Goals and Values

The Edmonton Fetal Alcohol Network is committed to working within four overarching principles of practice as identified in Pei, J., Tremblay, M., Poth, C., El Hassar, B., & Ricioppo, S. (2018). Best Practices for Serving Individuals with Complex Needs: Guide and Evaluation Toolkit. PolicyWise for Children & Families in collaboration with the University of Alberta. These include:

Consistency principle: focuses on the structure and stability of service delivery approaches and of the messages communicated through policies. This includes creating a shared understanding of FASD and consistency in relationships.

Collaboration principle: focuses on the existence of practices integrating policies, complex case management, and coordination of referrals. This includes between agencies, programs, types and levels of service delivery.

Responsiveness principle: focuses on the accessibility of services that respond to individuals’ needs and that balance support and interdependence. This includes programming that harnesses the development of individuals ‘competencies in a supportive environment that recognizes the necessity for adapting services in response to outcomes.

Proactivity principle: focuses on the delivery of services based on anticipating rather than reacting to individuals’ needs. This includes an approach that fosters control and promotes a success focused trajectory rather than the use of problem avoidance strategies.

Our Society has five goals in providing community-driven services across the lifespan for FASD prevention, assessment and intervention, and supports for individuals and caregivers for our vision where communities are supported with a comprehensive and coordinated response to FASD:

  • Supports & Services:

To provide individuals, families, and communities with a continuum of interventions from a developmental lifespan perspective that meet their needs at all ages and stages of life.

  • Knowledge Sharing & Education:

To provide access to information and resources while developing and delivering evidence-informed education and professional development to the community.

  • Community Engagement & Partnerships:

To nurture and maintain connections and partnerships with communities, agencies, and all levels of government.

  • Policy & Collaboration:

To be a voice alongside people impacted by FASD, including individuals with FASD, caregivers, families and communities.

  • Research & Action:

To inform, participate, and disseminate research and contribute to the development of best-practice interventions.

The Network operational policies and procedures and service delivery model are based on the following principles:

Develop a collaborative and flexible approach: The Network promotes collaboration among stakeholders at the government, agency, and community levels, within an environment that is flexible and responsive to unique local needs.

 Align with identified direction setting documents: Development, implementation, and ongoing improvement of the Network and its operations is informed by provincial strategic directions established by the Government of Alberta, FASD Cross Ministry Committee (FASD CMC) and Alberta’s FASD community at the national, regional, and local levels.

In partnering with the Government of Alberta and FASD Cross Ministry Committee, the Network has identified several direction setting documents that are considered in the development and implementation of all Network actions and funded services and supports. These include:

  • Year 5, Year 7 and Year 10 Evaluations of the FASD 10 Year Strategic Plan (Government of Alberta).
  • FASD Across the Lifespan, FASD Strategic and Operational Plan (AB FASD Cross Ministry Committee, 2018/2019).
  • FASD Service Network Program: Operating Grant Policies (AB FASD Cross Ministry Committee, 2019).
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: a guideline for diagnosis across the lifespan (Cook et al 2015).
  • Best Practices for FASD Service Delivery: Guide and Evaluation Toolkit (Pei et al., 2015).
  • Towards Healthy Outcomes for Individuals With FASD (Pei et al., 2019).
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Prevention: Canadian Perspectives (Poole, 2008).
  • Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) (Government of Canada).
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action, especially Recommendation #33 (development of FASD preventive programs in collaboration with Aboriginal people and delivered in a culturally appropriate manner) and Recommendation #34 (reform of the criminal justice system to better address the needs of offenders with FASD).
  • United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (United Nations).
  • OCAP®: Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (First Nations Information Governance Centre).
  • Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (United Nations).
  • FASD and Access to Justice: Final Report to Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Justice and Public Safety (Justice Canada).
  • Consensus Statement on FASD – Across the Lifespan, 2009 (Institute of Health Economics).
  • Consensus Statement on Legal Issues of FASD, 2013 (Institute of Health Economics).

Focus on accountability and transparency: The Network will be managed in a fiscally responsible and transparent manner, including regular reporting of FASD activities and measurable results to stakeholders.

Building on existing capacity to address identified needs: The Network will enhance and align with existing service provision and facilitate development of new services where none currently exist.

Use the GBA+ lens to inform services and operations: The Network operations, programs and services will be informed by a GBA+ lens to ensure they are equally accessible to individuals of all genders and other intersecting identity factors, such as age, education, language, geography, culture, and income.

Integrated delivery of FASD-informed supports across the lifespan: FASD is a full-body, lifespan disorder that requires access to FASD-informed services across all intersecting systems to support individuals with FASD to reach their full potential at every stage of life. From a developmental lifespan perspective, the Network will provide a continuum of supports and services that meet people when and where they are at, from pre-conception to death.

Prevention of FASD: Alberta has adopted a Canadian FASD prevention model that focuses on providing a continuum of care and support for women, where all strategies are considered preventative (Poole, 2008). This model has four mutually reinforcing strategies that focus on assisting women to improve their health and the health of their children with support from family, support networks, services and community. Women are supported to prevent future alcohol-exposed pregnancies, individuals with FASD are supported to reach their full potential, and caregivers are supported to safeguard their wellbeing. 

FASD-informed workforce: Professionals in every intersecting system in every community are trained to prevent alcohol-exposed pregnancies, to refer individuals who may have FASD for assessment and diagnosis, and to deliver FASD-informed supports.

Evidence-informed practice: FASD supports and services are developed and continuously improved based on research and evaluation.

Strength-based: Every individual with FASD has unique strengths and capabilities. Fostering capacity supports individuals with FASD to live meaningful and fulfilling lives. The Network will provide services to individuals, families, and communities that emphasize self-determination and strength.

Culturally-informed: FASD is a population-wide health and social issue that impacts every community. Collaboration with families and communities is essential to developing culturally-informed FASD supports that respect diversity.

Trauma-informed practice: FASD-informed services include trauma-informed practices that discuss the connections between trauma, mental health and substance use in the course of work with all clients; identify trauma symptoms or adaptations; and offer supports and strategies that increase safety and support connection to services (BC Provincial Mental Health and Substance Use Planning Council, 2013).

Diagnosis is a gateway to supports: Individuals with FASD are provided access to services based on diagnostic recommendations and access to reassessment at key transition points during their lives.

A complete picture of FASD in Alberta: A centralized FASD data collection and analysis system supports evaluation and research to monitor the effective delivery of prevention and FASD-informed supports across all intersecting systems.

If you would like more information on who and what the Edmonton and area Fetal Alcohol Network Society is please email: edmontonfetalalcoholnetwork@gmail.com

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