Our Core Beliefs and Values
Our core beliefs and values inform what we do and how we do it.
We believe that each individual with FASD has a right to be treated as a person first, and as a person with a neurodevelopmental condition that causes impairments second. We believe that family members and loved ones of persons with FASD also deserve to be recognized as individuals with their own perspectives and needs, and to be treated without judgment. We also believe that every individual who seeks information, training, or support from the Network has a right to our respect for their cultural, racial, gender and ethnic identity.
We know that not every person with FASD was raised in the home of his or her biological parents, especially when their mother or father were unable to care for their children because of drug or alcohol addiction or other trauma. As a result, many persons with FASD are being raised, or were brought up in adoptive or foster homes, or in the homes of grandparents or other family members.
We also believe that family is at the heart of every individual’s identity and support system. Family forms the foundation for the development of every individual with FASD from birth onward. In addition, the behavior, attitudes, and challenges of each member of a family is affected by the other members of the household.
Therefore, we believe that helping the families of persons with FASD is a key part of assisting the affected individual.
The effects of trauma caused by or related to the circumstances around FASD and its effects on a person’s life are significant and life long. Individuals with FASD often feel misunderstood or even ostracized by their families.
Parents of a child who lives with the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure often feel that their image of family had been shattered by the complexity of raising a child with FASD. Many parents are overwhelmed by how difficult it may be to locate and find effective resources to help them navigate these complexities. In addition, the stigma surrounding a woman’s use of alcohol during pregnancy makes it even harder for parents to find services and resources that know much about supporting persons with FASD or their families. Many parents feel isolated and misunderstood as they try to support their FASD-affected child(ren). In addition, siblings, grandparents, spouses, and other family members of persons affected by FASD also face obstacles when they try to advocate for and support their loved one.
We know that support helps children, parents, and communities interact more effectively. Biological families as well as foster and adoptive families with one or more individuals with FASD as well as the person with FASD must have access to supportive services to help them meet their loved one’s needs so the entire family can thrive.
Supported, informed communities can work together to effectively promote and support persons with FASD in the family, in care, in school, in employment, and in all services designed to maintain healthy and productive inhabitants. We believe creating and strengthening networks of individuals and organizations ensures we can all better advocate for and support persons with FASD and their loved ones.
We believe supporting the well-being of children, youth, and families is a responsibility shared by the government and community.
Core Organizational Values
At the core of how the Network does its work is the belief that relationships matter and that caring, committed and informed people are the engines of positive change. We are responsive to the needs of the people we serve. We endeavor to form and maintain real connections with everyone who uses our services and with our community.
The Network has grown from a small group of parents of adolescents and adults with FASD into an agent of change to improve the status of Californians living with FASD.
We are committed to working to change policies and practices to achieve the best possible outcomes for children, youth, adults with FASD and their families.
Children, youth, adults, and families touched by FASD should be active participants in directing their own lives and shaping their communities. As a result, we work to engage these individuals and to inform and empower them to be advocates for themselves and others, and to be the best providers of support to those with FASD they can be.
Respectful and Inclusive
We accept, respect, and value the uniqueness of individuals and are committed to creating a culture of acceptance and inclusion across a wide spectrum of diversity, including race, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, family composition, and much more.
We know that people with neurodevelopmental conditions like FASD, and their families, benefit when effective, committed organizations work together to achieve their goals. We are committed to forming and sustaining informal and formal partnerships with other organizations both within and outside the FASD field to ensure the best possible outcomes for everyone who has been touched by the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure.
Informed and Ethical
The Network wants to be leaders in California in improving how persons with FASD achieve their goals and live a healthy, satisfying, safe and productive life. We strive to be a learning organization that develops knowledge and provides inspiring education. We have high standards of professionalism and take pride in doing our work with honesty, compassion and integrity.