182018 Lessons from Canada: Supporting families caring for children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 12:30 PM

Sid Frankel, MSW, PhD , Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Harvy Frankel, MSW PhD , Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
This presentation will describe the perceptions of successful family caregivers of six to eighteen year old children diagnosed with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, regarding facilitating factors and barriers in their households, extended families, neighbourhoods, faith institutions, mutual aid organizations, service systems (social services, health services, education), and in the public and system policy domains. The data are from a qualitative study of 28 caregivers from 19 adoptive and birth families nominated as successful by service providers, using a set of criteria developed by an advisory committee composed of caregivers and professionals.

Findings included the following:

Facilitation from social work and health care providers related to positive attitudes, specialized knowledge, availability, and an orientation towards supporting the whole family, validation of caregivers, provision of information and high valuation of affected children.

Public health social workers can support kin caregiving by facilitating strategies parents identified as effective, including creating structured social environments, designing low stimulation physical environments, providing support, effective communication, behaviour modification approaches, appropriate caregiver expectations, and targeted change in the external environment as effective strategies.

Support of mutual aid organizations constitutes another strategy to facilitate family caregiving. They provide experiential information and affective and cognitive support, but many caregivers were not involved with them.

o Public health caregivers also can act to lower policy barriers related to the lack of integration of the overall service system, as well as by advocating to decrease barriers in the taxation, health care, social services, and educational systems.

Learning Objectives:
Identify useful stategies to support parental caregivers Determine the kind of support parental caregivers want Understand the specific caregiving challenges faced by parents

Keywords: Children, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: yes
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Kinship Care/Relative Caregivers
See more of: Social Work