The Starfish Project is an addictions services project for youth living with FASD who are involved with the justice system and have problematic substance use. Participants receive one-on-one counselling, participate in small groups and attend recreation and leisure activities. Participation involves one to four sessions a week initially, moving to less frequent sessions as participants progress through the program. The Starfish Project supports ongoing participation by providing transportation, appointment reminders (via text or phone), non-traditional meeting places and times and inclusion of support persons.
Youth with FASD have unique and individual strengths and challenges to be supported and nurtured.
The Starfish Project programming is adaptable to enable staff to tailor program components and the level of involvement to each individual participant and “where they are at” throughout their participation in the project.
Some youth may be in and out of custody and probation during their time with the project. The project is designed to enable programming to move with the participant through the different systems as their needs change.
Participation is voluntary.
Youth can be referred to the project if they meet the following criteria:
- Have a diagnosis under the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder umbrella
- Are involved in Manitoba Youth Corrections
- Have problematic substance use
- Live in Winnipeg, Portage la Prairie or surrounding areas
Referrals can be made to the project by phone (see contact information). All that is required is confirmation that the youth meet the criteria and their name.
3-year funding for this pilot project is provided by the federal Youth Justice Fund.
AFM offers this program in partnership with Manitoba Youth Corrections and Healthy Child Manitoba.