The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) program supports the development of culturally appropriate evidence-based prevention, promotion and early intervention programs related to FASD.
The program implements prevention programs through mentorship, using a home visitation model, the Parent–Child Assistance Program. The program is an evidence-based, home-visitation, case-management model for mothers who use alcohol or drugs during pregnancy. Its goals are to help pregnant and parenting women to build healthy families and prevent future births of children exposed prenatally to alcohol and drugs.
For a complete description of program objectives and components, see Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in the FNHA Programs and Services Guide (page 33).
FASD is an umbrella term that describes a range of disabilities that result from prenatal alcohol exposure. The medical diagnoses of FASD include:
• Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)• Partial FASD (pFASD)• Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND)• Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD)
FASD is the leading known cause of preventable developmental disability among Canadians. It is estimated that FASD affects approximately 1% of the Canadian population. The condition has serious and harmful effects on the child, family and community. FNHA works with communities to support mothers in building healthy families by avoiding alcohol during pregnancy.
FASD cannot be cured and has lifelong consequences for individuals, their families and society. Effects, including alcohol-related birth defects, can vary from mild to severe and may include a range of physical, mental and central nervous system disabilities, as well as cognitive, behavioural and emotional issues.
Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines advise that there is no safe amount, and no safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy.
BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (BC HealthLink) Guide to Healthy Pregnancy (Canadian government website) Pregnant Women and Alcohol (BC Healthlink)