Caregiver Burnout

Caregiver burnout is a state of stress and fatigue resulting from caring for an individual, or individuals, for an extended period of time. Caregiver burnout is caused by the increased and sustained levels of stress from caring for an individual without the proper supports in place.

Signs of caregiver burnout:

  • Loss of interest or  motivation to care for the individual
  • Withdrawal from other loved ones
  • Feeling irritable, hopeless, or helpless
  • Change in appetite and/or sleeping patterns
  • Wanting to injure yourself and/or the person being cared for

Interventions for caregivers, support groups, and short periods of rest can help improve caregivers well being and reduce their chance of burnout. In order to reduce stress,  the developmental needs of the person they are caring for and provide the appropriate supports. . Aditionally, supporting the development of structure and routine can help ease the day to day difficulties. Finally, the support team can promote kindness, compassion, patience, and self-care for the caregiver(s), to help them to remain healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally.


Canada Adopts: Adoptive Parent Support Groups in Canada
Website listing national and provincial support groups for foster and adoptive parents

Key Worker and Parent Support Services (British Columbia)
A service provided in BC to provide education, support, and resources to families with FASD. Webpage contains a link displaying key workers and parent support agencies for each region of the province (from BC Ministry of Children and Family Development)

FaFASD: Families and Supports Affected by FASD (Michigan)
Caregiver support group for Michigan families affected by FASD

Join the Circle of Hope/Birth Mothers Network
A network of support for birth mothers from NOFAS

Stepping Out on Saturdays (SOS) (Manitoba)
A respite program through Manitoba's Rehabilitation Centre for Children for children 3-12 years old with FASD. The program provides respite to parents while providing opportunities for children to develop social skills, self regulation, fine motor and gross motor skills

Virtual Family Center
MOFAS's online support community for families affected by FASD

MOFAS Sponsored Support Groups (Minnesota, USA)
Information on caregiver support groups in Minnesota

Birth Families (Minnesota, USA)
MOFAS supports for biological families of individuals with FASD

OlderFAS Support Group
Support group for parents of older teens and adults with FASD hosted with Yahoo Groups

Group for parents who are home-schooling kids with FASD to share resources, methods, encouragement, etc. hosted with Yahoo Groups

The FASD Trust
Online community providing forums, support groups, resources, etc. (This page is run in the UK, but anyone can join)

The Bissell Centre FASD Services (Edmonton, AB)
Site including support for individuals, families, and communities for people with FASD

Families Moving Forward Program
A program involving behavioural intervention for children and support for families


FASD Frontline April 2013
Newsletter from Edmonton Fetal Alcohol Network containing many suggestions for ways to support caregiver needs