FASD Awareness Month
National FASD will be releasing daily actions that you can do to help spread FASD Awareness this month.
Contact an elected official in your local government to educate them, get their support or thank them for what they have done for you already.
Today’s Hashtags:#FASDLocalGov #FASDMonthUK
Local officials and elected members can be helpful in getting support for people with FASD.
As they are local, they often know the best ways to help and sometimes they know the right people to ask and can support families in making those contacts.
Yet, they don’t always know about FASD and how people in their own communities are affected. We need to change that.
WHY CONTACT LOCAL OFFICIALS?
Very often the services that people with FASD need are managed by local elected officials.
Let’s just think about what Local Government has responsibility for: –
- Education, skills & Special Needs
- Children’s Services including Social Care
- Leisure Arts, Recreation, Youth Services, Libraries and Open Spaces
- Public Transport
- Public Health & Community Safety
They are huge employers as well. In England alone they employ more than a million people.
There are loads of ways that Local Authorities could help someone with FASD and the families that they live with. Local Councillors have an important role to play in getting the right support to the right people at the right time. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t vote for them or if you never voted; once they are in post the represent you – whether you are someone with FASD, a family or friend or a practitioner seeking to help improve services.
Contact your local council or mayor for example and ask them what they are doing to make all local services friendly for someone with FASD.
If you’d like, you can send them the link for the The Time is Now: The National Perspective on Ramping up FASD Prevention, Diagnosis and Support Services.
HOW TO FIND AN CONTACT LOCAL OFFICIALS
To find your local officials go to https://www.writetothem.com/ Type in your postcode and you will have a page with who your councillors are and how to contact them.
Decide what you want them to do. Although it’s better to get the right Councillor for the service that you are asking about, it doesn’t always matter. If you get to the wrong one very often, they will support you and pass the message onto someone who can help.
Ask people you know to write too! Remember the more messages that they get from different people the more important FASD will become for them.
Please feel free to get back to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how successful you have been and GOOD LUCK.
National FASD social media tags:
Facebook: @National FASD
Be sure to use the hashtags #FASDLocalGov #FASDMonthUK
Councillors get many letters and emails each week and the ones that are most effective are the ones that personal and relate directly to the area where they represent.
- Keep the letter short and focused on the issue or issues that you want them to act about – for example, asking them what they are doing to help make local services friendly for those with FASD
- Include your name and address so they know that they represent you and your phone number or email so they can contact you
- Explain that it is FASD Awareness Month, but that FASD affects you / a loved one / your family every day.
- Use quotes from our fact sheet to explain what FASD is. (You can even download the fact sheet here and send it with your letter). “FASD results when prenatal alcohol exposure affects the developing brain and body. FASD is a spectrum. Each person with FASD is affected differently. While more than 400 conditions can co-occur, FASD is at its core a lifelong neurodevelopmental condition. All people with FASD have many strengths. Early diagnosis and appropriate support are essential, especially for executive functioning”
Then go on to explain how it affects you, your family, or the people you work with.
- Make sure you ask them to act to help with something that would make things easier for you / your family in your local area or to help raise awareness of this leading but overlooked neurodevelopmental condition
- Ask them to get back to you before the end of FASD Awareness Month
- Include a sentence that tells them that they can find out more about FASD by following the link to the National Organization for FASD website https://nationalfasd.org.uk/ or to your local FASD UK Alliance support group if you have one nearby.
- Thank them for their time.