The `Ohana Strengthening project is a partnership between the County of Maui, Maui Economic Opportunity and the Maui Community Correctional Center (MCCC) in Wailuku, Maui. The focus of `Ohana Strengthening is family strengthening through early intervention. The program works with incarcerated women to provide parent education including information on child development and developing strong parenting skills, tools and strategies to prevent child abuse and neglect, as well as substance abuse.
The MEO Ohana Strengthening program is funded by the Hawaii Children’s Trust Fund. The focus of Ohana Strengthening is to provide parent education sessions at the Maui Community Correctional Center (MCCC) for incarcerated women, and for women transitioning out of incarceration. The program includes parent/ child interactions facilitated by trained individuals that support protective factors. The primary focus is to: increase knowledge of parenting and child development; increase nurturing and attachment; and increase social connections.
MEO Ohana Strengthening provides the opportunity for women at MCCC to remain connected to their children during incarceration. The program also prepares women to increase parenting skills to support their children and family unit during incarceration, and upon the transition out of the facility. Children benefit by having a positive experience with their mother interactions and at Ohana Celebrations held twice annually; at Mother’s Day and Thanksgiving.
Qualifications to participate in this program: Women incarcerated at MCCC with young children ages birth to five; and women transitioning from MCCC with young children ages birth to five.
Services include parenting classes provided at MCCC, parent child interaction time, and caregiver support groups. Women and their children celebrate together twice annually at a special “`Ohana Day”, scheduled in May and December to commemorate Mother’s Day and Christmas. For further information about the `Ohana Strengthening project contact Carole Vida at the MEO Head Start office, 99 Mahalani Street, Wailuku, HI 96793.