Community Support in Alberta
Alberta FASD programs provide consistent access to quality supports and services across the lifespan that are aligned with Alberta’s FASD 10-Year Strategic Plan.
Awareness and Prevention
FASD programs and services across Alberta actively promote the fact that drinking no alcohol during pregnancy is best. These awareness and prevention programs target diverse populations, ranging from women at risk of giving birth to a child with FASD to front-line healthcare practitioners working with individuals with FASD or their caregivers.
Prevention strategies in Alberta focus on supporting females who have given birth and females known to be pregnant who are consuming alcohol or other harmful substances. Services may include mentoring, substance abuse treatment, and birth control and parenting programs. Prevention strategies also include supporting females of child-bearing age who use substances and who are not pregnant. Activities could include outreach, screening, referral and brief intervention activities.
Assessment and Diagnosis
Alberta is continuously enhancing its capacity to effectively assess and diagnose individuals who may be affected by an FASD. From 2008 to 2012, almost 660 people accessed assessment and diagnosis services through the FASD Service Networks. By 2017, Albertans will access an estimated 900 assessment and diagnosis services per year – a 354% from 2008.
A number of clinics across Alberta are available to individuals seeking an FASD diagnosis. Assessment includes medical, cognitive and behavioural screening, and referrals to professionals who provide diagnosis. Diagnostic services include medical, cognitive and behavioural assessments by a multi-disciplinary team whose members will vary depending on the age and/or presentation of the individual being assessed. Diagnosis includes assessment services as well as a formal diagnosis on the FASD spectrum provided by a physician and multi-disciplinary team, or a multi-disciplinary diagnostic team.
Supports and Services
The Alberta FASD Service Networks fund 39 community-based organizations that provide a wide variety of support services to individuals across the lifespan. In 2011-12, Albertans accessed support services more than 1,700 times – a 27% increase from the previous year.
Supports in Alberta are community programs and services aimed at enabling individuals affected by FASD to reach their potential, as well as assistance for families and caregivers of individuals affected by FASD.
Supports include information, service coordination/case management, supports for daily living, rehabilitation/behavioural services, opportunities for meaningful activities, and respite services.