Our Community

The FASD and Child Welfare Community of Practice is an interprovincial project that connects with many different communities and stakeholders. Find out more about them below.

What is a Community of Practice?

The term Community of Practice implies shared skills and knowledge situated within a community and responding to a particular need or problem. In this project, our community includes:

  • Children diagnosed with or suspected to have FASD
  • Caregivers
  • Researchers
  • Service Providers
  • Policy-makers

We believe that sharing knowledge, skills, and experiences about FASD in our community is fundamental to develop competent tools in responding to FASD today.

Many people who have been touched by FASD directly or indirectly have raised concerns about the disorder's impact and about a lack of resources, information, and tools to support the affected communities. Some of these concerns are:

  • A lack of consistency in diagnosis of FASD
  • A high presentation of individuals with or suspected with FASD in our justice and child-welfare systems
  • A need for training, knowledge development, and knowledge translation within educational settings and in the community at large
  • A lack of generalized knowledge regarding the day-to-day care needs and severity of the neurological problems associated with this disorder
  • A lack of coordination among service providers, researchers, and policy makers in dealing with the FASD-related issues

This project intends to address many of these issues and bring greater awareness and more resources to our communities.

About our Communities

Those Living with FASD


People living with FASD have much to share in the conversation about FASD, as they are the ones most directly affected. This web site provides the opportunity for them to comment on recent news related to FASD, share strategies and resources, and learn from others. It is our goal through these conversations to raise awareness about issues and resources for people living with FASD.

Caregivers

It is not only children who are affected by FASD who need regular support in their daily lives, but caregivers too need support in order to care for the children effectively. This site is particularly dedicated to caregivers of children in child-welfare systems with (or who are suspected to have) FASD.

Caregivers’ activities in this project will provide a valuable contribution to our knowledge, enhancing our understanding of the needs of these children and providing new insights on how to effectively plan, implement, and evaluate services provided to those affected by FASD. This site will also provide links, information, and resources that can be helpful to caregivers.

Researchers

Our research team is composed of experienced professionals in various fields related to FASD and child welfare issues. The team consists of researchers from across Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario who have carried out a variety of research endeavours that are relevant to this projects.

Service Providers

Many of the costs associated with caring for children with FASD are not manageable for caregivers and families of children living with FASD without additional support. These costs are both physical and economic:

  • Long-lasting mental health, educational, neurological, behavioral, and physical problems
  • National expenditures related to FASD are estimated to be about $5.3 billion per year

In the three provinces covered by this project (Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario), service providers offer a variety of programs that address issues related to FASD. Goals of the programs may differ from one service provider to another, but include:

  • FASD prevention
  • Raising awareness about FASD and its effects
  • Providing skills and educational resources needed to care for children with FASD

Because there is currently no national approach to tackling the problems and issues related to FASD, most children and families affected by this disorder depend on community service providers’ programs and services for support and survival. We want to help children, families, and other stakeholders become aware of programs and services available in their communities.

Policy-Makers

Public policy can be used to address many of the challenges faced by those living with FASD and those caring for them. It is hoped that this project will provide knowledge and experience which will be of use to policy-makers in creating effective strategies to assist all communities in dealing with FASD.