About the Hawaii Children’s Trust Fund
The mission of the Hawaii Children’s Trust Fund (HCTF) is “to ensure that our children develop into healthy, productive, and caring individuals by promoting the advancement of community family strengthening programs.”
In the early 1980’s Dr. Ray Helfer, a pioneer in the field of child abuse and neglect prevention recognized the need for a permanent source of funding for child abuse prevention since most available funding was used for intervention and treatment services after the abuse occurred. A national movement ensued to create a Children’s Trust Fund in every state that would be a conduit for federal funding for the purposes of preventing child abuse and neglect. The original intent of these federal funds was to keep it primary and secondary prevention focused so that children could be helped before abuse ever occurred.
The Hawaii Children’s Trust Fund (HCTF) was established in 1993 by state legislation, Chapter 350B of the Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (HRS). This legislation created a public-private partnership between the Department of Health (DOH), and the Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF). It utilized the existing structure of the non-profit HCF to establish a separate HCTF endowment fund so that contributions, grants, or gifts in cash or other forms could be received from the public sector, corporations, foundation, individuals, as well as other interested parties. This endowment component ensures HCTF a permanent source of funds available to meet the future needs of Hawai‘i’s children and families whose purpose is “to strengthen families primarily by the award of grants for primary and secondary prevention activities to prevent child abuse and neglect (HRS 350B-2(c).”
The primary role of the coalition is to serve as a forum for addressing the issue of family strengthening, and for promoting strategies and statewide planning for the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Membership to the coalition is open to any individual, representative of any agency, business, and community affiliation with a commitment to strengthening families to prevent child abuse and neglect. Learn how you can join the Coalition.
The primary role of the Advisory Board (AB) is to make the final recommendations to the Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF) on the expenditure of funds for HCTF. The AB consists of seven members. One selected by HCF, three appointed by the Governor, one appointed from among the members of the Senate, one appointed from among the members of the House, and either the Director of Health or the Director’s designee.
The primary role of the Advisory Committee (AC) is to promote statewide planning and strategies for strengthening of families; establish the criteria and guidelines for grant making to the board; publicize the fund and solicit money from the public and private sources, advise the DOH on matters involving the prevention of child abuse and neglect; and facilitate the exchange of information between groups concerned with families and children. The AC includes both private and public members. The public sector representation includes the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Human Services (DHS), Department of Education (DOE), Office of Youth Services (OYS), and the Judiciary. The private sector members are elected by the coalition whose membership shall equal one more than the number of public sector representatives.
The Hawaii Children’s Trust Fund is a member of the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds, a membership organization that provides training, technical assistance, and peer consulting opportunities to state Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds and strengthens their efforts to prevent child abuse.
What we do
The Hawaii Children’s Trust Fund (HCTF) promotes public awareness and advocacy on the issues of child abuse and neglect and on addressing the needs of all families through a strengths-based approach. HCTF provides an array of direct service grants, training, and technical assistance to programs that work directly with children and families in preventing child abuse and neglect statewide. Since 1993, the HCTF has provided more than $6.6 million in grants to over 150 agencies statewide. Grants provided for the strengthening of families with the intent of preventing child abuse and neglect includes but is not limited to the following:
- Programs for families to create a healthy environment in which each may develop to the member’s fullest potential;
- Programs for parents to increase their ability to provide a safe and nurturing environment for their children;
- Programs for children to increase their ability to form healthy relationships and to avoid and cope with dangerous situations;
- Training and education for professionals, which includes making information about child abuse and neglect available to agencies dealing with these problems:
- General education to increase the community’s awareness of the needs of families and children and the issues relating to child abuse and neglect;
- Research, evaluation, and advocacy activities related to the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
Photo Credit: Hawaii Children's Trust Fund Grantees