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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Society Yukon (FASSY) is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering accepting and educated communities, where individuals with FASD have equal access to opportunities to reach their full potential.
FASSY has been dedicated and passionate in their work with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder as a society since 1996. We continue to provide a vital resource to Yukon communities about the impact of FASD.
Our Mission Statement
To foster informed, inclusive and nurturing communities that work together to prevent FASD and to support individuals affected by FASD.
FASSY envisions a Yukon in which Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is prevented and where persons with FASD are fully included in Yukon society.
Our Strategic Plan 2020 - 2023
To read about our strategic plan, please see this document:
FASSY Strategic Plan-2016-2019
Honouring Yukon FASD Leaders
- FASSY is very proud of the work we have accomplished, in partnership with many others in the community, to raise awareness, promote prevention and support people with FASD. We are very fortunate to have had many strong leaders over the years who have worked, often behind the scenes, to support FASSY.
We are very pleased to announce that we are celebrating International FASD Day 2021 by installing our first ever “wall of honour” to acknowledge our FASD leaders. A picture and short write up of each leader will be framed and hung on the wall. We intend to add to this wall of honour each year.
This year we are paying tribute to three strong and committed Yukon FASD leaders who have done so much to support FASSY over many decades: Judy Pakozdy, Ione Christensen and Larry Bagnell.
Judy is a long-time nurse and adoptive mom who has strongly advocated for FASD at the local, territorial, and national level. She is a founding member of FASSY and served as the Executive Director for almost 10 years. She and her son Matthew are sought after as speakers at FASD conferences around the world.
Larry has been a long-term friend and ally of FASSY, regularly showing up to our fundraising and awareness events. As the Yukon MP, Larry worked hard on a Private Members’ Bill to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to acknowledge the needs of people with FASD in the criminal justice system. He attended many conferences and events to raise awareness and understanding of the lifelong impacts of FASD on individuals, families, and communities.
Ione offered to take on FASD as a national issue when she was a Senator. She attended many committee meetings and was a tireless advocate for FASD during her term as a Senator. After retiring, she joined the Board of FASSY and served as the Chair for many years, filling in as the Executive Director on at least two occasions. Now in her late eighties, Ione continues to be a strong advocate for FASD.
FASSY is incredibly grateful for the dedication, focus and passion that each of these three leaders contributed to our work over many years. We are stronger and better for their leadership.
We look forward to hosting an in-person celebration later this year, COVID-19 permitting.
Ione recalls attending the Prairie Northern Conference on FASD in Whitehorse in 2002, not long after she was appointed to the Senate. At that meeting, she asked if they would like her to take on FASD as a national issue, and they happily accepted. Ione was no stranger to FASD, as she had served as both a Juvenile Court Judge and a Justice of the Peace in the early 1970s, where she often encountered people with FASD. Ione also served as the Executive Director of the Alcohol and Drug Treatment Centre in the 1990s. Ione spent the last four years of her Senate appointment educating and raising awareness about FASD and lobbying for funding and policy supports. Ione quickly came to understand the lifelong impacts of prenatal drinking on the developing brain, the need for prevention supports, as well as the need for ongoing supports for people living with FASD. After Ione retired from the Senate in 2006, she continued this commitment by joining the Board of FASSY. Ione served on the Board for many years, as a director and as the Chair. She also stepped into the role of Acting Executive Director on two different occasions. Ione was a strong and effective Chair, and during this time she continued to be a strong advocate for FASD at both the territorial and national levels.
Ione firmly believes that FASSY makes a big difference in the lives of people with FASD through its outreach work and daily supports. She knows that each person with FASD is unique, with diverse strengths and needs, and is proud that FASSY continues to meet each person where they at in determining how best to provide supports. Ione sees the difference research has made at both the policy and practical levels and encourages further research into all aspects of FASD – prevention, supports, funding, and policies. Ione highlights the need for more evaluation to determine the effectiveness of all the programming delivered.
Ione states that FASSY could never be where it is today, with all the great work it has done, if it were not for the dedication and hard work of the staff who are there each day. You make the difference - THANK YOU.
