Our Mission Statement
To build on the collective and individual competencies and capabilities inherent in individuals affected by the neuro-developmental disorders, including families and communities and to support and foster the achievement of potential.
FASD Life's Journey Inc. was formed in April 2005, providing disability specific services to adolescent and adult Manitobans affected by neurological and co-occurring disorders.
The development of this not-for-profit agency was initiated in 2002 through a community-planning initiative, in which Manitobans identified gaps in services specific to the strengths and challenges experienced by individuals living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). FASD, an umbrella term describing the complex range of effects that can occur when an individual is exposed to alcohol in-utero, can include impacts on a person's physical, mental, behavioural and/or learning abilities, often with lifelong implications. Experience has shown that individuals living with FASD often find success establishing interdependence with trusted individuals; Life's Journey has applied this concept to the mentorship support model used within the services of all agency programs.
The Manitoba FAS Community Mobilization Project (FASDCMP) was funded through Community Living Manitoba in 2003 as a pilot project to provide supports to individuals living with FASD in the community. The resulting project was a small team of dedicated staff working on the ground to provide supports to individuals in the community who had previously been unreached by a focused service model. With flexible and individualised supports, the early successes and ongoing potential of this service was easily recognizable.
This project was formalized into the agency now known as FASD Life's Journey Inc with outreach services provided on September 1, 2005. The agency began with a relatively small number of program participants, funded by Family Services – Supported Living Program (now Community Living disABILITY Services, or CLdS) and the Provincial Special Needs Program. By the end of 2005 Life's Journey had begun providing residential services with the development of a residential care facility and a foster placement. Responding to the need of the community, the agency experienced steady growth in the first few years of operation and the Province began funding a much more substantial response than what had been previously supported.
In 2008, Life's Journey launched the Spectrum Connections Program in partnership with the Government of Manitoba; as of 2012 the program has worked from an outreach and resource model of service. This program provides supports to transitional youth and adults impacted by prenatal exposure to alcohol who are not eligible for other government funded programs. A unique resource in North America, Spectrum Connections addresses a gap in services by providing proactive and responsive supports to individuals without other access to individualized services.
FASD Life's Journey Inc. has continued to grow, with a significant expansion in 2016 that saw the establishment of the Rural Connections Program, Westman Services, and the agency's Indigenous Spiritual Care Services. These supports have been put in place in response to identified areas of need by the community, including access to Life's Journey services for individuals who reside outside of Winnipeg. The Rural Connections Program operates out of Steinbach, Manitoba, and provides the same outreach and resource model as Winnipeg's Spectrum Connections Program. Westman Services, out of Brandon, Manitoba, provide outreach, residential and fostering supports to individuals located in Brandon and surrounding communities.
As the agency has grown to support individuals with neuro-developmental disorders other than FASD, so too have the services available. Life's Journey offers holistic and individualized supports to individuals using a flexible and strengths-based approach to wellness, with program participants forming strong relationships with their case manager and support teams, as well as other participants through day programming and agency events. Services also include access to adjunct supports, which provide clinical consults and services including Psychiatry, Psychology, Occupational Therapy, an in-house Psychiatric Nurse, addictions supports and in-house Indigenous Elder. Providing training and development for staff, these adjunct services have been invaluable for input on appropriate case planning and avoiding a “one size fits all” service model. The Indigenous Spiritual Care Services (ISCS) at Life's Journey includes an in-house Elder and traditional healing available to all agency staff and participants. As the majority of program participants at Life's Journey self-identify as Indigenous, it has long been a priority of the agency to address the impacts of multigenerational trauma and to be involved in the process of reconciliation.
The agency seeks to include the voice of participants and staff in planning and development processes, including the regular involvement of the Participant Advisory Committee in the agency community. Celebrating the idea that we are all experts in our own lives, Life's Journey encourages the input of program participants in their personal services as well as in the best practices of the agency approach at large.
Life's Journey continues to operate with community-based values of hope, dignity, respect, healthy relationships, and attention on wellness. These values inform the daily work and advocacy within systems and the community. The growth of the agency underscores the vitality of service provision and the personal successes of our program participants highlight their strengths, resilience, and spirit.
Charity # 84172 5278 RR 0001
Fax: 204-772- 1784