Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is recognized by the federal government as the leading health issue in Canada. FASD is a birth defect caused by prenatal alcohol exposure to the fetus. This exposure causes permanent brain damage that causes lifelong health, social, psychological and adaptive functioning. FASD is the leading cause of preventable birth defects in developed countries. The estimated lifetime health costs are $2-million for every person with FASD. These lifetime costs are compounded when you consider the secondary disabilities of individuals with FASD:
60% have disrupted school experiences, 60% have trouble with the law, 90% experience mental health problems as secondary disabilities
40% have been incarcerated, 30% have alcohol and other drug problems
The Family Outreach Workers Project in partnership with Old Massett Social Development has identified the continued need for local FASD training that focuses on practical and effective interventions in all of our islands' communities. With this in mind, a 4-day workshop will be offered free of charge to professionals wanting to enhance their skills regarding how to live and work with persons of all ages affected with FASD. The information will be applicable to counseling these persons, their families and caregivers.
Sandi Berg, a trainer with the FAS/E Support Network of BC will be facilitating this pro-active workshop. Sandi has previously held 5 training workshops on Haida Gwaii in schools and communities. She has trained communities in Canada, U.S. and Europe for 14 years. Sandi and her husband are a long-term designated specialized resource home for the Ministry of Family and Children Development and presently foster children with FASD. Sandi is a co-founding member and Director of the FAS/E Support Network of BC and has worked with the network since 1989, as a trainer and co-author of numerous FASD books and training manual for Canada funded by Health Canada and the National Crime Prevention Center. Due to her extensive experience in with all ages affected with FASD, she has been invited to return to Haida Gwaii to share her knowledge with our professional community.
Sandi is prepared to provide training on:
Day 1: Diagnostic Criteria; Why Women Drink and Community Support
Day 2: Neurobehavioral Deficits of FASD, Day 3: Addressing FASD From Birth to Adulthood: Interventions, Day 4: Interventions continued (schools, home, workplace, the law, community)
Sandi will also provide free 45-minute private evening consultations to individuals, families or professionals from any island community, March 8 and 9 ,7-10pm. Consultations will be at the Skidegate Health Center.
The workshop will be held at the Skidegate Health Centre, March 7-10, 10-4 pm. Pre-registration up until March 4 for the workshop and private consultations are necessary. Registration costs are free and donations are welcome. To register, call ASAP Joanne at 557-4240 or Marlene at 626- 3343. Workshop attendance is not required in order to book a private consultation. Information packages are available to workshop participants. Snacks and beverages will be provided at breaks.
The Gwaii Trust Special Initiatives in Education Funding is gratefully acknowledged for funding this training.