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Strengthening Hawaii Families


Alan Shinn
1130 North Nimitz Highway, Suite A-259
Honolulu, HI 96817

(808) 545-3228         Fax: (808) 545-2686

Family Skills Training Speciality
8-11 years Target
Model Rating

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 the family and community. The SHF program provides the tools and the process for elementary-school aged youth (ages 8 to 11) and their families to build on existing family strengths through values clarification, family skills-building, and nurturing connections among families and their community.

SHF is implemented as a 14-session series for eight to ten families attending weekly two hour meetings. Trained facilitators provide families with the opportunity to discover for themselves what will work best based on their values and vision. Topics include: connecting with one another; exploring and practicing family values; cultural and generational continuity; family vision; family resilience; communication; making choices; problem-solving; decision- making, anger management and stress management; wellness including substance abuse prevention, and healthy lifestyle choices; 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. Follow-up research done by SMS, Inc. to determine 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.

The Strengthening Hawaii Families program is age and developmentally appropriate and provides a culturally comprehensive framework that allows communities to easily and effectively adapt and implement the program for diverse populations. Being a values and assets-based program, SHF is appropriate for families in multicultural group settings, which are inclusive and embracing of all ages, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds.


Implementation Costs:

The SHF program requires a team of four facilitators to deliver the program (two parent facilitators and two children's group facilitators). Each facilitator is certified by CDFH through completion of the SHF Training of Facilitators (TOF). This training is a minimum of two days focusing on SHF philosophy, goals/outcomes, format and curriculum instruction for parent, children, and family sessions. Periodic follow-up and technical assistance are provided for facilitation teams who are working to establish or ready to implement SHF at their site.

SHF program costs include purchasing parent, children, and family workbooks for each family. These workbooks are ordered through CDFH for a cost depending on number of copies ordered and shipping/handling fees. The curriculum also contains a bibliography which lists resources and other books and materials recommended to enhance the SHF program delivery. Other program costs include food and/or refreshments for each session; childcare expenses; transportation; supplies such as chart paper; markers, and art supplies; and incentives (ex. small prizes, "treasure box" items, family photographs, etc.).

Training Costs:

The SHF Training of Facilitators (TOF) is two days with a maximum of 15 and a minimum of six people per training. (One facilitation team is made up of four facilitators and two alternates). The cost for a TOF is $349 per person. Included in the training package are all training materials for facilitators: an SHF program guide; facilitators manual; curriculum for parent sessions, children sessions, and family sessions; workbooks for parents, children, and family; and other resources. The package also includes three hours of on-site or telecommunications follow-up consultation per facilitation team. Additional technical assistance and consultation is available and is negotiated on an individual basis. Travel costs for trainers including hotel, airfare, mileage, per diem, and time will be determined upon TOF request. (TOF for more than ten people requires two trainers.)


Revised 11/10/2002

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