STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3400
RE: S.C.R. No. 15
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Human Services and Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.C.R. No. 15 entitled:
"SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION URGING THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO EXPAND AND IMPROVE HAWAII'S HOME VISITING PROGRAM,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to urge the Department of Health to continue expanding and improving its home visitation services reinstating a statewide network of evidence-based services for families at highest risk for child abuse and neglect.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Parents and Children Together and two individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Health.
Your Committees find that positive experiences in early childhood promote healthy socio-emotional and physical development, and a healthy, nurturing home. The healthy families America-Hawaii program was the State's primary home visiting child abuse prevention program with an excellent track record consistently showing a ninety-nine percent non-abuse rate among children of families served. Your Committees further find the program was dismantled in 2008 due to budget restrictions, leaving only the Hilo and Wai‘anae sites.
Your Committees have heard testimony from the Department of Health which indicates that the Department currently provides home visiting services in all four counties on six islands utilizing three different nationally recognized evidence-based home visiting models. The Department, through its maternal, infant, and early childhood home visiting federal grant and state funding, is required to submit a needs assessment by September 30, 2020. The required needs assessment is underway and once complete the Department will have data to identify:
(1) Potential new initiatives and new geographic areas in the state that could benefit from in home visiting services; and
(2) Opportunities for collaboration with community partners to strengthen and expand home visiting services for at-risk families.
Your Committees also reviewed testimony from an individual in contact with the Hilo Healthy Families program who attests that the key to prevention of child abuse and neglect is in voluntary home visits at no charge to young families. They further indicated, child welfare services intervention and removal to foster care is not prevention, but adversarial to parents and punitive to minor children.
Your Committees have amended this measure by making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Human Services and Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that are attached to this report, your Committees concur with the intent and purpose of S.C.R. No. 15, as amended herein, and recommend its adoption in the form attached hereto as S.C.R. No. 15, S.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Human Services and Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair
RUSSELL E. RUDERMAN, Chair