Throughout the lifetime of individuals with FASD, their families and other caregivers are often their most persistent advocates and crucial contributors to their physical, mental and social well-being. Supports to caregivers are a very important focus for CFAN and in 2016-17 we funded five programs for caregivers. As well, we convened the CFAN Caregivers Advisory Committee, which is positioned to offer input to CFAN direction and lead activities such as the Caregivers’ Night Out and FASD Day events.

Results of the Best and Emerging Practices research project showed that families and other caregivers have needs for practical recommendations, education and training that they can adapt to their personal situation in their caregiving and advocacy roles. Among other needs, the Best and Emerging Practices research found strong evidence for the importance of a stable home life and reducing the number of placements for children and youth in foster care; training, support and funding for biological, adoptive and foster parents; and support for caregivers through counselling, peer support, and respite opportunities. In 2016-17, 202 caregivers were served by CFAN-funded programs.

Caregiver Survey

2016-17 Results as Reported by the Caregiver Survey

CFAN-funded program satisfaction and access

  • 96% report the program met their needs
  • 100% report satisfaction with the program
  • 91% report satisfaction with the supports received
  • 77% report having access to the programs and services they need (community service referrals)
  • 79% report increased knowledge of available (community) services to help themselves, their family and/or children

Caring for child/ren
After involvement in CFAN-funded programs, caregivers report

  • 86% report knowing how FASD affects their child/ren
  • 91% report the supports they received from the program helped them to feel more capable of caring for their child/ren
  • 88% report increased knowledge of what works best for their child/ren
  • 93% report feeling capable of caring for their child/ren
  • 89% report knowing the areas in which their child/ren needs help

Family Functioning
After involvement in CFAN-funded programs, caregivers report

  • 82% report their family life has improved

Comments from Caregivers

The staff have been really good at helping me with my FASD child. They are very supportive when I need help
Having this agency available over the child’s lifespan and the always changing expectations at the different stages is and will be very appreciated. Thank you for always being there. I always know I can call.

CFAN Priority Outcomes

In alignment with the Best Practices research findings, CFAN's priority outcomes for caregivers are as follows:

Parents and caregivers

  • are able to access appropriate supports in a timely manner
  • have increased capacity to support their child/dependent/loved one
  • have access to FASD training and resources
  • experience decreased stress
  • experience increased mental health
  • have access to appropriate and trained respite supports
  • have healthy social support networks

 

 

 

 

Mental Health
After involvement in CFAN-funded programs, caregivers report

  • 66% report increased mental health
  • 63% report having access to mental health supports should they need them
  • 70% report they are better able to manage their stress levels
  • 79% report having time for self care

Respite
After involvement in CFAN-funded programs, caregivers report

  • 45% report having access to reliable and trained respite care
  • 39% report having access to respite when needed

Training
After involvement in CFAN-funded programs, caregivers report

  • 73% report having access to training around being a caregiver for someone with FASD

Social Supports
After involvement in CFAN-funded programs, caregivers report

  • 77% report having friends, family, and other supports they can access if they need help in the future
  • 63% report the program helped them to increase their social network
 
As a family that is new to Alberta, I have been very pleased with the support that I receive from (the agency). The staff are knowledgeable about resources, supports, and strategies. They are my first call when I am faced with an issue or problem relating to my daughter’s behaviour.