making, anger management and stress management; wellness including substance abuse prevention, healthy lifestyle choices, and resiliency; and `ohana (family) time.

SHF has been shown to have a positive impact on the families that participated. The University of Hawaii Social Welfare Evaluation and Research Unit (SWERU) found significant improvement in family cohesion, family organization, and family communication; and a significant decrease in family conflict as well as decrease in parental depression. These findings relate to our goal to decrease risk factors and to increase resiliency/protective factors in youth and their families. Follow-up research done by SMS, Inc, to determine the long-term impacts of participation found that past participants reported better relationships among family members, a clearer understanding of parental roles, more awareness of children's needs, improved behaviors for children, and general improvement in communication skills for all family members. Participants also remarked on the amount of bonding and fellowship that accompanied each SHF session.

    Contact * Sandra Lacar 
    Address* 1130 North Nimitz Highway 
        Honolulu, HI   96817
    Phone * 808 545-3228
    Dept. of Health Promotion and Education

Funded by - Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention