Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development, has issued the following statement in recognition of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Prevention and Support Month:
"People living with disabilities are faced with unique challenges every day, especially those whose disabilities are surrounded by stigma or shame. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disability that approximately 40,000 people in B.C. live with each day. Sadly, the unique experiences of those living with FASD often get overshadowed by misunderstanding and inadequate information, making the lives of those navigating this journey even more difficult.
“September is FASD Prevention and Support Month. This month serves as a dedicated period to raise awareness, foster understanding surrounding the challenges faced by the people and families affected by FASD, and supports prevention approaches. It is also a time to recognize and celebrate the strengths that these individuals bring to our communities.
“The theme for this year’s FASD Prevention and Support Month – Uniting our Strengths: Finding Solutions Together – resonates deeply with me and highlights the need for a collective effort to understand, support and uplift children and families affected by FASD.
“I am deeply moved by the reality that children with support needs, particularly those affected by FASD, have often been underserved. I am delighted to announce a $250,000 grant for the Inspire Kids – FASD Support Society of BC, an organization dedicated to supporting those affected by FASD. Inspire Kids’ work with families of children living with FASD aligns with our vision to create an environment where every child can thrive and reach their full potential. This funding will help them extend their reach and continue to provide invaluable support to families of children with FASD in B.C.
“My ministry is committed to continuing to provide responsive support to families and children with support needs. As a powerful reminder of our commitment to stand beside those affected by FASD and raise awareness for FASD Prevention and Support Day, B.C.’s Parliament Buildings were lit with red on Sept. 1.
“As we journey through FASD month and mark FASD day, let us remember that FASD affects each one of us. FASD is not just a medical term, it is a journey that uniquely affects each individual, shaping their world in complex ways.
“As minister of children and family development, I am committed to ensuring every child and family has access to the supports they need to live a full, happy and healthy life. We will continue taking action to increase access to underserved children and youth with support needs alongside our efforts to spread awareness, share knowledge and support those whose lives are touched by FASD.”