The Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network (CanFASD) and the Alberta Clinical and Community-Based Evaluation and Research Team (ACCERT) have worked together to build an evidence-based framework of housing support for people with FASD. This Lab will develop an approach to act on the framework completed by CanFASD and ACCERT, with the expertise of partners and community-based expertise.
3 Key Findings
Support Canadian housing programs serving youth aged 16 to 25 with FASD.
Increase access to housing supports that meet the needs of youth with FASD that can be maintained year-over-year and a road map to support youth with FASD across Canada.
Create a systematic response to housing needs with the help and input of community partners.
Project scope and expected outcomes
Up to 80% of youth and young adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) have had difficulty keeping their housing. More than 30% of them have faced homelessness at some point in their lives. These young people are especially vulnerable to housing instability when they become too old for the support of foster care and school systems. Many people with FASD also experience mental health and substance use challenges creating more barriers to getting and maintaining safe and supportive housing.
Building on industry research
ACCERT and CanFASD recently published a report called “Creating Intersections: A Systematic and Person-Centered Harmonizing Framework for Housing Individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder”. This report discovered that current housing models do not meet the changing needs of people with FASD. This Solutions Lab will build on this framework to support FASD-informed youth housing programs and services nationally.
This Solutions Lab will build on the framework to support FASD-informed youth housing programs and services nationally. The Lab will work with partners to better understand the lived housing experiences of youth with FASD to revise the existing framework and apply improvements that will enhance housing solutions across Canada.
The National Housing Strategy and this Lab have a shared vision to reduce homelessness. An outcome of this project will be to increase the number of youth who find safe, suitable and stable housing and maintain their housing for a year.
Another outcome that is desired by both this project and the Strategy is social and economic inclusion for people and families who need affordable housing. To do this, the Lab will use a community integration approach in its development.
Finally, this Lab will address a shared outcome of partnership building. The Lab will build relationships between people who have lived experience and housing providers. It will also connect housing provider networks to raise awareness of the initiative and increase participant diversity.
The Lab will use a design focused on individual use and qualitative research to create an approach to using the framework. It will be completed in 5 phases:
- The Definition Phase will check the framework, review the stakeholders and actions needed to complete the Lab and set up a plan for engagement with stakeholders.
- The Discovery Phase will consist of webinars, self-directed learning, interviews and coaching to gather an understanding of lived experiences for the project design.
- The Development Phase includes workshops, problem-solving and a summary of the findings to make sense of and prioritize the service experiences of people impacted by FASD.
- In the Delivery Phase, 3 prototypes will represent initial ideas and concepts to be used as part of the framework’s approach. This phase will also include a validation survey to gather stakeholder feedback and map the priorities back to the priorities listed in the framework.
- The Roadmap Phase will end the project with a planning session to implement the tasks outlined in the chosen approach. This will include a plan to measure success.
At the beginning of the Lab, the team will create a website to share lessons learned and new ideas that are created throughout the project. At the end of the project, the team will develop a knowledge transfer plan to show what has been learned throughout the project. CanFASD also intends to use the information generated in this project to develop an online course targeted at people and organizations working in the homelessness and housing sectors. It will share information and help improve outcomes for people with FASD in their service.
- Dr. Jacqueline Pei – CanFASD, University of Alberta
- Dr. Kelly Harding – CanFASD
- Audrey McFarlane – CanFASD
- Elizabeth Carlson – University of Alberta
- ACCERT Lab (co-led by Dr. Jacqueline Pei and Dr. Cheryl Poth)
- Dr. Melody Morton Ninomiya – Wilfrid Laurier University
- Ben Balfour – Overlap Associates
- Cherise Carlaw - Overlap Associates
Get More Information:
Visit the National Housing Strategy’s Innovation page.
Search our Housing Knowledge Centre for important updates on the progress of this lab.