Environmental Scan of Prenatal Services for Marginalized Women in Alberta: Specialized Services

The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility Project

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Executive Summary

Introduction: The Marginalized Women Working Group was formed by the Maternal Newborn Child and Youth Strategic Clinical Network to examine the availability and access to prenatal care services for marginalized women in Alberta. This environmental scan has been conducted to determine what prenatal services currently exist for marginalized women in Alberta and identify any gaps or opportunities that may be present. Structured phone interviews with key service providers were used to collect data; data was analyzed using a mixed methods approach.

Results: 62 individuals/programs were contacted and 49 phone interviews were completed, for an overall response rate of 79%. A wide range of different service providers from all five AHS Zones participated in the scan. Several strengths were noted in existing services: a strong provincial network of non-profit agencies and Canadian Perinatal Nutrition Programs, specialized maternity services offering tailored prenatal care, and several regional prenatal service networks. A…

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Notice of meeting: Tuesday, January 2, 2018


In preparation for the upcoming fiscal year, the Supports and Services meeting that was to be held on Tuesday, January 2nd has been cancelled. 

To accommodate the time needed to review and revise if necessary the Edmonton and area Fetal Alcohol Network Society policies and procedures, our normally scheduled Society meeting will begin at 9:00 am (instead of 9:30), Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018 at the same CSS location (10320 – 146 Street).

See you all in the New Year!




Job Opportunity: FASD System Navigator

BISSEL1_700x325_acf_croppedFASD System Navigator, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum of Services (FASS)

 Bissell Centre is an equal opportunity employer who is committed to diversity within our community and welcomes applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, or disability. Bissell Centre is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all employees, in accordance with provincially and federally legislated protected grounds. For more information, please visit www.bissellcentre.org

Currently, Bissell Centre is looking for the right individual to fill the position of FASD Navigator.  This position will provide timely in-person meetings, referrals, education, and other short-term solutions to individuals who call FASS’s referral line. This position will provide supports to vulnerable individuals and families, based on strong knowledge of FASD and the social service sector.  The System Navigator will respond to inquiries on FASS’s referral line within 48 hours and be able to communicate with a diverse set of stakeholders.

This position maintains a waitlist and offers a maximum of 6-month support to women currently on the waitlist for a PCAP mentor.

Specific responsibilities of the position include:

Program Delivery

  • Conduct flexible intakes and provide short-term and timely solutions to individuals and families in crisis who are unable to access supports due to waitlists, or where other supports are unavailable
  • Provide in-person and/or phone based referrals to individuals/families affected by FASD
  • Offer short-term individual system/service advocacy as required to reduce crisis
  • Administer the Addiction Severity Index to individuals who qualify for PCAP
  • Work in collaboration with the FASS team and the Edmonton Fetal Alcohol Network (EFAN) to ensure appropriate information flow and effective program development and delivery
  • Conduct supported referrals where necessary

General and Administrative

  • Maintain accurate written file notes, computer records, program information, and critical incident reports within established time standards
  • Provide program information and statistics as required
  • Provide weekly, monthly and quarterly reports as required
  • Maintain and submit accurate mileage and expense logs for reimbursement
  • Participate in probationary and annual performance reviews
  • Attend scheduled staff and supervision meetings


  • Undergraduate degree or diploma in social work, social science, or related field and/or comparable experience with FASD, disabilities
  • Minimum of 3 years work experience with vulnerable, marginalized or at-risk populations
  • Commitment to a strength-based, client centred approach
  • Knowledge of community development processes and ability to enhance community capacity
  • Capable of networking and building relationships with diverse stakeholders
  • Ability to work under pressure, handle multiple priorities, and tight timelines
  • Ability to maintain a flexible work schedule
  • Ability to maintain strong professional boundaries

Conditions of Work

  • Some evening and weekend work may be required
  • Operation of personal vehicle with required insurance and drivers abstract


Interested candidates are invited to submit their resume and cover letter by December 13, 2017 to:


Ashley Baxter

Program Manager

Bissell Centre

10527 – 96 Street

Edmonton, AB T5H 2H6

E-mail: abaxter@bissellcentre.org

We thank all applicants for their interest. However, only candidates selected for interview will be contacted.

