At Whitecrow Village, we believe that the gift of FASD is the
gift of community. By building healthy and stable communities for persons with FASD, we begin to build stronger relationships within all of society. Our Whitecrow Village community – and the programs we provide – improve the lives of families and professionals. Whitecrow Village gives a hope and an understanding that moves societies forward together toward a healthier future for all.
The financial burden on society as a result of misunderstanding FASD is heavy. In Canada, lifetime expenses associated with FASD have been estimated to range from $1.4 million to $5 million per affected person. Much of this cost arises from the secondary characteristics of FASD (which include mental health issues, alcohol and drug addictions, homelessness, and dependent living). These result from a lack of recognition of and inappropriate accommodation for the primary, brain based disabilities. Whitecrow Village programs aim to alleviate both financial and personal costs by providing true and complete understanding of FASD to families, individuals, communities, and social service professionals.
The foundation of all Whitecrow Village programs is respectful relationship. Other essential elements include: equality and interdependence; routine; structure and consistency; caring honesty; a focus on strengths; anticipation of success; celebration of unique contributions; intentional, effective, and respectful communication; predictable daily routine; and awareness of tangible and intangible environment. We consistently model appropriate language, actions, attitude, healthy nutrition, and self-care. We insist on maintaining these elements of our model as we know that they not only prevent problems, they also enhance solutions.
Whitecrow Village is a community of people who value and respect each other for the gifts, abilities, and teachings each brings. We recognise that every human being has an innate need to belong, to contribute, and to be a part of the fabric of family and community life. The Whitecrow Village team members – both those who have FASD and those who do not – work together as equals. As they each give and receive; they learn from one another. Whitecrow Village is a successful combination of philosophy and appropriate environmental accommodations.
Many educational programs regarding FASD are available. Some are misleading and inaccurate, others provide good information. However, information alone is not enough to bring meaningful understanding. FASD is a disability that cannot truly be understood through books, lectures, or on-line learning; it must be experienced. Whitecrow Village offers this experiential education in a way that clearly demonstrates both the potential for success and the elements needed to achieve that success. Many medical, educational and social service professionals come to Whitecrow Village as volunteers having had “all the training” and say afterward that their experiences with us have been transformative. They have realised just how much there is to learn and, more importantly, how much of a difference some small changes in their practice can make.
At Whitecrow Village parents and children find safety and the recognition that they are not alone in the realities of their daily lives. All find hope for their futures and for the future of their communities.