Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Child Welfare — Children, youth, and young adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) are a key population in the child welfare system. Responding to FASD requires skills and knowledge in the many areas that intersect with FASD. Social workers and other professionals who work in the child welfare system require increased education, training, and support to address the needs of individuals with FASD and their families.

Breastfeeding and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder — While the harmful effects of consuming alcohol during pregnancy are well established, the adverse consequences of alcohol intake while breastfeeding have not been fully evaluated. Prenatal alcohol exposure can cause Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), which describes the range of complex physical, mental, and behavioural disabilities that can occur. Although alcohol exposure through the consumption of breast milk does not cause FASD, it can impact central nervous system development.

Examining barriers to harm reduction and child welfare services for pregnant women and mothers who use substances using a stigma action framework – Pregnant women and mothers who use substances face unique stigma and formidable barriers to support, for both reducing harms associated with their substance use and enhancing their capacity to parent. This paper add an understanding of how multiple levels of stigma perpetuate barriers faced by pregnant women and mothers involved in substance use and child welfare services and evidenced-based solutions for addressing these barriers are presented.

Advancing Knowledge on Best Practice and Care of Infants, Children, and Youth with Prenatal Substance Exposure/Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Child Welfare: Brief Summary — FASD has a major impact on infants, children, and youth who are vulnerable to falling through the cracks due to a lack of knowledge about this disability within service systems. Families of children and youth with prenatal substance exposure (PSE) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) often experience intergenerational trauma, early exposure to substance use, and involvement with the child welfare system. This report highlights the need for routine screening, assessment and early intervention for children with PSE and FASD in order to do effective case planning and minimize risks.

State-of-the-Art Review of Transition Planning Tools for Youth With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Canada — While the nature of the formal transition to adulthood has changed over the past decade, it continues to be premised on the notion of achieving independence. Individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), however, may never reach full independence in their adult years, instead more so achieving interdependence. Consequently, their transition into adulthood may be particularly challenging because of the expectation of increased responsibilities and autonomy in many areas of life. While there is considerable interest in the area of transitional aged youth and youth leaving care, there is much less research addressing the needs of those with developmental disabilities, particularly FASD, leaving care and transitioning to adult services. It is not clear what services currently exist in Canada for transitional aged youth with FASD. Furthermore, it is also unknown to what extent existing programs enable youth with FASD to successfully transition into adulthood. Using a state-of-the-art review method, the purpose of this project was to review the literature on transition planning processes for youth with FASD from across Canada to determine the strengths and challenges of these existing transition planning tools, and to provide recommendations for the future for youth with FASD and their families. Published in Journal on Developmental Disabilities

Transition Planning for Individuals with FASD Infographic thumbnail
Transition Planning for Individuals with FASD Infographic

Care of Children and Youth with Prenatal Substance Exposure in Child Welfare: A Scoping Literature Review of Best Practices — The purpose of this scoping review was to identify and describe within the existing literature child welfare best practices for children and youth in care with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

INcare Report — A Rapid Evidence Assessment of Best Practice Literature on the Care of Infants with Prenatal Substance Exposure in Foster Care

Caring for infants in foster care — In this scoping review project we examined literature from peer reviewed journals and web-based policy documents that have been published in the past ten years.