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$10m for Fetal Alcohol Prevention and Support Fund


May 26, 2006

VICTORIA – The Province is providing a $10-million grant to the Victoria Foundation to establish the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Action Fund, which will promote prevention and support projects for children and youth, Children and Family Development Minister Stan Hagen and Minister of State for Childcare Linda Reid announced today.

“This grant further demonstrates government’s ongoing commitment to building the best system of support in Canada for persons with disabilities, those with special needs and children at risk,” said Reid. “Supporting FASD programs and prevention ensures that families receive the support they need.”

FASD is the most common form of preventable brain damage to infants in the western world. The brain damage is irreversible and results in life-long challenges in learning behaviour, employment and socialization. It is estimated that for every 1,000 births in B.C., between one and nine infants will be affected in some way by FASD.

Funding from today’s grant will include $2 million to promote prevention, public education, and parent and caregiver education; $7 million will be used for demonstration projects in all five regions of the province, which will focus on improving outcomes for children and youth with FASD through peer support, social and life skills development, transition supports, and school based and other initiatives. An additional $1 million will be used as an endowment to further funding capacity through community contributions.

“Our partnership with the Victoria Foundation is a great example of how community-based organizations can best help the children and families that live in those communities,” said Hagen. “Through the work of its staff and advisory committees, the foundation provides grants that support thousands of B.C. families.”

The Victoria Foundation is a community foundation that manages funds gifted to them either in perpetuity or for specific purposes, such as the FASD Action Fund. The funds or the earnings from them are then distributed through grants for charitable purposes.

“We’re very pleased to be part of helping to improve the lives of children and youth with FASD,” said Victoria Foundation board chair Tom Burley. “By connecting people with causes such as FASD, we are ultimately building stronger families and communities in B.C.”

Since 2003, the Ministry of Children and Family Development has provided the foundation with over $55 million to help communities throughout B.C. meet the needs of children and youth. Over 180 organizations and thousands of British Columbians have benefited from these funds.

A call for applications for advisory committee members is available on the foundation’s website at: Requests for grant applications will follow this fall.

Today’s grant is part of a series of grants totalling $25 million in support for services to vulnerable children and youth and their families.


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