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Difficulty with independent living is an issue faced by many adults with FASD. Research by Streissguth et al. showed that approximately 80% of adults with FASD in their study were living dependently.1  Streissguth et al.2  found that living in a stable supportive home was a protective factor against adverse life outcomes for individuals with FASD.

The Options for Independence Society is attempting to make stable independent living arrangements more attainable by providing living space and supports for adults with FASD in Whitehorse. “Dun Kenji KU“, meaning “The People’s Place” opened in February in Whitehorse as a supportive housing building for those with FASD. The Options for Independence Society carried out the project with support from the territorial and federal governments and the city of Whitehorse.

The 14 unit building includes supports such as affordable rent, connections to community resources, and on site supports such as cooking, cleaning and maintenance assistance as well as the provision of one meal a day.

Those involved in the project hope that the housing complex will lead to decreased strain on emergency resources and improved quality of life for those with FASD through increased stability.

To read more about the housing program, see the news articles below:

New housing opens for people with FASD” in Yukon News

Options for Independence Opens New Residence”  in Whitehorse Daily Star

Options for Independence, Whitehorse YT” from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

“‘Dun Kenji Ku,’ a place for people with FASD” on “Life in Yukon” Blog


  1. Streissguth, A.P., Barr, H.M., Kogan, J., & Bookstein, F.L. (1996). Understanding the Occurrence of Secondary Disabilities in Clients with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE): Final Report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Seattle: University of Washington, Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit.
  2. Streissguth, A.P., Bookstein, F.L., Barr, H.M., Sampson, P.D., O’Malley, K., & Young, J.K. (2004). Risk factors for adverse life outcomes in fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol effects. Journal of Developmental and Behavioural Pediatrics, 25, 228–238



A great opportunity for girls in the Edmonton, AB area!

Edmonton and area Fetal Alcohol Network Society

Summer Ad 2014

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strongest families

Strongest Families– Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a research program developed by Nova Scotia’s Centre for Research in Family Health at the IWK Health Centre in conjunction with the FASD Research Program at Queen’s University. The program was devised in response to the need for services and supports for those with FASD as well as empirical data to influence the delivery of those services. Funding for the program has come from CIHR’s Partnerships for Health Services Improvement, NeuroDevNet, and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The program uses input from key stakeholders to determine the need for services and supports and develop and evaluate a distance training program for parents/caregivers. The efficacy and feasibility of the intervention, as well as program outcomes, will be examined in a randomized control trial.

This research is interwoven with elements of knowledge translation, as researchers and knowledge users (i.e. families, health professionals, etc.) have been involved heavily in the process from the beginning.

The Strongest Families program has shown success in populations with neurodevelopmental disorders, and will be adapted for families with FASD. One advantageous aspect of the program is that it eliminates the need for families to travel to an intervention site on a regular basis, allowing participants to complete the intervention in their own homes and allowing the researchers to recruit participants from across the country.

The study team is currently building its recruitment network. If your clinic or organization is interested in supporting this trial by making study information available through your offices (posters/brochures) or websites, please contact Sue Kobus, Recruitment Coordinator at Queen’s University or Karen Turner, Study Coordinator at IWK Health Centre, Halifax, NS.

Recruitment will begin late spring 2014. Caregivers will be able to apply online.

Contact Information:

Dr. Patrick McGrath:

Dr. James Reynolds:

Karen Turner:

Toll-free: 1-877-341-8309 (menu item 4, then 1)

Sue Kobus:

Toll Free: 1-877-341-8309 (menu item 4, then 2)
Learn More




Attention families of children with FASD in the Edmonton area:

The University of Alberta is currently conducting research in learning and behaviour for children with FASD ages 4-18. Two of these studies are intervention studies aimed at improving learning.

If you are interested in participating or if you would like to know more, please email or call Lauren at (780) 735-7999 ext. 15631.



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