Grants Totalling $762,120 Awarded for FASD

VICTORIA, Sept. 22 /CNW/ - Five grants totalling $762,120 have been awarded from the $10-million Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Action Fund established by the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development and held by the Victoria Foundation.

"FASD is the most common birth defect occurring in the western world," said the fund's advisory committee chair Jan Lutke. "This brain injury is permanent and results in lifelong challenges in all areas across the lifespan."

September is FASD awareness month in Canada. Health Canada estimates that for every 1,000 births, nine infants will be affected by FASD.

"These grants will promote prevention and education on FASD, and fund projects designed to improve the quality of life for people living with the disorder," said Victoria Foundation board chair Chuck Burkett.

The FASD Action Fund was established in 2006 with three focuses: $2 million to promote prevention, public education, and parent and caregiver education; $7 million for projects that focus on improving outcomes for children and youth with FASD; and $1 million in an endowment fund to help attract additional funding through community contributions.

"This government is committed to supporting the healthy development of every child, youth and family in B.C.," said Children and Family Development Minister Mary Polak. "Development of FASD prevention programs and support systems for children and youth living with FASD and their families is included in the Province's Strong, Safe and Supported action plan, and we're pleased to partner with the Victoria Foundation in addressing this need."

The Victoria Foundation is a community foundation that manages funds gifted to them either in perpetuity or for specific purposes, such as the FASD Action Fund. The funds or the earnings from them are then distributed through grants for charitable purposes.

Since 2003, the Ministry of Children and Family Development has provided the Victoria Foundation with $57 million to help communities throughout B.C. meet the needs of children, youth and their families. More than 180 organizations and thousands of British Columbians have benefited from these funds.

For more information on the FASD Action Fund or to donate to it, visit the Foundation website at www.victoriafoundation.bc.ca or call 250-381-5532.

List of funded projects below.

    
    Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Action Fund Grants for Promoting
    Prevention, Public Education, and Parent and Caregiver Education
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Recipient             Grant Purpose                             Amount
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    John Howard           This project will educate front-line      $219,168
    Society of the        workers in the criminal justice system
    on identifying        and responding to young adults with
    Central And South     FASD, and provide a point of referral
    Okanagan              and professional support for affected
                          individuals.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Pacific Community     This project will develop an Aboriginal   $179,610
    Resources Society     approach to preventing FASD and engaging
                          parents and caregivers. Police-specific
                          FASD training will also be adapted for
                          all service agencies in the criminal
                          justice system.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Women's Health        This project will support mothers with    $156,300
    Research Institute    substance use problems who have
                          permanently lost a child who are at risk
                          of having a future child with FASD
                          through education and support.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Alberni Valley FASD   This initiative aims to reduce continued  $110,042
    Community Action      involvement of Aboriginal youth affected
    Group                 by FASD in the criminal justice system
                          through awareness and education for both
                          youth and professionals.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Fetal Alcohol         This project will develop and pilot FASD   $97,000
    Spectrum Disorder     training for professionals and service
    Society of BC         providers who help youth navigate the
                          criminal justice system, specifically
                          for those with a language disability
                          and associated reasoning impairment.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

SOURCE Victoria Foundation

For further information: For further information: Media information contact: Sharlene Smith, Victoria Foundation, (250) 658-1583

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