20 Nov. 2017
Eliminating Barriers and Building Bridges
Regional FASD Research Project Overview
The Eliminating Barriers and Building Bridges FASD Support Project is a two-year initiative funded through the Child Welfare Secretariat until September 2010, to build capacity within the region to support children and youth with FASD or probable FASD within the care of child welfare agencies. The specific goal of the project is to maintain and enhance the stability of placements and improve outcomes for children and youth with FASD in the care of child welfare agencies. The primary objectives are:
- To enhance the understanding of caregivers and teachers about the neuro-developmental nature of conditions such as FASD so that the affected children and youth experience less frustration and more success.
- To ensure that caregivers/teachers of children with FASD have ongoing access to support through project workers and support groups.
Lake of the Woods Child Development Centre is the lead agency for the project and there is a Project Steering Committee comprised of a number of children’s service providers and representatives from the education sector in the Kenora District.
The project started with a five-day training of Key Workers in September 2009, attended by 37 participants from a variety of community agencies and included a two day follow-up training in January 2010. The training was provided by Diane Malbin, internationally renowned FASD consultant.
The role of the Key Workers is to provide information and support to foster families, group home staff and educators working with and caring for children and youth with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) or with probable/suspected FASD. Key Workers assist caregivers and educators in understanding FASD by providing education and information about FASD as a brain-based disability and suggesting specific environmental modifications to improve child behaviours and outcomes at home and at school. They also provide “train the trainer” sessions to community partners.
To further assist with capacity building, the Patricia Centre for Children and Youth (PCCY) and the Lake of the Woods Child Development Centre hired three contract Outreach Coordinators; these staff have been responsible for conducting intakes for project participants, assisting with evaluation activities, community education, coordinating ongoing meetings of Key Workers, and otherwise fulfilling the Key Worker functions.