The Network’s vision is for individuals with FASD and their families to recognize themselves as safe, supported, valued and contributing members of the community.
In 1993, the Saskatchewan Institute on Prevention of Handicaps hosted a provincial symposium on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. A group of parents and caregivers of individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) connected at the symposium in recognition of the need for parent support.
The peer support group was helpful, but it soon became apparent that external support was necessary. There was an obvious absence of services and supports to individuals and families affected by FASD. So in 1995, the Saskatchewan Fetal Alcohol Support Network became incorporated. At that time, the group performed a needs assessment to determine common areas of concern and future direction.
During the twenty years after its incorporation the Network has experienced tremendous growth.
2002 – The Network opened its first office
2003 – Official website was launched
2004 – The Network’s first stable funding was received
2005 – The first education presentations were developed
2007 – The first edition of the ‘Awareness Guide’ was created
2011 – The Support Program was piloted
2015 – The Network launched its new visual identity
Although the current Network may not be recognizable as the small group of parents who started in 1993, the values of this organization originate from that first meeting. The spirit and determination of those caregivers will forever be the foundation of the Network.
It was their vision and hard work that allowed the Network to support and educate so many people through the years. It was their unwillingness to let the lack of services continue, their endless volunteer hours, their relentless pursuit of funding, and their incredible ability to care for their own families while supporting others that led to the last 20 years of success.
Now, in 2016, the future of the organization is bright. FASD is more prominent in the minds of the public; general awareness and understanding of the disability has increased throughout the province. The Network will continue to foster this growth through training and support.