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.

First Peoples Child & Family Review volume 18 number 1, An Interdisciplinary Journal Honouring the Voices, Perspectives, and Knowledges of First Peoples – The Volume 18, Issue (1): Special Edition of the First Peoples Child & Family Review grew out of a symposium on Indigenous voices in child protection decision-making held in Sydney, Australia, in March 2021. While grossly overrepresented in child protection systems, the experiences and insights of Indigenous families, communities and organisations are often marginalised, or not heard at all, in critical child protection decision-making. This Special Edition collectively points to the strength of Indigenous families, communities, and organisational voices, and the wilful refusal by child welfare and related government departments to act on the evidence concerning effective self-determining child protection systems.

Cover thumbnail image of journal.

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.

Hands, not Hurdles: Helping Children with FASD and their Families – Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disabilities in the Western world and yet it remains a highly misunderstood, multi-faceted brain and body disability that affects many people in our communities. This lack of understanding about the complexities of FASD leads to blaming, shaming, stigma, discrimination and racism that causes harm to people with FASD and their families. It also leads to people with FASD getting almost no supports or services. We all need to be more informed, understanding and supportive of children and youth with FASD and their families. This short, illustrated report follows RCY’s more detailed report Excluded, Increasing Understanding, Support and Inclusion for Children with FASD and their Families, released in April 2021.