The Healthy Communities Foundation Australia (THCFA) and the University of Sydney have been awarded funding to expand services for children, adolescents and communities affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a preventable condition caused by alcohol exposure before birth. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with birth defects, growth problems and specific facial features.
Children with FASD have a range of problems with learning, development and behaviour and do best with early diagnosis and treatment. Longer term, people with FASD may face serious problems at school, unemployment and homelessness, and have an average life expectancy of just 34 years.
The FASD NSW Program:
There is an urgent need for increased screening and diagnostic capacity for FASD in NSW children and adolescents in high-risk groups (ATSI, OOHC, juvenile justice, regional/remote NSW).
The program will:
increase the capacity for FASD screening in primary medical services in rural/remote Aboriginal communities in North West NSW; and
refer patients to the FASD NSW outreach diagnostic service.
Over the next 12 months, THCFA will be rolling out FASD training and support to health professionals and community groups in Collarenebri, Gilgandra, and Warren. Through this training and community engagement, THCFA also aims to increase community awareness of the harms of drinking alcohol while pregnant.
If you are interested in participating in training or want to learn more about the program, please reach out to our THCFA FASD NSW Project Manager:
FASD NSW consortium members:
The FASD NSW consortium members include CICADA Centre NSW, The Healthy Communities Foundation Australia, the NSW Department of Communities and Justice, NSW Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network, the NSW Children's Court, Youth Koori Court and Children's Court Clinic, the NSW Substance Use in Pregnancy and Parenting Service, and the National Organisation for FASD Australia (NOFASD).