Elizabeth Carlson is a second-year student in the School and Clinical Child Psychology doctoral program at the University of Alberta.
Elizabeth takes a collaborative, holistic, and strengths-based approach to working with children, adolescents, and emerging adults who have experienced significant adversity. She is interested in working with youth with complex needs who are deemed “at-risk,” including youth with FASD. Elizabeth’s interest in this area was driven by her own life experiences, including her work in group home, outreach, school, and outpatient forensic service settings. She strives to learn ways of improving assessment and intervention practices to best serve youth with complex needs.
Elizabeth is currently a part of the Housing Initiatives research team, a collaborative venture between CanFASD, the University of Alberta, and community experts to create a practical and research-based housing framework for individuals with FASD.
Housing Initiatives: Toward a Client-Centered Understanding of Housing for Individuals with FASD
Through the Housing Initiatives project, we have come to better understand the complexities of housing for individuals with FASD. Previous research tells us that Housing First is the most studied model for unhoused individuals with mental illness and/or substance abuse. However, there is a lack of research to examine the effectiveness of housing models for individuals with FASD specifically.
Our community partners emphasize that a one-size-fits-all approach to housing will not work for individuals with FASD, who present with a wide array of strengths and needs. They also call for a collaborative, relationship-based, and person-centered approach to housing.
Based on what we’ve learned, our research team has created a person-centered and FASD-informed strategic framework for housing individuals with FASD. The framework was developed by combining scientific and expert knowledge, and includes:
- Considerations of the unique needs of individuals with FASD
- Understanding of the context of the unhoused individual
- A focus on the process by which an individual with FASD may find housing
- Unique program evaluation requirements
- Guidelines for moving knowledge into action and evaluation
This project marks the first step of many in the development and maintenance of meaningful service delivery and supports to better understand how to best meet the needs of individuals with FASD.
As this project is currently in progress, there are no publicly accessible documents. In October 2018, the document will be accessible online through the CanFASD and Clinical & Community-Based Evaluation Research Team websites.