5150 Roger Stevens Dr.
Smiths Falls, ON K7A 4S6
Director of Children and Youth at Risk Branch
101 Bloor St. West 2nd floor
Toronto, ON M5S 2Z7
Dear Ms. Mlakar,
Thank you for your expedited reply to my Dec. 23 letter on January 16. I was extremely pleased to receive such an informative and heart-warming reply as was Nancy Lockwood of Citizen Advocacy in Ottawa.
I am very excited to see you are the individual heading this important policy development on our provincial strategy for FASD. Your presentation at the FASD One Symposium this past March was excellent and to know such an informed person is leading the charge is a real boost to our spirits. And to know you have Ms. Mannella, Mrs. Trott and Mr. Matrakis from your Mental Health Programs Unit as well as Ms. Lambert from the Healthy Kids Initiative bringing all this together is wonderful.
I do have a few items regarding your letter that I was hoping you could clarify. Within your letter, you state in paragraph two following the release of the roundtable report, the MCYS “engaged” in dialogue with various parties to seek input on how to move forward. I am assuming since you used the past tense that you have completed that dialogue and have now moved into the actual policy development phase. I did reach out to my contacts in the Ottawa FASD Support Group, Citizen Advocacy in Ottawa, the Lanark/Leeds/Grenville FASD Working Group, canFASD, NeuroDevNet and Ontario Federation of Friendship Centres to see if any of them were aware of this dialogue that you completed since the roundtable report. I didn’t get any affirmative replies; however, I recognize that is confidential information, and they may simply not be able to tell me.
As a former project manager for JDS Uniphase, it appears to me you are using the classic four stage approach to your strategy. You have completed stage one with your initial research and preliminary report. You have now moved to stage two where the policy development is now happening. I assume stage three of initial implementation using pilot projects will be next and finally, stage four of universal implementation will follow. While I recognize the data is still confidential, your estimated completion date for stage two should not be considered confidential. When do you estimate stage two will be completed?
As you may be aware, Citizen Advocacy Ottawa is hosting a national symposium on FASD this year on March 31 and April 1. Our audience would find a current update on the status and time frame of our provincial strategy to be extremely valuable information and would serve as huge boost to all of us who are currently struggling with FASD or providing care for those who have FASD.
Thank you for your time and work on this matter. As I said before, it is wonderful to have such a champion in our corner in making a difference for our province regarding FASD. I look forward to your reply.