Towards Improved Practice: An online curriculum

Towards Improved Practice (TIP) is a training program that provides front-line service providers in many fields including mental health, addictions, corrections, shelters, literacy and adult education programs, with knowledge and tools to identify and best support women who are at-risk for having a child with FASD or individuals at-risk for having FASD themselves. These settings provide ideal opportunities to implement brief, effective approaches to prevent FASD as well as to improve outcomes for those already affected by FASD. CanFASD experts have developed a training workshop for front-line workers to improve understanding of the implications of prenatal alcohol exposure and to how to implement screening and a referral pathway for diagnosis and/or interventions.

Content includes:

  • An in-depth review of FASD and the implications of prenatal alcohol exposure on individuals and their families
  • Approaches to FASD prevention
  • Methods of providing support to women who are pregnant or may become pregnant to remain abstinent from alcohol
  • Methods for identifying individuals who have or may have an FASD, referring them for diagnosis where possible, and providing appropriate interventions to meet their needs
  • Clinical vignettes designed to realistically portray the provider–client interactions that might take place when providing FASD prevention or interventions

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a life-long condition characterized by significant cognitive and behavioural impairments because of prenatal alcohol exposure. Individuals with FASD are at risk for early life adversities and a host of serious adverse outcomes, including mental health problems, addictions, incarceration and maladaptive behaviors. Consequently, individuals with FASD frequently require extensive complex supportive services spanning the health, social, education, and justice sectors, with significant economic costs. Thus, FASD is likely over-represented, but under identified, in community programs/agencies, including employment, health, justice, education, child welfare, social services, substance abuse and mental health. With timely screening and assessment, these individuals can be linked directly to services that can improve outcomes. Understanding the neurocognitive deficits associated with FASD can lead to more effective intervention and treatment programs for individuals affected.

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