Parenting children, youth and adults affected by FASD is both rewarding and challenging. It’s safe to say it can be one of the most challenging experiences any parent can have. Dealing with systems that still don’t understand, appreciate and accommodate FASD as a brain based, neuro-developmental disability is frustrating, overwhelming, and annoying.
We are two retired social workers, who worked in child welfare for a combined 73 years. Having met numerous parents and caregivers of individuals living with FASD and listening to their stories motivated us to be part of a group, who in February, 2021, launched Parents Helping Parents FASD Ontario or better known as PHPO.
PHPO is a peer mentoring phone line in which Parent Mentors, themselves parents and caregivers of children, youth and adults affected by FASD offer a listening ear, support, and judgement-free, compassionate caring to other parents of a family member(s) living with FASD. They share strategies they themselves have used that other parents/caregivers may find helpful, and are knowledgeable about community resources parents/caregivers may wish to access. All have accumulated years of knowledge and experience dealing with a host of service systems: education; child welfare; health; justice; mental health; ODSP; etc.
The Parent Mentors have all received training from the Toronto FASD Leadership Team and over the years have become “experts” when it comes to FASD.
Remember – you not alone!
When you have reached the “end of your rope”, can’t think of anything more you can do, and just want to throw up your hands and walk away, you now have an alternative – PHPO. Please reach out. PHPO connects you to someone who understands what you’re going through and who will try to make your FASD journey easier. They understand because they’ve been there themselves. You are not alone, so let us help you.
If you are experiencing a crisis, you will be referred to you local crisis service. If safety for yourself and or other family members is a concern, contacting the appropriate authorities will be discussed with you.
PHPO is available 7 days a week and can be reached at 647 572-4519.
Mary , MSW & Sharron, MSW
September 30, 2022