Communities world wide are coming to recognise that FASD touches all facets of life and society. The experience and awareness of Whitecrow Village, brought by our participants and staff, continues to both identify and clarify the aspects of our lives that are adversely affected by misunderstandings of FASD. We began by identifying the needs of children, and then the needs of their parents and caregivers. We have since extended our reach to include professionals from the numerous fields that are touched by FASD.
Many of the children with FASD who came to our initial programs have grown into young adults and now participate as L.I.F.E. Session team leaders. These young adults are competent and successful as members of a team in our live-in training environment; however, away from this setting and on their own, they are vulnerable to the many secondary characteristics associated with their disability (i.e. homelessness, addiction, incarceration and legal problems, social isolation, and suicide). Similarly, parents and caregivers who find support, knowledge and understanding within Whitecrow Village programs often remark on how the safety and success engendered by the Whitecrow community stands in contrast to their experiences in broader society. Professionals with whom we collaborate, including those from legal, medical, education, and social service, backgrounds, speak of the risk of isolation and burn out due to misconceptions of FASD.
The immediate need is for an understanding of FASD to be available in everyday social settings. The implications of misunderstanding FASD pervade all societal spheres; there is an ongoing and pressing need to disseminate an active understanding of FASD to all members of society. Whitecrow Village has demonstrated success in response to this need, and offers a model that continues to serve and to be sought after by people of many social and professional domains.