FASD Prevention & Support Month

The British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development stresses, “FASD is the leading known cause of developmental disability in children.  There is no safe amount, or safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy,” and supports September as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Prevention and Support month, an opportunity for communities throughout the province and the world to work together to raise awareness about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy and to support those who live with FASD every day. The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) is planning a two-day training event for FASD key workers, to be held in Spring 2017, bringing together key workers from across the province to discuss the latest research and best practices regarding support and services for those who need them.

The two-day training is designed to enable front-line workers to build their knowledge and skills so they can deliver high-quality supports and services to individuals and families who are living with FASD.  The event will include advanced training for supervisors to better enable them to support their team members in cases where the level of care needed is more complex.

As an ongoing component of the FASD Key Worker Program, established by MCFD in 2006, a strategic component of the 2008-18 FASD Provincial Plan is training for service providers in the field of FASD.  In their partnership lead role during 2016-17 for the Canada Northwest FASD Partnership, BC is involved in planning a national symposium on FASD and justice to be held in Regina early in 2017.

  • Health Canada estimates that nine in every 1,000 infants are born with FASD, making it the leading know preventable form of disability in Canada.
  • Drinking alcohol in pregnancy may cause permanent changes to the developing brain.
  • This exposure has lifelong implications; those with FASD face challenges with memory, social communication, attention and sensory skills, and often have difficulty learning from consequences.
  • While people with FASD can have significant and lifelong challenges in many areas of their lives, with support and understanding, their strengths and talents can be enhanced and their chances of success increased.
  • Individuals with FASD are also at risk of depression, anxiety and many physical health issues.
  • The safest choice is to drink no alcohol at all when pregnant or planning to become pregnant.