FASD and Justice Webcast

The Government of Alberta Human Services is holding a free webcast on FASD and Justice.

Please see below invite

Register now for the March 24, 2016 Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Webcast

This is a great opportunity to take advantage of another free webcast, titled: FASD and Justice, which runs for one hour and thirty minutes.

Representatives from both the youth and adult justice programs operating in Lethbridge and the southern Alberta region will introduce their programs. The presentation will include the benefits of being a member of a police department, the convenience of having access to the correctional center and the importance of having community partners. The youth and adult justice programs focus on working in collaboration with community partners and advocating for those affected by FASD.


Date: Thursday, March 24, 2016

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Speaker: Sabrina Hacker and Roberta Smallbones

Register Here

Format: Live webcast presentation with Q & A

Cost: FREE! Please share with your networks

Q & A: You can pose questions to the speakers through the live chat functionality

SPEAKERS: Sabrina Hacker – Is the FASD Adult Justice and Community Outreach Program Coordinator.  Sabrina worked in local law enforcement as the Dangerous Dog Officer for 11 years.  Sabrina became a certified member of NACA level three and was recognized as being the highest trained officer in Canada. In 2004 Sabrina went back to school majoring in Justice Studies/Corrections. Upon graduating Sabrina was approached to create a diversionary Justice Program that would identify the struggles FASD clients face in main stream Justice. Once identified, the program develops a case plan, connects with community partners and works collaboratively to reduce recidivism.

Cst. Roberta Smallbones – Is the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Youth Justice Project Officer with the Lethbridge Police Service. This specialty position works with local agencies that provide services for individuals with FASD.   Roberta Smallbones has been a member with the Lethbridge Regional Police Service since 2002. She started her career in the Community Policing Division (Patrols) as a constable. She was also a School Resource Officer, she developed and delivered curricula and provided mentorship to youth.  Additionally, as part of a threat assessment team, she worked to identify and assess students that were potentially dangerous to themselves or others and made appropriate recommendations and referrals. In 2013, she completed a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. In January 2014 she took on the role of the FASD Youth Justice Project Officer. Roberta is also a Provisional Psychologist.
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Invisible – Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and the Justice System – 28th Video Series

This video features the personal stories of three people with FASD and their struggles within the justice system. Invisible exposes the myths and realities of FASD and what experts believe is needed to help offenders with the disorder.

To order this DVD go to http://www.bearpaweducation.ca/videos

Disclaimer:  The views and opinions in this video are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Edmonton and Area Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Network.

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Canada’s own infant health emergency

Brazil Zika Abortion Backlash

Canadians have watched with dismay and compassion as the Zika virus takes its toll in South America. The vivid images of totally unprepared young mothers cuddling newborns afflicted with microcephaly — abnormally small heads indicative of brain damage — are heart-wrenching. It’s not difficult to imagine the future suffering of these children and families.

The virus is present in more than 20 southern countries, especially Brazil, and both regional and international responses have been swift and dramatic. Thousands of soldiers have been dispatched door-to-door in areas where infectious mosquitoes breed, dispensing sleeping nets and information about the apparent links between the virus and birth defects. Both the World Health Organization and World Bank have offered help. The Zika virus is now an official global health emergency.

 So far, it’s estimated that immediate Zika costs in affected areas will exceed $3 billion, much of this in lost trade and tourism opportunities. The Public Health Agency of Canada has rated the risk of the Zika virus in Canada as “very low.”

The rapid response to the Zika crisis is a bitter and ironic tableau for Canadians engaged in a long, thankless struggle with a far more insidious enemy: FASD — fetal alcohol syndrome disorder.

About 3,000 Canadian babies are born every year with prenatal, alcohol-related brain injuries at a cost of about $8 billion annually. FASD is Canada’s leading cause of preventable birth disabilities.

FASD is a global affliction, the result of drinking during pregnancy. It is known to occur in every class and culture, but emerges especially in isolated communities living in conditions of extreme poverty. It has ravaged Canada’s indigenous population, particularly in northern remote areas where unemployment, poor health care, and inadequate and overcrowded housing prevail.

Unlike children with microencephaly, FASD in children is rarely detectable or diagnosed at birth. Children with FASD may have average or above-average intelligence. Complications often may not appear until school age. The handicaps it imposes are various and complex; they include faulty reasoning, depression, poor emotional and impulse control, exaggerated susceptibility to the influence of others, violence, and drug and alcohol addiction.

As the newborn victims of the Zika virus are likely to be, Canada’s FASD children are innocents facing a life sentence with no known cure. Only the country’s health-care professionals are aware of the urgency surrounding supports for today’s kids and preventing FASD altogether.

But the national conversation about alcohol-induced birth injuries has been botched. Earlier and misplaced condemnation of desperate drinking mothers overwhelmed by their circumstances may have given way to a more supportive approach, but otherwise, simple avoidance of the reality of FASD prevails. In heartfelt public discussions of the issues aboriginal leaders are tackling, the role of FASD is rarely mentioned. Those include homelessness, the number of children in care, runaways, high levels of youth suicide and the disproportionate number of indigenous men and women in Canada’s prisons.

One point frequently made in private is the sardonic idea that the white man is the aboriginal person’s most challenging burden. FASD fuels employment for everyone — in health care, in law enforcement, in the courts, in social work, in jails — jobs for everyone, except for aboriginal peoples.

The federal government has proclaimed its intention to rebuild Canada’s relationship with First Nations peoples into one that can be described as “nation to nation,” a partnership of genuine equals. Its priorities so far appear to be involving indigenous peoples in environmental decisions, and getting to the truth behind Canada’s missing and murdered aboriginal women, both of which are long overdue.

The prevention of FASD and the abject poverty it produces need to be added to the prime minster’s list.

Lesley Hughes is a Winnipeg writer.

Retrieved from: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/analysis/canadas-own-infant-health-emergency-369982881.html