Making FASD History: A multi-site prevention program
The Making FASD History: A multisite prevention program (MFH Program) is a 3-year Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) prevention program delivered by Telethon Kids Institute in two Australian sites – Newcastle, New South Wales and Alice Springs, Northern Territory.
The focus of this program is sustainability and building capacity in local health services so that communities can continue to lead FASD prevention activities after the research is finished. The program was based on the successful Marulu strategy, a community led program of intervention in the Fitzroy Valley, Western Australia, which targeted community health promotion activities and workforce education and training. Telethon Kids Institute was an important partner in the Marulu strategy and transferred learnings from this project to guide the development of the Making FASD History program.
Telethon Kids is working with our partners in both sites to address the risks associated with alcohol consumption, with a special focus on pregnant women. Based on local priorities and identified needs we will work with our partners to develop and implement targeted activities, focussing on community health promotion and workforce education and training.
In Alice Springs, project activities are focused on:
Prevention mapping: Via an Environmental Scan of the Alice Springs area to understand how health services and programs are provided, and how they contribute to and support FASD prevention.
Workforce capacity building and training: By workforce AUDIT-C screening and brief intervention training, delivered to Congress clinics and their staff.
Alcohol use in pregnancy screening embedded into antenatal processes in Alice Springs: Through the development of referral pathways for at-risk groups attending Congress clinics.
Community education activities and raising awareness with a focus on FASD prevention: Through the delivery of culturally appropriate education sessions in schools and the wider community.
Health promotion messaging: Via development and implementing of a FASD and prenatal alcohol exposure prevention health campaign.
Prevention mapping: Via an Environmental Scan of the Newcastle area to understand the Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) and Youth Justice health services and programs available to Newcastle residents, and how these services contribute to and support FASD prevention in Newcastle.
Research exploring the role of service providers and staff in the Youth Justice sector and the AOD sector, in addressing and preventing prenatal alcohol exposure and FASD.
Workforce capacity building and training: By providing resources and training opportunities focussing on FASD, for community-based organisations and the general community.
Development of a Model of Care for young people with neurodevelopmental disorders including FASD who are involved with the Youth Justice system.
Development of FASD awareness factsheets for use in the education and justice sectors, as well as for use in the general community.
Health promotion messaging: Via delivery of a social media health promotion campaign named Pre-Testie Bestie, which addresses prenatal alcohol exposure in the Greater Newcastle area.
The Making FASD History team in Newcastle developed a number of resources for use in classrooms and the justice system in 2020.
The Newcastle FASD Youth Justice Model of Care Handbook and posters are designed to provide people working in the youth justice sector and other related sectors with information about FASD, and resources about how and where to refer young people who may have FASD or other neurodevelopmental disorders who come into contact with the Youth Justice System. Information about services and supports is listed at the end of the document.