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The College of New Caledonia (CNC) has developed a FASD-informed training curriculum to support their FASD informed guide and in response to the expressed needs of three national programs supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) that focus on healthy birth outcomes and healthy outcomes for children.

FASD Trauma Informed guide“Facilitating a Collaborative, Strength-based Approach to FASD Informed Practice:  Western Region BC” was developed following consultations with workers in The Community Action Program for Children (CAPC), the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP), and Aboriginal Head Start (AHS in BC). Workers and administrators wanted help in adjusting their practice of working with women, children and families to include FASD-informed approaches.

These trainings were delivered on-site to approximately 350 people during 2014-2016. Developed by Anne Guarasci and Barb Durban with funding from PHAC, the curriculum, in the form of PowerPoint presentations, has been refined for distribution and consists of three separate presentations each with a particular focus, but all include a primer on FASD including current diagnostic terminology.

1. “Supporting Marginalized Parents who may have FASD” — This presentation focuses on what causes FASD, how it is diagnosed, and who is at risk; the complex nature of prevention and why a holistic, relational approach is required; behavioural and cognitive cues that may indicate FASD; and, the fundamentals of an FASD-informed practice.

Empower guide2. “Strategies and Structures for Supporting Marginalized Women and Families who may have FASD” — Participants explore practices and communication skills that empower and support clients and build relationships; examine individual and agency perceptions, policies and structures in order to reduce barriers to relationship and services for clients; and, develop FASD-specific communication strategies. Client “compliance” issues are re-examined within the context of brain functioning. FASD diagnostic terminology and pathways to access assessment and diagnosis are reviewed.

3. “FASD Prevention” — Using a FASD-informed approach as described in CNC guides (1,2) and the work of Deb Rutman (3), this training builds on the 4 levels of prevention of FASD in Canada (4): awareness and health promotion; brief counseling with women and girls of childbearing age; specialized prenatal support; and postpartum support.  How FASD-informed and trauma-informed approaches overlap is explored along with many strategies for working with women, including those who may have FASD, such as building relationships and reducing barriers through reflective practice, Motivational Interviewing, harm reduction, and individualized services.

The FASD-informed practice training curricula is intended for training of program coordinators and administrators, new frontline workers and seasoned workers who may benefit from a refresher. A year-long evaluation of the training was conducted by Deborah Rutman, and the results will be available for presentation in this blog space, in the next few months.

For more about FASD-informed work, see earlier posts:


REFERENCES/SUGGESTED READING

  1. Guarasci, Anne (2013). FASD Informed Practice for Community Based Programs. Burns Lake, BC: College of New Caledonia – Lakes District Campus.
  2. Guarasci, Anne (2011). Empowering Front-Line Staff and Families Through a Collection of Lived Experiences: Supporting Women Who Have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Behaviours and Characteristics and/or Other Related Disabilities. Burns Lake, BC: College of New Caledonia – Lake District Campus.
  3. Rutman, D. (2011). Substance using women with FASD and FASD prevention: Voices of women with FASD: Promising approaches in substance use treatment and care for women with FASD. Victoria, BC: University of Victoria.
  4. Poole, Nancy A. (2008). Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Prevention: Canadian Perspectives. Public Health Agency of Canada: Ottawa, ON.

 

For the last four years, HerWay Home in Victoria, BC, has been providing outreach, medical and social services to pregnant and parenting women with difficult lives in a one-stop supportive environment. On June 23 from 9:00-10:00 a.m. PST, there will be a free webinar to share the results of a first-phase evaluation of HerWay.

Deborah Rutman and Carol Hubberstey of Nota Bene Consulting, and Nancy Poole of BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health will discuss lessons learned and promising practices, and lead a discussion on working with pregnant and parenting women affected by substance use, violence and mental health issues. With its child-focused, women-centred and family focused approach, HerWay Home encourages positive parenting and healthy outcomes for children and women.

Click here for more information and register by June 20th at http://fluidsurveys.com/surveys/bccewh/herway-home-evaluation-webinar/

To learn more about HerWay home and similar programs, see these previous postings:

 

2015 Conference

The BC Association of Pregnancy Outreach Programs (BCAPOP) is made up of Pregnancy Outreach Programs from across British Columbia.