Ten Tips for a Holly Jolly Christmas – Inclusion, FASD & That Christmas Dinner…

Thank you for the wisdom @FASD_Mum!

FASD: Learning with Hope


By @FASD_Mum

Ho Ho Oh Boy – it’s Christmastime. Again.

For those in the greater FASD community who celebrate Christmas this time of year is challenging.  Feeling more like Scrooge than we care to admit, we jump out of bed each morning with an eye toward Christmases Past, Present & Future.

Christmas Past

We have suffered the defeat of Christmases past – when time and again expectations have been dashed by the hard realities of life for a child with FASD.  Flashing lights.  Sparkly tinsel.  Spinning decorations. Dropping pine needles.  Anticipation.  Confusion. Disbelief. Unbearable excitement.  Inevitable disappointment.

Ten Christmas truths as we have come to know them from Christmases Past:

  1. Not all kids can handle the idea of a big man dressed in red coming down imaginary chimneys.
  2. Some can handle even less the idea that it might not happen.
  3. Santa’s naughty or nice list can cause great anxiety for…

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Wasted lives: The cost of alcohol addiction


The ongoing opioid crisis and rash of overdoses from illicit drugs has been at the forefront of many British Columbian’s minds, but the biggest, least discussed addiction on the rise in the province is a legal substance: alcohol.

B.C. has the highest rate in the country of hospitalizations entirely caused by alcohol, and consumption is rising faster in the province than elsewhere in Canada.

British Columbians who imbibe consume, on average, 9.4 litres of pure alcohol each year —   the equivalent of roughly 14 bottles of beer or two and half bottles of wine each week.

Consumption has continued to rise every year since 2012.

Addictions researcher Tim Stockwell said the provincial government’s policy to make alcohol available in more locations and at more times of the day is a factor in the high level of consumption.

“Efforts have been made to liberalize its availability without doing much to minimize some of the consequences,” said Stockwell.

Annual per capita alcohol consumption in B.C.

British Columbians, on average, drank 9.40 litres of absolute alcohol in 2016-2017, the equivalent of roughly 14 bottles of beer or two and half bottles of wine each week. (AOD Monitoring Project, Centre for Addictions Research of B.C./University of Victoria)

Day to day costs

Dr. Keith Ahamad, an addictions doctor at St. Paul’s Hospital and a researcher at the B.C. Centre on Substance Use, witnesses the consequences of alcohol addiction firsthand every day.

“The hospital is literally filled with the consequences of alcohol addiction,” Ahamad said. “The number of people that present to the emergency department as a direct consequence of acute alcohol intoxication day-to-day is overwhelming.”

Last year, at least 36 per cent of emergency room visits to St. Paul’s and Vancouver General Hospital for substance abuse were alcohol-related.

That number is conservative and just relates to cases where excessive drinking was the cause, Ahamad said.

It doesn’t include broken bones, injuries related to impaired driving, violence caused by someone who had been drinking or other long-term consequences of alcohol abuse.

By comparison, 24 per cent of emergency room visits relating to substance abuse were because of opioids.

In Canada, as a whole, there were more hospital admissions for alcohol-related conditions than for heart attacks last year and the cost to the medical system is high, with the average stay entirely caused by alcohol estimated at more than $8,000.

 Medical system response

Ahamad said a big part of the problem is the medical system’s response to alcohol addiction.

“The health-care system has just not been trained to screen for addiction appropriately,” he said.

Drinking isn’t going to disappear anytime soon, Ahamad said, but more needs to be done to reduce the harm.

“I think we have accepted that we do like alcohol,” he said. “We also have a culture around accepting alcohol in our society … We just have to minimize those risks.”

More focus is needed on preventative measures, harm reduction and comprehensive approaches to treating people with alcohol addiction, he said.

