Local nonprofit Child & Family Service (CFS) today announced that it will extend the hours this week of The Parent Line to serve parents with concerns about helping their children affected by the false ballistic missile alert event this past Saturday.
The hotline will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Tuesday, January 16 through Friday, January 19 to accommodate phone calls from parents statewide. The Parent Line can be accessed at 808-526-1222 (O‘ahu) or 1-800-816-1222 (Neighbor Islands).
CFS administers The Parent Line, a free statewide confidential telephone line funded by the Hawaii State Department of Health. Experienced phone line staff help parents to problem solve parenting challenges and child adolescent behavior and are available to help parents learn ways to manage the strong emotions that come with trauma.
“Our phone hours normally run until 6 p.m. on weekdays, but we are extending an additional two hours until 8 p.m. every night this week so that we can better accommodate parents as they seek support in how to talk to their children about the events that played out, and to help families to process the confusion or uncertainty that they may be feeling,” said Joey Keahiolalo, CFS Chief Program Officer.
Keahiolalo added that several CFS staff members volunteered to be available at these extended hours to answer the phones in order to serve families with concerns or dealing with trauma from the event. The Parent Line is also available on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Keahiolalo noted that the intense, confusing and frightening emotions that follow a traumatic event such as the false alert can be even more pronounced in children and that parents’ protection, nurturing and guidance can speed recovery and support.
“In many cases through the support of family and friends and giving family members time to heal, the normal reactions to trauma are reduced and begin to subside over time,” Keahiolalo said. “Should additional professional assistance be necessary, The Parent Line can also provide parents with information about CFS and other community resources available to them.”
CFS has also added information and resources to help families affected by the false alert event on its Website at www.childandfamilyservice.org/managingtrauma.