The steering committee of the Eliminating Barriers and Building Bridges Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder support project is pleased to announce a unique training opportunity to improve supports for children and youth with FASD in the care of child welfare.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is an umbrella term that covers the spectrum of disabilities caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol.
It is the leading cause of developmental and cognitive disabilities among Canadian children, and the brain injury caused by alcohol exposure is permanent and life-long.
The economic and social burden of FASD is significant; conservative estimates place the cost at $344 million in Canada annually.
There is a high prevalence rate of FASD in Northwestern Ontario.
FASD has been called a “hidden disability” because the brain injury most often manifests in the form of learning, behavioural, and social problems.
Due to the nature of the disability, children and youth with FASD often experience mental health problems, conflict with the law, and substance abuse.
When they become older, struggles with unemployment and homelessness, and difficulties with parenting, are common.
But there are effective interventions that can mitigate these effects.
The FASD intervention project in Kenora District is funded by the provincial Child Welfare Secretariat.
The goal of the project is to improve quality of life, resiliency, and long-term outcomes for children and youth in the care of child welfare with or suspected of having FASD.
To launch the project, Diane Malbin, an expert international trainer in FASD interventions, will be at the Dryden Training Centre on Sept.14-18.
She will facilitate a community workshop about FASD, open to the general public, on Sept. 14 and 15.
Specialized training for children’s services providers will follow Sept. 16-18.
There is no charge to attend either session.
The workshop will increase community understanding of FASD as a brain-based condition. The specialized session will train service providers to support foster parents, group home staff, and teachers.
This support will include information about FASD as a brain-based disability, information about accessing services, and hands-on training in working effectively with affected children and youth so they experience more success at home and at school.
For workshop registration info, contact Lori Kutney at the Patricia Centre for Children and Youth in Dryden (1-807-223-8550).