There is an urgent need for increased screening and diagnostic capacity for FASD in NSW children and adolescents in high-risk groups in regional and remote NSW. Diagnoses of FASD will trigger a referral to early intervention and the NDIS.
Rural and Remote Medical Services (RARMS), the University of Sydney and Sydney Children's Hospitals Network, have received grant funding from the Australian Government to provide education, training and support to:
increase the capacity for FASD screening in primary medical services in rural/remote Aboriginal communities in North West NSW; and
refer patients to a multidisciplinary clinical service for the assessment and management of children and adolescents with FASD.
ABOUT FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER
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.
TRAINING & SUPPORT
For health professionals and communities
Over the next 12 months, RARMS will be rolling out FASD training and support to health professionals and community groups across regional NSW. Through this training and community engagement, RARMS 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 RARMS FASD NSW Project Manager: Julia Faulkner - Jfaulkner@rarms.org.au