Wednesday, 20 May 2020

FASD and Youth Housing

If you are finding life to be similar to us, life has very much became a marathon now.  Everyday is an exercise in self-discipline and trying to maintain some sense of routine.  We are finding we need to set our alarm to go off every morning to encourage us to get up and start our work day.  We need to follow our morning routine and have built in our day that the girl’s support worker always calls at 10am and does an initial activity with them over Zoom conferencing.  The kids move pretty slow in the morning while my wife and I are getting our work done.  The afternoon focus turns on them and working through their school work.  We always stop at 4pm and go for our walk or ride as a family which is absolutely a highlight.  Finally, with this beautiful weather, we focus on the yard after supper.
While this is our new normal, it is interesting to see all the online resources that are being offered now.  One of the big challenges we are finding, after spending hours online with my work, the kids’ work and the beautiful weather, is we really don’t want to be in front of screens watching other webinars and resources.  

However, a couple items that might be of interest to you is a short series of workshops that Kids Inclusive, who serve as the LHIN for our area, are doing on the F-Words from CanChild.  The F-Words are protective factors that can help any child with a disability and are evidence-based from around the world.  This June 9 workshop will give caregivers an opportunity to connect with each other.

We also had a presentation done for the Rural FASD Support Network by Terrilee
Kelford of Cornerstone Landing.  Terrilee sits on a national advisory council related to youth homelessness and was gracious enough to share some of her knowledge.  As part of the presentation, she conducted a survey within our membership as to what type of housing makes the most sense for adults with FASD.  She found between the options of living at home, living in group home, living as a boarder, living in an apartment with immediate support, or living in an apartment without immediate support, 70% of responders said living in an apartment with immediate support made the most sense.  She also shared the model we use in Lanark County is called Housing First.  Essentially, we make sure the housing situation is taken care of first, then we focus on overcoming our challenges.  We don’t require compliance, good choices, or overcoming challenges like addictions to be done before offering a housing option.  Just like we hear in our education, justice and support sectors, someone with FASD can’t be expected to earn or gain housing unless we already have the necessary protective factors in place. To learn more about FASD and Housing, please watch the following video:

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