A series of workshops, to be held statewide in late August, will address positive long term outcomes for Hawaii’s children, building strong families and eliminating abuse. The target audience would include the police, judges, parents, and any community members who want a greater understanding of the issues around child abuse and solutions. Hawaii Island has had some toddler and infant deaths or abuse cases that shouldn’t have gotten to the point they did, and the workshop is one step in educating people as to options for help.
The workshops, titled “Our Keiki, Our Kuleana,” will feature a presentation by Robin Karr-Morse, a renowned author and family therapist, with more than 20 years experience in Oregon’s education and child welfare system. Karr-Morse has drawn together the latest science in psychology, biology, neurology, and genetics to write two popular books that take readers inside the reality of early human development. Ghosts from the Nursery looks at the correlations between child abuse and neglect in the first three years of life and later developing aggression and violence. Scared Sick examines the role of early trauma in the later development of heart disease, addiction, and a host of illnesses currently escalating in our nation.
Following Karr-Morse’s presentation, a panel of community resource leaders will share information on the intervention and support systems in place for each island or island region.
Robin Karr-Morse views the goal of her work as empowering parents and persuading policymakers to reshape social policy to support families in building healthy children rather than continuing to build larger and larger systems to fix or contain broken adults.
The workshops are being made possible through the efforts of Baby STEPS to Stronger Big Island Families, in partnership with the State Department of Health, Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems; Good Beginnings Alliance; Kauai District Health Office, Family Health Services; Head Start Association of Hawaii; YWCA Hawaii Island-Healthy Start Program; Hawaii P-3 Initiative; Marriott Resorts of Hawaii; and State Executive Office of Early Learning.
According to Angela Thomas, program leader for Baby STEPS, “The recent tragic deaths of keiki around the state – including a 3-year-old girl in Waimea – in which child abuse may have played a role, motivated our group to highlight the issue of child abuse and awareness of the long-term consequences of abuse, not only for our children but for society. We are grateful to our partners who have made it possible to take Robin Karr-Morse’s message statewide and to engage community members and providers in each County in the conversation.”
Baby STEPS to Stronger Big Island Families is committed to helping all keiki on Hawaii Island to be healthy, happy and to thrive by supporting families, strengthening practitioners and engaging communities.
Hawaii Island workshops are scheduled for:
- Saturday, August 25, Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa on the Kohala Coast. Registration & continental breakfast begin at 8 a.m., with a presentation and community panel from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost is $45 per person.
- Monday, August 27, Banyan Drive Café, Registration & continental breakfast begin at 8 a.m., with a presentation and community panel from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost is $30 per person
Workshops will also be held on Maui (Aug.28), Oahu (Aug. 30) and Kauai (Aug. 31).