I am pleased to rise in the house today to update all members and Islanders on an important conference taking place in Atlantic Canada this week regarding “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or F-A-S-D” The Atlantic F.A.S.D. Regional Assembly officially opened this morning in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The theme for this conference is “Celebrating Successes and Setting Realistic Priorities.”
Delegates and guest speakers from across Canada are gathering to celebrate the best practices, to honour the work accomplished … and to set realistic priorities in addressing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
Provincial and federal government representatives are sitting down with various community organizations to discuss this important issue … and to find ways to help families affected by FASD.
The objectives of the conference are:
- To improve linkages and collaboration among the community, government and academic sectors on FASD work
- To hear from FASD leaders on current national and Atlantic initiatives to advance FASD policy and programming
- To build the capacity of Public Health Agency of Canada-funded family resource centres throughout the region to do FASD support
- To share current research evidence and knowledge on best and promising practices in FASD prevention, assessment/diagnosis, intervention and support.
This conference is a tremendous opportunity for stakeholders to come together to discuss and to learn about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. The conference involves leading researchers, policy makers and program deliverers, and people who have or work with those affected by FASD every day.Representatives from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Health PEI, the Interministerial Women’s Secretariat … and various community organizations are also participating in the Assembly in Halifax today and tomorrow.
Following this conference, all delegates will have an opportunity to review discussions and develop recommendations for their respective governments and community stakeholders. Two committees are now in place in Prince Edward Island that are tasked with providing advice on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder:
- A Provincial FASD Advisory Committee
- And the Atlantic FASD Intergovernmental Partnership includes representatives from the Department of Health and Wellness and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is committed to working with all partners and various government departments. The common goal is to ensure all women have the supports they need during pregnancy and all children in our One Island Community have a safe and healthy start in life.