Courtney Fraser is the Family Preservation Support Worker for the new youth justice project, Through in Aboriginal Lens created in collaboration by the Native Courtworkers and Counselling Associating of British Columbia (NCCA) and the Asante Centre. Her role is to provide families and youth with supports both prior, during and after attendance to the Asante Centre for a FASD Assessments. Courtney ensures children stay with their families by providing wrap-around-service support when referrals for assessment are first sent to the Asante Centre. By looking at the needs and strengths of the youth, families and communities, Courtney creates individualized healing plans to prevent children from re-entering the justices system and to prevent them from entering the foster care system, either through voluntary care or child protection concerns. Courtney has a pro-active approach which not only means making sure the youth and families understand the assessment and are supported but, so do other service providers and communities. For children already in care when referred for assessment, she assist the youth in building a positive sense of identity and constructs healthy bridges between families as well as the youths’ First Nation communities and traditional values.
Previous to her new role, Courtney has worked with NCCA for two years as a Native Courtworker in the Lower Fraser Valley supporting youth and families in the justice system and prior to that working as a Native Liaison with First Nation adults in federal corrections. Through her passion, wide range of experience and education (BA in Law and Human Rights) her goal is to make sure our vulnerable youth of today get the support they need so they do not end up in our adult justice system tomorrow.
Darla Rasmussen, Project Manager
Darla is a Red Butterfly Woman from Siksika, a Blackfoot Nation about an hour outside Calgary. She has lived most of her life in British Columbia, being principally raised in Abbotsford. Darla is a family woman with two boys who are also rooted in Skatin (In-SHUCK-Ch Nation) and she has a loving partner from the Bridge River Band in Lillooet.
Having worked for over a year as a Family Preservation Worker for TAL, Darla is already familiar with the work of the program and understands FASD. The program supports youth through the FASD assessment process and facilitates communication with family and any persons related to the assessment process or the youths’ engagement with the criminal justice system. This culturally influenced support helps reduce the number of youth with FASD entering into ministry care and the criminal justice system and assists youth in reconnecting with birth families, communities and cultures.
Darla says that she is very humbled and excited to be the new Program Manager and is both motivated and optimistic as the program moves forward. Darla has been working in the helping field and with Indigenous communities since 2004.
Darla can be contacted by Cell: 604-349-2578 and Phone: 604-467-7101. For more information on our TAL program please visit www.throughanaboriginallens.ca and www.nccabc.ca.
All My Relations
Sean Russell, Youth and Family Support Worker
Sean Russell from Mi’kmaq First Nation in Eel River New Brunswick joins The Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of British Columbia as a Youth and Family Support Worker for the youth justice project, Through an Aboriginal Lens. Sean has 8 years’ experience working with Indigenous Youth and families through the Friendship Centre Society as an Outreach Worker and Counselor specializing in addictions. He has facilitated different individual and group based workshops on anger management, addiction education, self-esteem, and relationship building. Sean has lived in the Mission community for over 15 years and continually strives to improve his community by advocating for programs for our Indigenous people. Sean hopes to move back to his home community in New Brunswick to continue helping those who are so often unseen by mainstream society. Sean is honored to have the privilege to continue working with Indigenous youth and families with compassion and respect.
Donna Lagimodiere, Family Preservation Worker