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Manitoba To Implement Co-ordinated Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Strategy
Manitoba News Release
April 13, 2007
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Province To Specifically Target $7.5 Million In Prevention, Diagnostics and Intervention: Irvin-Ross, Mackintosh
Manitoba is building on efforts to prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and support those living with the effects of the disorder with additional funding to implement a co-ordinated FASD Strategy, Healthy Living Minister Kerri-Irvin Ross, minister responsible for Healthy Child Manitoba, and Family Services and Housing Minister Gord Mackintosh announced today.
“Alcohol use during pregnancy is the leading cause of preventable birth defects and developmental delays in Canadian children,” said Irvin-Ross. “Based on advice from passionate, dedicated individuals, evidence and best practices, our government has invested in a range of programs aimed at improving FASD prevention, detection and support.”In consultation with experts and community stakeholders, the made-in-Manitoba strategy will expand on existing multi-departmental, multi-million-dollar disability prevention activities as well as service supports available for people with FASD, from birth through adulthood.
To support those affected with the disorder in reaching their full potential as citizens in the community, the province will specifically target $7.5 million to co-ordinate services, diagnostics and interventions including:
· Spectrum Connections, a new $450,000 mobile team to help youth who are transitioning out of the foster care system and young adults in supported or independent living to access opportunities like housing, education and training, recreation, crisis services, family connections and mentoring;
· $600,000 in new funding for FASD specialists so that child and family services authorities can support agencies to provide services to families impacted by FASD;
· increased diagnostic services for adolescents;
· funds to enhance public education initiatives;
· a training strategy to improve existing service delivery systems for individuals with FASD;
· expansion of the successful Stop FASD program to three rural and/or northern communities in Manitoba;
· more support for women with addictions;
· more training supports for school divisions to implement best practice approaches to educating students with FASD; and
· increased research to guide the development of new programs and policies.
The FASD strategy incorporates community recommendations and builds on the Changes for Children strategy launched in October 2006.
As part of that strategy, $2.1 million is being allocated for FASD through Changes for Children.
“Working with the four child welfare authorities, we are determined to support child protection services. Since we implemented the Changes for Children strategy last fall, we have been working together to develop the best policies that help all children have access to safe, healthy lives,” said Mackintosh. “This strategy demonstrates some of those initiatives and practices.”
“In developing this FASD strategy, it has been important that the priority values of Changes for Children are kept front and centre: respect for the spirit of the Aboriginal Child Welfare Initiative and clear linkages to child welfare,” said Changes for Children co-chair Reg Toews.
Consultations with community partners will continue as the province further develops the FASD Strategy.
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