The Family Advocacy Network of Manitoba (FAN) embraces all of you during this trying and difficult time. Being overwhelmed with the current Covid-19 circumstances, changes and inconsistencies truly creates tension and pressure on all families but even more so for FAN families. The added responsibilities of support to loved ones with intellectual, developmental, behavioural and physical disabilities makes us feel swamped and exhausted. You know your family members well, the best, and you know it is important to listen to them and observe their behaviours and actions. As parents and siblings, we are confronted with the challenges of being able to, or not able to, respond with understanding and care that is needed because of the current closures and limitations. Procedures are of course in place to keep us all healthy and safe. WHAT ARE THE MOST PRESSING ISSUES AFFECTING YOUR FAMILY? Please let FAN know by April 14 so that committee members can take your concerns to government
FAN sends letters every couple of months to each of the 57 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in this province. This month FAN also sent the letters to Manitoba Federal Members of Parliament. These letters are sent on behalf of families in Manitoba and they identify common circumstances. They are also to remind the elected officials representing each provincial riding that they have a responsibility, it is there duty, to ensure programs are provided effectively without discrimination to all citizens and voters especially during times of crisis. All of us need to guard against our sons, daughters, sisters and brothers being in harm’s way and denied access to care based on disability.
Check FAN’s closed Facebook page for Abilities Manitoba’s post – COVID-19 & DISABILITY – recommendations to the Federal government or Abilities Manitoba’s website.
The object of writing to each MLA is to increase their awareness and knowledge. A goal of FAN is to help public servants to become well-informed of the concerns and needs being expressed and experienced by families raising loved ones with exceptional needs. Having a workable relationship with government departments that provide supports and services to our loved ones is essential. FAN has been invited “to the table” and appreciates the opportunity to express views affecting families. Having a voice and taking part in discussions is important. When communicating with senior government department heads FAN is poignant and passionate but careful not to lose our invitation.
FAN encourages you, if time and energy allow, to send a note to your MLA and share your personal story. It is important to be expressive and to move their emotions. Contact information for your MLA can be found on the government website or call your local constituency office. If helpful the attached Spring letter emailed to MLAs, Manitoba Deputy Ministers of Families, Education and Health, and MPs can be used as a guideline in order to share the struggles you are facing.
Stay in touch with FAN members during this time of separation and isolation. Share your issues and the impact the current protocols and practises are having on your family. The importance of support at this time of disconnection means so much as we follow all the guidelines and rules. Take care, keep well and be safe. FAN is Hope – Unity – Grassroots – Support – HUGS – at a long distance of course.