Pregnancy Outreach Programs provide free prenatal and early parenting support to women who experience health or lifestyle challenges during pregnancy, birth and the transition to parenting. The BCAPOP supports POPs in their work to enhance maternal and infant health for the long-term benefit of communities. Many of the programs work with women who are at high risk of having a child with FASD.

The 19th Annual BCAPOP Conference and Annual General Meeting will be held October 27-29, 2015 in Richmond, BC. The theme of this year’s conference is “Embracing Diversity and Celebrating Inclusion.” Keynote speakers include Diane Malbin who will be talking about “FASD — Normalizing Discomfort and Creating Comfort” and Jessica Ball who will discuss “Ensuring Cultural Safety in Services for Indigenous Children and Families.

Learn more about the conference here.

fasd-warning-signage-info-kit-booklet-web

The government of British Columbia recently released Alcohol and Pregnancy: Warning Signage Information Kit for Local Governments in British Columbia.

Over the past decade, several B.C. municipalities have passed bylaws under the Community Charter Act requiring alcohol retailers to post point-of-sale FASD warning or prevention signs.

Point-of-sale prevention messages can be helpful in:

  1. Influencing knowledge and levels of awareness, changing attitudes and beliefs, and (with sufficient exposure) reducing risk behaviours;
  2. Encouraging information seeking;
  3. Conveying information about how to make positive change;
  4. Indicating where to receive support and services; and
  5. Encouraging people who already know the facts.

This new resource provides city councils with information about the rationale for point-of-purchase FASD warning and prevention sign bylaws and discusses the form and types of messages that can be effective, including
examples of recommended messages designed to help prevent/reduce drinking in pregnancy and promote health among women of childbearing ages.

While intended for a local audience, the information about effective messaging as well as issues such as visibility, recall, and comprehension of signs will be helpful for anyone involved in developing FASD awareness materials. Appendix 3 is especially valuable with a discussion of alcohol and pregnancy messages for women at different levels of risk.

The resource can be downloaded from the BC government website.

Pages from 93611 BCWA Booklet proof

Earlier this year, the British Columbia government released a revised version of Women and Alcohol: A Women’s Health Resource.

This 12-page resource “was written by women for women, to provide useful information about alcohol and to help women make healthy and well-informed choices about alcohol use.”

It has six sections:

  1. Low Risk Drinking
  2. Health Risks of Drinking
  3. Individual Responses to Alcohol
  4. Considerations for Women
  5. Supporting Someone Close to You
  6. Resources

intro

considerations for women

The update includes information on Canada’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines (released in 2011) and recent research on the relationship between alcohol and cancer as well as other chronic diseases. Pregnancy and breastfeeding are discussed in the section on “Considerations for Women.”

The resource complements the Problem Drinking Guidelines and Protocols released by the BC Ministry of Health in 2013 for physicians. Physicians are encouraged to conduct brief interventions related to alcohol use and are able to bill for their time using specific diagnostic codes for this purpose.

Also available from the BC government is the International FASD Awareness Day Toolkit and the Pregnancy and Alcohol info sheet from HealthLink, an online directory of health information.

International FASD Awareness Day toolkit

The Liquor Distribution Branch (one of two branches of government in British Columbia responsible for the beverage alcohol industry) has developed educational materials about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy, including brochures and posters which are available to health care workers throughout the province.

In September (FASD month), BC Liquor Stores feature signage and brochures in stores to help raise awareness with the tagline “We believe that healthy mothers and babies need everyone’s support. Remember: alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix.”

SR_FASD_Web poster

 

 

Final HWH conference date saver

HerWay Home in Victoria, BC is organizing a community conference and networking event for September 29, 2014.

HerWay Home is a child-focused, women-centred, family-oriented drop-in and outreach program for pregnant women and new moms with substance use challenges and their children.

When: Monday September 29, 2014

Where:  DaVinci Centre, 195 Bay Street, Victoria

Time:  09:00 – 4:00

Cost: Free to those attendees from Vancouver Island. A minimal charge of $50 to attendees from off the island.

