Father’s Day is fast approaching on Sunday, June 20, 2021, and we would like to celebrate all the fathers and caregivers who assume the roles of fathers in families across the nation. As we embark on traditions of appreciation, love and remembrance, it is important to recognize fathers’ influential role during pregnancy and preconception, as well as after the child is born.
Preconception Planning and Pregnancy
If you are a father-to-be, or trying to conceive with your partner, congratulations! This is an exciting and pivotal time for you and your partner as you take extra precautions for your health and safety.
Partners play a critical role in FASD prevention. Did you know that fathers are also advised not to consume alcohol during preconception planning and pregnancy? Stress, regular exposure to alcohol and other substances, and social pressure may encourage women to consume alcohol. This risk is even more pronounced with COVID-19 increasing alcohol and substance use in Canadian households.
Nothing is more important than providing a stable and nurturing home for a child. Fathers and other caregivers are essential to helping provide support. Studies reveal that 3 to 11% of children in the Canadian child welfare system have FASD. Children that are placed in stable home environments early on have better outcomes than those who remain in the system long term.
However, most children with FASD in foster care are not formally diagnosed, particularly when they enter the child welfare system. Getting a diagnosis is key to proper treatment and support. Caregivers are in the perfect place to recognize the needs and challenges of their children and start the assessment and diagnosis process.
Fathers with FASD
Fathers (and caregivers) with FASD have the right to parent. However, they possess unique strengths, needs, challenges and experiences related to parenting. More action is required to explore these details to encourage healthy, safe, and nurturing home environments for both caregivers with FASD and their children.