The Ho’oikaika Partnership is a cross-sector coalition of organizations, individuals, county, and state agencies that are committed to preventing child abuse and neglect in Maui County.
Our roots began in 2007 when an oversight committee undertook research to identify best practices in child maltreatment prevention and index current projects and programs in Maui County. Among other findings, Preventing Child Maltreatment in Maui County: A Report on Best Program Practices identified the need for collaboration among public and private partners across the spectrum of prevention.
In 2008, the economic recession provided additional incentive to work together to sustain family support and child abuse prevention programs. The Ho’oikaika Partnership started with a 5-person team. We were one of 16 applicants selected to participate in the University of North Carolina’s PREVENT Institute, which helped guide us in the development of our first strategic plan and logic model. We also received training and technical assistance on coalition building and the Protective Factors. The Child Abuse Protection Treatment Act provided funds to improve the systems’ response to child maltreatment and we also received seed funding from the Consuelo Foundation.
The Hoʻoikaika Partnership evolved to serve as a convener of agencies involved in the prevention of child abuse and neglect in Maui County – to improve coordination of efforts, increase partnerships, support the workforce, and further the use of evidence-based approaches, especially the protective factors.
- Since 2015, Ho’oikaika Annual Conference has offered critical skill-building to Maui’s health and human service workforce. During the pandemic, more than 300 people attended our virtual conferences to learn about trauma-informed practice, incorporating Hawaiian culture into our programs and services, and cultivating resiliency during challenging times.
- Each April, the Ho’oikaika Partnership sponsors events to raise awareness of national Child Abuse Prevention month. We partner with the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Maui and the County of Maui to co-sponsor a reading of the Mayor’s Proclamation. Pre-pandemic “Keiki Fests” drew hundreds of families for a day of fun combined with learning about local resources. During the COVID health emergency, we sponsored a drive-through event to provide families with concrete supports, health information, and other giveaways. Our 2022 ‘Ohana Fest at Maui Botanical Gardens offered a resource fair with 13 different partner agencies providing information and support for 160 adults and 176 keiki. We also launched our first social media campaign.
- Ho’oikaika System Navigation Services helps families access services and supports in Maui County. The social services system can be overwhelming and confusing and families may feel intimidated or embarrassed – which makes reaching out for help or following through on referrals very challenging. Our navigator acts as a “guide by the side” to coach families and provides a “warm hand off” so children and their caregivers actually connect with program services. By coordinating, communicating and collaborating across agencies, the navigator helps weave a seamless safety net. Community outreach and education to prevent child abuse and neglect is also a crucial function.
"The best way to describe my experience was almost like talking to a relative ... I felt like she was speaking to me on my level and not above me."
~ Navigation Services Participant