With its registration with Health Nexus, the new provincial FASD organization, the Rural FASD Support Network formally organized on July 24 as a local FASD support organization. Tracy Moisin and Diane Greer were elected co-chairs, Shelley More and Diane Greer were elected co-treasurers, and Rob More was elected secretary/communications. Tanya Eichler was appointed the Caregiver Support Group Committee Chair and ad-hoc member, Stacey Crosbie was appointed Fundraiser Committee Chair and ad-hoc member and our four area FASD Key Workers, Mallory Dopson from Lanark, Megan Delin from Leeds-Grenville, our SDG Worker and Prescott-Russell Worker were extended permanent invitations to all Executive meetings and appointed Community Liaisons. Gillian Jackson, the Key Worker coordinator from Kids Inclusive was also in attendance. A member of the executive will also serve as the Network Liaison with the LLG FASD WorkGroup which is the FASD Service Provider organization. While they are our partners, they are completely separate from the Network.
We have separated the Network into two entities, Support Group and Advocacy Group. One, we provide a caregiver support group which will be launching on Sept 15 at Calvary Bible Church in Smiths Falls at 10:30am and every third Saturday morning of the month following that. Its focus is on supporting, connecting and educating caregivers. Two, the executive committee focuses on advocacy. Our focus for this year is on building FASD capacity and growing public awareness within the Lanark, Leeds-Grenville, SDG and Prescott-Russell area. Finally, with our Key Workers, we are connecting with our local service providers and building direction and capacity.
We are inviting everyone to the initial launch on Sept. 15 because we have Tanya Eichler, Psychotherapist, presenting on "How to recognize if someone is living with FASD." We also have two new members presenting their stories and their challenges and successes as caregivers. One is speaking from the perspective of a child caregiver and the other is speaking from the perspective of an adult caregiver. We are anticipating several local service providers in attendance from the Education, Justice, Mental Health, and Developmental Services sectors with media coverage. We will also be live-streaming the launch from our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/RuralFASDOntario/?ref=bookmarks If you are in the area or want to watch, please feel free to do so. We do have several new members that have joined in the last couple months and it would mean a lot to have them walk into a large supportive group on Sept. 15.
While we are not doing something specific for Sept. 9, Kingston and Ottawa are. https://www.facebook.com/events/307314979835069/ Ottawa and https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4G_PCr5fBe9ZGQyWjRubS00LXl5dnMzd0JNTVJFd0RxNkZz Kingston
As mentioned before, the County of Leeds-Grenville has also proclaimed Sept 9 as official FASD Awareness Day.
With this proclamation, the Brockville Times and Recorder which is also part of PostMedia decided to do a feature story on us as well. https://www.recorder.ca/news/local-news/rural-families-battle-fetal-alcohol-disorder As with any media coverage, we would encourage you to comment on the story. We always want to make it obvious to our media partners that their readers are interested in these type of stories.
Finally, Health Nexus is now accepting resumes from both caregivers and service providers to sit on their advisory committee that determines what FASD organizations will receive funding and for what purposes. I would encourage you to contact Angela if you are interested.
At some point, I will be writing about the importance of advocating the Ministry of Correctional Services as well. The Network is having lots of local conversations right now around this service and getting a very good perspective.
We are continuing to monitor Ministry staffing and this summer session and now anticipating at least another month before sitting down with Ministers and the Premier.