Who should attend: HWH works with women who are pregnant or early parenting and also affected by substance use, mental health issues, violence, and trauma. This conference will be of interest to those working with women or in settings that are more focused on working with the baby (such as the NICU, foster care etc.),  along with those working on the social determinants of health such as housing, poverty, food security.

Registration information will be available in August. For more information or if you have any questions please contact HerWay Home at  Herwayhome@viha.ca

For more information about HerWay Home, see earlier posts:

Learning Series Flyer 3c

Over the past year, the BC Ministry of Health in collaboration with the BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health has been supporting educational sessions in Health Authorities across British Columbia for service providers who have the opportunity to engage with women of childbearing age on alcohol use during pregnancy and related concerns.

Service providers have included: nurses, pregnancy outreach program providers, transition housing/violence service workers, social workers, doulas, midwives, physicians, mental health workers and substance use service providers working in both Aboriginal and other communities.

Current or past experiences of trauma and violence can be a major reason why women continue to drink alcohol during pregnancy. The third webinar in this series will examine trauma-informed approaches to FASD prevention. (For more on alcohol, pregnancy and trauma-informed practice, check out this section of the Coalescing on Women and Substance use website)

Thursday, June 12, 2014
9:00 – 10:00 am (PDT)
Presenters: Nancy Poole, Cristine Urquhart, Frances Jasiura

To register, visit http://fluidsurveys.com/s/A-Learning-Series-3

5_preganancy

Webinar2-UpdatedResources_May82014

The BC Ministry of Health and the BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health (BCCEWH)  has been offering one-day face-to-face training sessions on motivational interviewing and FASD prevention across British Columbia.

As part of this initiative, they have also been offering a series of webinars (open to all, not just those who attended the training) to continue the learning in an on-line setting.

The slides and the presentation recordings from the first two webinars have now been posted on the BCCEWH website here.

The first webinar discussed working with women who may themselves have FASD and the second webinar introduced a series of new resources on women and alcohol and provide examples on how to incorporate these resources into your work with women.

The second webinar focused on a recently updated resource Women and Alcohol: A Women’s Health Resource which can be downloaded from the BC Ministry of Health website here.

A third webinar will be held in mid-June.

Pages from 93611 BCWA Booklet proof

Learning Series Flyer 2c

Over the past year, the BC Ministry of Health in collaboration with the BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health has been supporting educational sessions in Health Authorities across British Columbia for service providers who have the opportunity to engage with women of childbearing age on alcohol use during pregnancy and related concerns.

Service providers have included: nurses, pregnancy outreach program providers, transition housing/violence service workers, social workers, doulas, midwives, physicians, mental health workers and substance use service providers working in both Aboriginal and other communities.

The second in this series of webinars will introduce a newly updated resource by the BC government and discuss the latest research on women and alcohol, including issues such  stroke, heart disease and cancer.

Thursday, May 8 , 2014
9:00 – 10:00 am (PDT)
Presenters: Nancy Poole, Tasnim Nathoo, Teresa Chiesa, Cristine Urquhart, Frances Jasiura

To register, visit http://fluidsurveys.com/s/A-Learning-Series-2/

Pages from 93611 BCWA Booklet proof

 

Learning Series Flyer 1 (2)_Page_1

Over the past year, the BC Ministry of Health in collaboration with the BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health has been supporting educational sessions in Health Authorities across British Columbia for service providers who have the opportunity to engage with women of childbearing age on alcohol use during pregnancy and related concerns.

Service providers have included: nurses, pregnancy outreach program providers, transition housing/violence service workers, social workers, doulas, midwives, physicians, mental health workers and substance use service providers working in both Aboriginal and other communities.

Starting this week, a series of webinars will be offered to follow-up on key ideas introduced in the training sessions as well as new issues and topics. The first webinar is on working with women who have FASD themselves.

Friday, March 28 , 2014
9:00 – 10:00 am (PST)
Presenters: Anne Guarasci, Rita Marshall, Deborah Rutman, Hanna Scrivens, Arlene White

To register, please go to: http://fluidsurveys.com/s/A_Learning_Series/

 

Overview: Four Levels of FASD Prevention

Information Sheet: What Men Can Do To Prevent FASD

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