The presence and involvement of nurturing fathers and male caregivers has never been more important for kids than today. While many agencies provide services for mothers and children, there are only a few programs to support fatherhood as well. One such fatherhood program that is making an impact under Maui Family Support Services, Inc. is called Kāne Connections, which is paving the way.
Kāne Connections, a men’s and fatherhood program has been supporting fathers for 15 years. Studies show that when nurturing fathers are involved in the caregiving of children, they play an integral role in the development of children’s growth to become empathetic and compassionate adults. Also, it has been noted that children and teens whose fathers take time for regular family activities have higher self-esteem, better social skills, and fewer high-risk behaviors; and children of all ages whose fathers help with school activities are more likely to enjoy school, get good grades, participate in extra-curricular activities, make friends, and achieve career goals.
Kāne Connections encourages and honors fathers who make the changes necessary to provide their families with a safe and nurturing environment so their children can thrive and meet their highest potential. Weekly men’s groups and parenting classes are being conducted by David “Kawika” Mattos, the Program Supervisor and facilitator, who is also the Chair and the Maui representative of the Hawai’i State – Commission on Fatherhood.
You can also meet Kawika and some of the men who attend Kāne Connections at the 14th annual Celebration of Fathers Ho`olaule`a o nā Mākuakāne! event on Saturday, June 12, 2021, hosted by Maui Family Support Services, Inc. (MFSS) and the Kāne Connections Program. This free admission drive-thru event will be held at the Baldwin High School Parking Lot fronting Ka`ahumanu Ave from 9am-12noon. MFSS has been providing this event for 14 years to honor the importance of fathers and to promote healthy fatherhood and male-caregiving. The event will include representation by many community agencies and all are welcome. A Mayor’s Proclamation will be read at 9:15am. The event is sponsored by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, County of Maui, and the Hawai`i State – Commission on Fatherhood – whose members will also be in attendance and are looking forward to meeting you.
Happy Father’s Day!
Image Credit: Kane Connections