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Family Advocacy Support Centre (FASC) uses a racial and health equity lens to empower organizations to disrupt intergenerational effects of substance use stigma and child welfare involvement. Through a transformative learning experience, our staff training is designed to increase the capacity for staff supporting individuals vulnerable to intrusive interventions and family separation. By supporting organizations to meaningfully integrate trauma-informed and anti-oppressive approaches to their work with youth and families, participants gain strategies to implement knowledge into their practice, rebuild the trust families have with systems, while also providing tools to address the wellbeing of the professional providing the support.
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Approach & Frameworks

  • Storytelling, lived experience, and case studies to engage participants and create accessible and inclusive space for learning and growth.  

  • Trauma-informed and healing centered approaches decrease shame, stigma and increase hope in staff and clients.  

  • Anti-racist and anti-oppressive frameworks to ground learning while providing social historical context.   

Who is Our Training Ideal for? 

  • Front Line Health Care Providers (Physicians, Nurses, Health Aides)

  • Social Service providers (Social Workers, Counsellors, Psychologists, Recovery Centre Staff, Case Workers)

  • Educators, Admin Staff and Childcare Professionals

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Tina Belay, 2021 Starlings Training with Action Dignity, Social Inclusion Community Broker  

“Agnes effortlessly created a welcoming, warm, and safe environment with our group which set the stage for an open and engaging conversation on substance use and mental health. I would recommend this to everyone. Seriously thank you.”

Substance Use Stigma.


Substance use stigma is a well-known social determinant of health and barrier to support for parents, and also their children. Marrying relevant data with the stories of youth impacted by the stigma of a parent’s substance use, FASCs facilitators provide valuable insight into the socio-historical context of substance use-related discrimination, the gaps in current literature, policies, and resources, while sharing evidence–informed and peer identified recommendations for improving the care families receive. 

Image by Annie Spratt

This training equips educators with the knowledge and tools to address substance use stigma in schools and promote intergenerational healing. Participants will:

  • Understand systemic drivers of toxic stress and trauma in students.

  • Recognize substance use stigma within the school environment and among students.

  • Incorporate trauma-informed and anti-oppressive approaches to foster trust with students

Stress, Stigma, & Safety 101 for Educators

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Target Participants:

Youth organizations, recovery center staff, social service staff, healthcare workers, educators, first responders


Training objectives (3 hours):

  1. Enhance understanding of systemic drivers of toxic stress and trauma in families.

  2. Provide knowledge and tools to interrupt intergenerational cycles of substance use stigma.

  3. Build confidence in rebuilding trust with families accessing services through self-reflection on individual practices and organizational policies.

Disrupting Intergenerational Consequences of Stigma

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Low-income families with mental health and substance use challenges are vulnerable to over-reporting and more intrusive levels of intervention. This training explores the intersection of the healthcare and socio-legal system on families affected by substance use stigma and considers the child welfare policies that place families at risk of harm.  Expected outcomes: 

  • Increase understanding of child welfare policies and practices from a healthcare context 

  • Knowledge and Tools to disrupt intergenerational cycles of substance use stigma. 

  • Confidence to rebuild the trust of families accessing services through self-reflection of individual practices and organizational policies. 

Parental Substance Use & The Child Welfare System

Child Welfare.


We recognize the power imbalance that exists between families and child welfare agencies. Our trainings were co-created using the input of parents who have had involvement with the system. Our aim through these trainings is to promote family preservation and increase the likelihood of family reunification should children be removed from the home. 

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Professionals supporting parents dealing with Child and Family Services (CFS) often lack clarity regarding legislation, policies, and processes following a report. This training offers an overview of Alberta's child intervention system, covering intervention reasons, levels of involvement, and essential procedures. Through a forensic social work lens, professionals will gain knowledge and tools to better understand the child welfare system and confidently support vulnerable families navigating the complex legal system.

Child Welfare 101:

Understanding Legislation, Policies & Processes  

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This session helps professionals support parents dealing with Child and Family Services (CFS) using anti-racist and anti-oppressive approaches. It addresses the barriers faced by Indigenous, Black, and low-income families, who experience higher rates of reporting, apprehensions, and termination of parental rights. By integrating parent stories and lived experiences, participants gain insights into building advocacy and system navigation skills to minimize intervention and promote family unity. The session encourages reflection on actionable changes to improve safety and trust when supporting families seeking CFS assistance.

Child Welfare 102:

Anti-racist and Anti-Oppressive Approaches to Client Support 

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The fear of discrimination and CFS reporting when seeking support is a daily reality for many youth and parents. The emotional and mental toll of investigations, even without family separation, is often overlooked, placing families at risk. This session integrates youth and parent perspectives, providing a socio-historical context to enhance professionals' understanding of the intergenerational impact of child welfare involvement. Participants will reflect on steps to reimagine support practices that prioritize practitioner and generational health, fostering healing and wellbeing in the families they assist.

Collateral Harm of Child Welfare Involvement 

Unsure about the ideal service for you or your organization? Join us for a free information session. Our team will present a comprehensive overview of our programs, trainings, and approaches to promote familial health, healing, and well-being. This session will allow you to discuss and determine the most suitable approach for our team to support yours. For any inquiries, feel free to email:

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