> Competency 5: Continuing Care of Families Affected by FASD > 8c. Access to Services-What Families Need
Competence 5: Continuing Care of Families Affected by FASD
Continuing Care Issues for Families with an Individual with an FASD, Continued
Access to Services—What Families Need
Advocacy Training for Families
Because many addiction professionals are not aware of FASD, parents and other family
members often need to serve as FASD educators to the professionals working with
their child or relative. Advocacy training helps families become more effective
advocates as they strive to seek appropriate services in schools and communities
for the person with an FASD.
Parents who have had advocacy training report that they have developed more positive
partnerships with teachers and school staff. These partnerships create a more positive
school experience for the child, resulting in stronger academic experience and school
success. A parent advocacy workbook is available from the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
and may help other family members as well.
Resources for Financial Support for Families
Various types of assistance may be available for families of an individual with
an FASD. SSI provides cash benefits to eligible individuals with disabilities. In
most States, children who get SSI also qualify for free medical care through Medicaid.
Eligibility rules regarding family income and the individual’s level of disability
(e.g., IQ) may apply.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides monthly cash
payments to eligible workers and sometimes to their dependent children. Rules of
eligibility apply for workers. Information about eligibility is available from the
Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.
Medicaid is the Federal-State program that provides free medical care to children
and adults. Eligibility varies among States. A list of the State Medicaid toll-free
numbers is available at www.familycaregiversonline.com/docs/tollfree.pdf .
Some States set aside special funds to support families raising children with disabilities.
Rules for eligibility vary among States. A list of family support programs is available
from the National Center for Family Support at www.familysupport-hsri.org . Additional
information is available in The Arc’s Family Resource Guide ,
a guide to benefits, supports and services for families raising children with
mental retardation and related developmental disabilities.
Ongoing Support and Future Planning
Families will likely be involved with the client with an FASD throughout the client's
life. The addiction professional can discuss specific issues with the family regarding
family dynamics and the type of support the family can offer. Discussing plans to
help the client maintain sobriety is also important. Issues to address may include:
- Mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, need for medication for these
problems, and family’s role in assisting the person to take medication
- Potential for victimization and the need for supervision by family members
- Potential for relapse and resumption of antisocial activities with substance-abusing
friends and ways the family can provide alternative activities
- Housing, including whether the client will live with the family, in a group home,
or in another arrangement
- Family dynamics and household rules, including the need for structure, routine,
and appropriate social and recreational activities
- Finances and the family’s role in managing money for the person with an FASD
- Difficulty obtaining or keeping jobs
- The family's role in investigating trade schools, job training programs, or job
- Family’s role in implementing aftercare and ongoing recovery measures specified
in the treatment plan