Family Advocacy Support Centre (FASC) was originally founded in January 2022 by Rebecca Foshole-Luke to fill a gap in resources and support for parents who are involved in Children's Services (impact report here). After a busy first year, in 2023, a new and expanded version of FASC was born by coming together with Starlings Community, an organization founded in 2021 by Agnes Chen and whose focus was on supporting the health and well-being of youth and families impacted by the stigma of a parent’s substance use (2022 impact report here). Merging their passion, personal and professional expertise, and unique position in understanding the intersection of healthcare, social services and legal systems, founders Agnes and Rebecca have combined their organizational success to re-imagine how communities understand and support families.
This vision was inspired by their professional successes within
Nursing and Social Work, and also by their lived experience. Agnes and
Rebecca are both mothers that have personally been impacted by various challenges, including parental substance use stigma, parental criminalization, immigration, poverty, poor mental health, and racism, all of which have influenced their health and well-being and roles as parents. They know firsthand the crucial role their ecosystem of support has been in buffering systemic barriers, many of which directly affect the parents and youth they seek to serve. This informed their decision to come together as a collective
to advance their shared vision for reimagining a world where every family
can ask for help and receive the support and resources they need to care for their families and thrive within their communities.
We imagine a future where every family can ask for help and receive support without fear of discrimination, intrusive intervention, or family separation.
We strive to strengthen the ecosystem of support for families by increasing their access to safer resources that promote health, healing, and overall well-being.
Increase support to youth impacted by parental substance use stigma.
Youth who grow up with the stress and stigma of a parent's substance use are vulnerable to adverse health outcomes due to the risk of being shamed, discriminated against, or removed from their home which prevents them from being able to seek out or access support.
Increase safety for parents impacted by child welfare policies and practices.
Parents with poor mental health, who use substances, or who are experiencing poverty are most vulnerable to over-surveillance and over-reporting, which results in intrusive interventions and child welfare involvement. This contributes to the disruption of generational healing and well-being.
Promote racial and health equity.
Black, Indigenous, ethnocultural and low-income families with intersecting identities, experience more barriers when accessing and navigating systems due the impacts of colonialism, racism, and discrimination. This increases their vulnerability to health and social inequities, and structural harm.
Promote Intergenerational cycles of health, healing, and well-being.
Substance use stigma, poverty bias, and racism contribute to intergenerational cycles of stress and trauma. By applying an intersectional approach to our efforts, we ensure generations of families-past, present, and future- can thrive.
Getting to The Roots:
Children Rights From a Family Centered Lens
Informed by the UN convention on the rights of a child, we believe that every child has a right to a healthy family, and every parent has a right to support in raising their children to thrive. At FASC we believe that by effectively addressing the needs of the parent, we are supporting the intergenerational well-being and safety of children, while also contributing to healthy familial relationships and thriving communities.
At FASC, we believe that the trauma and violence experienced by the families we serve are embedded in legislation, policies, and professional practices that rely on carceral approaches to child safety and well-being. These structural barriers prevent families from equitable access to support and resources which leads to stress and trauma in families. FASC aims to transform the environment supporting families by ensuring families experiencing difficulties receive the care all people inherently deserve.
At FASC, we believe in the inherent resiliency of the families we serve and aim to facilitate their collective healing from the intergenerational consequences of substance use stigma and child welfare involvement. We are confident that the most effective way to ensure health and healing flourish in a community is to remove structural barriers that harm families by implementing holistic and collective approaches to care rooted in lived experience and anti-oppressive approaches.
FASC respects the lived experience of youth and parents impacted by substance use stigma and child welfare involvement as legitimate and valuable. We intentionally integrate this expertise into our organizational structure, and within our peer-developed programs and initiatives to ensure our accountability to the families we serve. Our goal of knowledge equity is to ensure that impacted communities are not just involved as participants, but as partners and co-creators of research, policy, and practices, while ensuring equitable access to information for the youth and parents we serve.