Today’s post is a contribution from Roxanne Hughes, MSW, RSW who has been an FASD Key Worker with Pacific Community Resources Society for the past 12 years. She provides individualized and group supports to families who are parenting youth who have FASD or similar neurodevelopmental disorders. Roxanne offers training to a broad range of community partners specific to brain-based disabilities. She is a member of the FASD Collaboration Roundtable, who work collaboratively to identify, advocate, and provide training in regards to FASD.
Roxanne can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FASD Collaboration Roundtable Committee was formed in British Columbia in 2005 to improve planning and coordination of services for individuals with FASD and their families living in the BC lower-mainland. The Committee strives to create a cohesive and collaborative process that supports service providers across systems to network, share information, identify common issues, and problem-solve effective approaches that will be entrenched in FASD policy and practice.
The Committee was initially funded by a three-year Victoria Foundation grant, which played a significant role in the development and delivery of the training, collaboration, and advocacy work of the Committee. Following the grant term, a small group of dedicated community partners remained committed to organizing and delivering an annual Fall FASD Conference without annualized funding. Over the last 10 years, they have continued to successfully deliver informative annual conferences, in addition to frequently sponsoring semi-annual training and educational opportunities by internationally renowned FASD experts.
One of the Committee’s founding principles is to ensure that conferences and training events are highly accessible to all families and community professionals. The Committee has demonstrated this commitment by ensuring that conference costs are minimal by offering subsidies to families and individuals with FASD, and by providing free and highly supported on-site childminding for our attendees. The Committee has benefited significantly from the support-in-kind of Committee members’ employers and an ongoing partnership with Douglas College. Douglas College’s support has been integral to ensure that conferences and training events have been financially feasible and physically accessible.
The Committee recognizes that many families and individuals with FASD (and similar brain-based disabilities) experience ongoing barriers related to misunderstanding, misinformation, disconnection, frustration, and isolation. The conference and training events provide an annual event for families, individuals, and community partners to “speak the same language,” enhance their understanding of FASD and its impacts, while also forming connections and alliances with one another.
These events have been very well-received by attendees, as shown by comments about previous conferences:
“[The event gave me] more confidence in speaking to [others] about FASD.”
“I have hope my daughter can achieve.”
“I am a better advocate for [my child].”
“[The conference] has continued to open my eyes and provide knowledge so that I can go into my career better prepared and with a positive mindset.”
“Renewed patience and understanding.”
Our next conference will be held at Douglas College on November 24, 2018.