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Wages boosted for staff helping Albertans with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Average wage increases by 10%
FILE - Community and Social Services Minister Jason Nixon announced funding to increase wages for front-line workers supporting those with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

The province is providing almost $3 million to increase wages for front-line workers supporting individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

This commitment is on top of $25 million in operating funding already provided to Alberta’s FASD networks.

Alberta Seniors, Community and Social Services funds 12 fetal alcohol spectrum disorder service networks across the province, including Central Alberta FASD Network.

The networks, which are made up of community agencies delivering FASD-related supports, assisted 5,426 Albertans and their caregivers in 2022-23.

“Front-line workers supporting Albertans with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder show great dedication in caring for some of our province’s most vulnerable people, and we depend on their hard work to make sure people get the help they need. Alberta’s government is committed to supporting these workers by increasing wages to better attract and retain staff to care for vulnerable Albertans,” said Community and Social Services Minister Jason Nixon in a statement.

The new funding raises average wages by about 10 per cent and is in addition to the $330 million announced by the province as part of Budget 2023 to support front-line workers across Alberta’s social services sector.

“The investment in these vital services acknowledges their crucial role in supporting individuals and families with FASD and will measurably impact our communities,” said Blair McCormick, executive director of Calgary Fetal Alcohol Network.

Lisa Rogozinsky, coordinator with Edmonton Fetal Alcohol Network, said by empowering FASD networks and agencies to recruit and retain dedicated front-line staff, this funding has been instrumental in enhancing the lives of children, youth and adults with FASD, as well as caregivers and at-risk pregnant women and gender-diverse individuals.

“Together, we continue to build a stronger, compassionate community, one that recognizes the importance of every individual’s potential and well-being,” Rogozinsky said.

September is FASD Awareness Month.

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Susan Zielinski

About the Author: Susan Zielinski

Susan has been with the Red Deer Advocate since 2001. Her reporting has focused on education, social and health issues.
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