Fetal Alcohol Resource Program

Many Canadians are living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Although FASD is present from birth, individuals are often not diagnosed until later in life when symptoms related to learning challenges and a range of social problems emerge.

The Fetal Alcohol Resource Program aims to support the large numbers of people affected by this permanent brain injury. Through education and community leadership development the program draws together resources, skills and knowledge that exists in Ottawa and provides community navigation for individuals affected by FASD and their families.

What is FASD?

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a medical diagnosis that describes the range of effects that can occur when a developing baby is prenatally exposed to alcohol:

FASD is an invisible physical disability.

Symptoms can include:
Learning disabilities
Memory issues
Impulsivity (acting without thinking)
Lifelong physical challenges
Difficulty managing behaviour and social situations.

Did you know more than a million Canadians could have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?

A recent study of Toronto area students (aged 7 to 9 years) found that 2%-3% have FASD (CAMH, 2018).

Many people living with FASD are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with disorders such as Autism and ADHD.

FASD is an invisible disability: it is the leading cause of preventable developmental disabilities.

FASD can happen to anyone, regardless of where they live, race, and income.

Did you know that FASD is a full body disorder

When a developing baby is exposed to alcohol, the resulting damage to the brain and body are permanent and may lead to life-long impairments.

The damage can occur during any stage of pregnancy.

There is no safe amount and no safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy.

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“People can’t see it physically because it affects the brain. They see me as impatient and frustrated … somebody that needs more assistance than the average person who has no disabilities. I see myself as someone trying to break the stereotype of someone with a developmental disability and to show the world that just because you have a disability doesn’t mean there should be limits to what you can and can’t do.”

Caroline Joanisse

Living with FASD

Our program provides community capacity development across multiple sectors of service providers and service navigation for individuals with FASD and families.

We build capacity at existing agencies in Ottawa to understand and address the unique needs of the FASD population through high level training workshops in sectors including health, mental health, justice, education, housing, employment and social work.

“This is the first opportunity that I have had to send off a quick thank you email for your workshop last week. From all accounts, the day was a resounding success. Everyone I have spoken to was very pleased with the clear and concise information and commented on how your delivery kept them engaged and interested.”  

 We offer evidence-based FASD training to equip service providers with the tools and resources they require to provide services for individuals with FASD.

Our workshops equip attendees with a strong foundation of knowledge about FASD and provide practical strategies. The learning objectives are tailored to each agency’s needs.

“I thought I knew more about it before I started now I realize how little I know!”

Available Education Packages:

One-Hour Workshop
The one-hour workshop is designed to provide foundational FASD knowledge to help better understand individuals who may have been prenatally exposed to alcohol.

The one-hour workshop provides cost and time effective education opportunities by offering an introductory one-hour workshop at no cost.

2-Hour, Half-Day and Full-Day Workshops
These workshops are designed to facilitate in-depth learning on foundational topics that impact your field of service delivery (E.g. Education, health, mental health, child development, law enforcement, corrections, child welfare, social services, etc. ).

Costing schedule is available based on training requirements.

“The information gave me more tools to respond in a more efficient way, a more helpful way, gave me some more creative ideas to create learning opportunities.”

We provide community navigation to individuals with FASD and their families directing them to FASD informed supports.  Organizations who have completed FASD training with us are added to our database with permission.

“The Fetal Alcohol Resource Program was there for me and my son in our time of need.  We had only recently received the diagnosis that my son did indeed have FASD. I was distraught and not sure where to turn, where to gather information and more importantly, how to support my son. From the first phone call, I felt supported, educated and hopeful. Since beginning our work with FARP, the workers have advocated for my son in the school system and for the first time in years, he’s actually looking forward to starting school this fall and I feel less anxious about it too! The FARP team also linked me with a support group and I no longer feel alone in this maze called FASD. I am learning real life stories from other parents and again, feel hopeful for my son’s future. I’ve also learned about government programs that can help us financially, so that I can seek counseling and respite for my son and also, plan for his future, in case he is not able to live totally independently. I know that my worker is one phone call away. I highly recommend that anyone who is caring for a child, youth or adult and/or if you are a person living with this disorder, to reach out to the FARP group for support.  You won’t be sorry!”   


Funding and support for the project is provided by Citizen Advocacy Ottawa, Kids Brain Health Network  Exit disclaimer(formerly NeuroDevNet)Children’s Aid Society,Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario-Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre (CHEO-OCTC) Exit disclaimer, Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services  Exit disclaimer and donor-directed funds through the Ottawa Community Foundation  Exit disclaimer.

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Please help us sustain this program by designating your donation to the Fetal Alcohol Resource Program

Contact Information

For more information please contact
FASD Coordinator Team

613-761-9522 ext. 234


“We are excited about what the Fetal Alcohol Resource Program offers and their on-going efforts to educate people.  It’s a comfort knowing we are not alone and this organization is there to support and advocate for those affected who, sadly, are often misunderstood.  It’s crucial this organization continues its awareness campaign and significant work, in order for this population to succeed.”

Brenda Boylan



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Tel/Tel. 613-761-9522
TTY/ATS: 613-725-6175

Toll Free/Sans Frais: 1-866-222-2138
Fax/Télécopie: 613-761-9525

312 av. Parkdale Ave.,
Ottawa, ON, K1Y 4X5

Charitable Registration Number/Numéro d’enregistrement d’organisme de bienfaisance
13036 2817 RR0001