Judy was the Head Nurse on the pediatric ward at the Whitehorse General Hospital in 1972. She had been on the job for just two weeks when she met Dr. Kojo Asante, a pediatrician who was here on holidays – through his work he had met Dr. Stirling Clarren and had become familiar with what was then called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Dr. Asante served as a visiting pediatrician for eight years and Judy worked alongside Dr. Asante on the children’s ward and in his 1985 Yukon study on FASD in the Yukon. Through this work, and the pictures of children with FASD provided by Dr. Asante, Judy realized that she had, in fact, been working with critically ill children who had undiagnosed FASD in Toronto. Judy was present at the births of many children affected by prenatal drinking during her career as a nurse. Judy also had her heart stolen by a tiny little girl who had first been identified as a “preemie” but who was quickly diagnosed with FASD by Dr. Asante. This little girl lived on the children’s ward for fourteen months as everyone thought she was going to die. Judy ended up taking this little girl home for visits for some time until she was adopted. Judy then applied to adopt, and specifically requested a child with FASD. Since adopting her son Matthew, Judy has been a strong and informed advocated for FASD at the local, territorial, and national levels. Judy and Matthew have presented together at many conferences and FASD events.
While Judy is very proud of the work of FASSY, she cautions that we can never become complacent and must always be prepared to advocate for the people we serve. This advocacy includes lobbying for funding and continuing to support people so that their time can be used productively. It is also very important to expand the support for families of people with FASD and to keep learning from the lessons of the past.
Larry has had extensive involvement with many community issues – he chose to become involved with FASD for four reasons: it is an invisible and hidden disability and this means people with FASD are often not understood, It is a lifelong condition that affects many aspects of daily life, FASD is a condition imposed on people by external factors, not by any choices of their own, For many people with FASD, they need help lobbying for themselves.
Larry has been a big supporter of FASSY over the years, and he has attended many FASSY meetings as well as the International FASD conference in Vancouver and others. He has also helped with many fundraising efforts.
His biggest contribution was his support of Private Members’ Bill C-235 - An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (fetal alcohol disorder). The Bill focused on assessments for FASD in the criminal justice system, as well as ensuring that support plans for reintegration were required. While this Bill did not pass, it did receive a great deal of support and discussion across all parties in Canada and confirmed the importance of addressing FASD within the criminal justice system across Canada.
Looking to the future, Larry encourages continued efforts at public education to promote greater understanding of FASD and the required supports. He believes that when citizens organize around issues of importance to them, momentum builds and things get done. Larry has been greatly impacted by the personal stories of people living with FASD and he believes it is important to keep telling these stories. He also thinks research is important, and that more data on the numbers of people affected with FASD is critical to good public policy
In collaboration with Challenge Disability Resource Group, and in sponsorship with United Way, YH HSS and Reaching Home COVID 19 funding, FASSY continues to offer a community lunch for people using our service five days a week. Throughout the pandemic, we have provided a take-out lunch and starting in October 2020 have offered an option of sitting inside in our "drop-in" space in a pandemic-friendly environment that is safe, warm, and friendly.
Providing a nutritious community-based meal is an opportunity to benefit an individual's physical, mental and social well-being. The lunch program also provides outreach support, community inclusion, friendship, and good food!
Out and About Program
Four NGOs (FASSY, OFI, TOZ, and Inclusion Yukon) have come together on an initiative for individuals across all neurodevelopmental disabilities. This program provides support to attend activities and if needed, programming for evenings and weekends. Our goal is to improve the quality of life and promote mental wellness through inclusion, engagement, and education.
For more information, contact Julie (coordinator): Phone: 867-332-4478. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To see our monthly activities, please see the Calendar of Events page.
FASD Awareness Initiative
Helping people be aware of choices they have by providing the tools they need helps prevent FASD. This awareness program provides women with a tool that they can use privately helping them make choices in their own reproductive care. Choosing not to drink alcohol during a pregnancy will prevent FASD. Along with the pregnancy test kit dispensers a condom dispenser is available - another tool to support women in their decision.
The pregnancy test dispensers remain active in Whitehorse and the communities. We are grateful for the ongoing partnership with Yukon University Whitehorse campus and their rural campuses, the Dirty Northern Public House pub, the Gold Rush Inn and the City of Whitehorse - Canada Games Centre - who continue to have pregnancy test-kit dispensers in their facilities. The Canadian Prenatal Nutrition Program of Dawson City provides a pregnancy test dispenser in the lobby washroom of the Downtown Hotel. This project is funded by donations. For further information on this project - please call 867-393-4948
The Landlords Working to End Homelessness (LWEH) program works to provide housing for our most vulnerable clients; many of whom are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. Our staff work on building a supportive and secure connection between landlords and tenants, as well as offering a wide range of assistance throughout the tenancy. Landlords who wish to learn more about this program are encouraged to contact us through our housing outreach worker email@example.com
FASSY has a team of five Outreach Workers located in Whitehorse, who provide compassionate support services for people with FASD. Along with community advocacy and liaison work, our Outreach Workers focus on the areas of housing, finances, health and community inclusion. We are part of the CHAT (Community housing Action Team) that works collaboratively to help people who are homeless to obtain housing. We have an Eder in house to support people using our service with connection to their culture and for the staff to engage in a culturally informed support to people using our service.