“It’s difficult to see day in and day out,” Ahamad said. “Alcohol consumption is a major, major public health concern.”

Retrieved from:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/wasted-lives-the-cost-of-alcohol-addiction-1.4432914?

Reframing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Studying Culture to Identify Communication Challenges and Opportunities

The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility Project


Reframing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Studying Culture to Identify Communication Challenges and Opportunities

Nathaniel Kendall-Taylor and Marissa Fond


Implicit cultural understandings challenge those working to increase public awareness and support for programs to prevent and address fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Understanding these cultural beliefs reveals key challenges that communicators face; it also helps identify opportunities to foster public engagement and build support for policies and programs that are important for reducing the prevalence of FASD as a public health issue. Through a series of interviews with members of the public in Manitoba, Canada, we identify the cultural models that members of the Manitoban public draw on to make sense of this issue. These models and their implications are used to create a set
of recommendations that can improve understanding of the issue, increase issue salience, and generate support for solutions. While the research presented is specific to Manitoba…

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image002Unlimited Potential Community Services (UP) is a non-profit charitable society that has been providing quality support and treatment since 1987.

Our goal is to restore stability and hope in the lives of children, youth, adults, and families so they can achieve personal independence and family unity.

UP believes cultural tradition is an important part of mental wellness, so we incorporate the culture and traditions of our clients wherever possible. UP invites applicants who are passionate about providing quality support to our clients through a culturally sensitive approach and helping us to work together towards our goal to support each child and family to reach their full potential.

Position overview: UP Community Services is currently looking for an organized individual to fill our Quality Assurance Coordinator role at the main office. This position reports directly to the Director of Quality Improvement and will be responsible to ensure quality improvement throughout the organization, including the successful implementation and continued practice of the Sanctuary Model.


• Promote agency-wide continuous quality improvement by assessing processes and making recommendations for improvements to enhance efficiency, effectiveness and productivity consistent with the agency’s goals, values and vision.

• Provide expertise in the areas of research and program evaluation.

• Work with programs to evaluate the efficacy of current services and delivery methods.

• Maintain a working knowledge of current and future programs to ensure compliance and efficiency.

• Conduct monitoring procedures such as data gathering, data review/analysis, and document/case file review, verification, and criteria development and make recommendations for improvement as appropriate.

• Lead CAC Accreditation, responsible for on-going, practice, training implementation and review of the standards.

• Lead Sanctuary Model implementation including:  working with all departments, the Core Team, and Steering Committee in implementing the Sanctuary Model to ensure certification;  being responsible for on-going training, education and practice of the Sanctuary Model to ensure continued certification.


• Bachelor’s degree required; however, consideration will be given to suitable combinations of education and experience also. Certification in a formal, recognized quality assurance program would be a strong asset.

• Minimum 5 years of related experience in a project manager/analyst role in the Human Services field.

• Strong analytical skills, critical thinking, and attention to detail are a must for this position.

• Demonstrated knowledge around the use of Data Management Systems such as Efforts to Outcomes (ETO); File MakerPro.

• An energetic, diligent work ethic and able to work with little supervision.

• Work well under pressure and demonstrated ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects simultaneously.

• Knowledge of Sanctuary Model and CAC Accreditation Standards would be a definite asset.

• A current, clear Police Information Check and Intervention Record Check.

Salary & Benefits: Salary Range: $58,175.00 – $70,800.00 per year (salary commensurate with experience and education). We also provide full-time employees with a 100% employer paid health benefits package (which includes vision, dental and prescription drug coverage, massage therapy, etc.) a 100% employer paid RRSP equaling 3% of annual salary and a flexible schedule. We also offer free courses and workshops in-house for all of our employees.

Closing Date: December 22, 2017

Our values are integrity, respect, excellence, humility and relationships. If you meet the entrance criteria, hold similar values and are looking to join a dynamic team that works hard to empower and support children, youth and families, please submit your resume and cover letter to Human Resources at opportunities@upcs.org

UP is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a safe, inclusive environment for people of all cultures and backgrounds; all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.

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