Please contact our lead outreach worker for more information and if you want to use our service.
Systems Navigation for Rural Communities in the Yukon
A program to support people and their families with Neurodevelopmental disabilities (NND) in Watson Lake and other nearby commuities like Lower Post., BC. The program helps people with a NND access services within Watson Lake and other Yukon communities if needed. This was a pilot project lead by FASSY and supported under the funding by the Kids Brain Health Network under their ‘Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Resource Program’ and YG HSS under the FASD Action plan funding. Presently, it is funded with Federal funding under YAPC (Yukon antipoverty Coalition) Reaching Home funds. We have finished the pilot project and our in a transition year to a sustainable program that will remain in Watson Lake.
At FASSY we encourage everyone to expand their knowledge on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. There is a growing body of literature on FASD available world-wide and dropping into our library is a great place to start. We carry a small, but diverse, range of topics and titles.
We also encourage you to use the online learning platform formed by CanFASD through their "Foundation in FASD" online learning course. They also provide more advanced courses in Justice, Education, and Prevention. This research-based organization has the most up to date knowledge about FASD in Canada. www.CanFASD.ca
For Yukon based learning opportunities please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We work collaboratively with the FASD IAC (Interagency Advisory Committee) KEM (Knowledge Exchange and Mentoring) subcommittee to bring education about FASD to Yukon citizens.
Our Work in the Community
The Outreach Van
FASSY is one of the partnering agencies on the Outreach Van. The Outreach Van provides services and support to a marginalized and vulnerable population in Whitehorse.
Our role is to provide input and staffing for the operation of the Outreach Van service in general and to offer our expertise on working with FASD.
Please see The Outreach Van for more details about this program.
Yukon College Courses
FASSY is working with the Northern Institute of Social Justice to deliver FASD Core Competency training. These courses provide participants with essential understanding of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders as a brain-based condition that challenges current ways of understanding behaviour and thinking about support and intervention.
Please contact FASSY at 867-393-4948 for the latest course schedule.
FASSY provides specifically designed workshops in a variety of areas related to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder education.
FASSY will tailor training to meet the needs of your organization. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions, ideas, or to schedule a consultation. You can reach us at 867-393-4948.
Our Operational Structure
Our Executive Director
Wenda Bradley started with FASSY in 2006 as an Outreach Worker. Passionate and committed to individuals and communities impacted by FASD, Wenda renewed her committment to FASSY's work by accepting the Executive Director position in March 2015.
Our Board of Directors 2020-2021
FASSY is graciously guided by the following board members:
Lesley Carberry - Chair
Andrea Bailey - Secretary
Catherine Lyon - Treasurer
Our Staff Team
FASSY has a fantastic team of staff members who are all very knowledgeable, compassionate and dedicated to working with people impacted by FASD. Included on our team is one office manager, an office assistant, HR person and six outreach workers. We have also people reaching out to rural Yukon communities under a special project called Systems Navigators. If you would like to contact them individually, please see our Contact Us page.
Our Funding 2020/2021
FASSY would like to acknowledge the generous financial support of the Government of Yukon (Health and Social Services) and the Government of Canada (Reaching Home) and the United Way.
For our Lunch Program, we would like to acknowledge the United Way, Holland America, and the individuals who contributed by private donations and through our fundraising activities.
We would also like to thank YG - HSS (under the FASD advisory committee), Lotteries Yukon, and the City of Whitehorse for funding our Out and About program. YG - HSS (under the FASD advisory committee) and Kids Brain Health network funds the Systems Navigator project. http://kidsbrainhealth.ca
How to Get Involved with FASSY
FASSY currently has no job postings. Check back again soon.
FASSY is looking for board members.
Please call 867-393-4948 to find out more.
FASSY is always looking for new members!
Please call 867-393-4948 for more information.