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Edmonton and area Fetal Alcohol Network Society


Here is the latest FASD Frontline Newsletter.  This month the newsletter focuses on relationships and sexuality.

April 2014

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Girls, Women, Alcohol, and Pregnancy


FASD informed practice can include:

  • An awareness that FASD (diagnosed and undiagnosed) is a reality for many individuals involved with a variety of community-based programs
  • A strong theoretical and practical understanding of the traits, characteristics, barriers, and needs of those affected by FASD
  • A willingness on the part of program staff, including administration, reception, and frontline workers, to participate in ongoing FASD education and training initiatives
  • Agency policies that accommodate the unique needs of individuals living with FASD in order to create a program that works for all participants
  • A respectful and individualized approach to service delivery that recognizes individual strengths

This guide from the College of New Caledonia is designed to assist programs in providing FASD-informed services and supports. The approaches discussed were developed from evidence-based research and from the practical experience of individuals working with women and their families who may be living with FASD.

The guide includes…

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In light of our last post on “ReMoved,” a film about foster care, we would like to share with you a foster care related event hosted by MOFAS.

On April 29, 2014, MOFAS will host “Creating Permanency for Foster and Kinship Families“, an event for parents, caregivers, and professionals. The event will discuss the challenges facing families caring for a child with difficult behaviours and offer techniques to develop solutions. For more information and contact info, see the link above.

Unfortunately, this is not an online event and is only offered in Minneapolis, so for those of you in the Minneapolis area: Enjoy!

This film may resonate with some of the caregivers out there.

ReMoved is an artistic portrayal of one child’s experience  in the foster care system. The film has won several awards from the 168 Film Festival in California and the Enfoque International Film Festival in Puerto Rico for its emotional representation of a the removal of a child from her biological family and subsequent foster placements- an experience many children with FASD are all to familiar with.

Several studies have examined the prevalence of children in care with FASD. In 2005, Fuchs et al. found that Canada’s own Manitoba had 1869 children in care with a disability. Thirty four percent of those children were diagnosed with an FASD. An additional 15% were suspected of having FASD but had not received a formal diagnosis. These numbers are disproportionately higher than the estimated prevalence of FASD in Canada, which is believed to be approximately 1% (Stade et el. 2009). In Chile, approximately 6.2% of children in care had FAS and approximately 15.8% had FASD (Mena et al. 1993). Russian foster homes and orphanages were reported to have approximately 15% FAS prevalence and approximately 42.7-68% FAS prevalence in orphanages specifically for children with special needs (Bubnov 2010). Brazilian orphanages reported similarly high numbers, with 27.7% of children having FASD (Stromland et al. 2011).

In addition to reviewing the familial factors that affect the outcomes of individuals with FASD,  Olson et al. (2009) reviewed the effects on the family of caring for a child with FASD. Findings included good quality of caregiving and  stability in the home as vital aspects to successful outcomes for those with FASD. The authors noted parental stress, lack of family support resources, need for constant vigilance, stress on marriage, and concerns about parenting and child management as some of the difficulties faced by families caring for individuals with FASD.

Clearly the need for effective foster placements is high, as this film strikingly demonstrates. For ideas on finding support for caregivers, visit our “caregiver support intervention options” page on KnowFASD.

 To our readers:

Did this film resonate with you as a caregiver? As an individual? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.



Bubnov, A. A. (2010). Morfo-funktsional’naya diagnostika posledstviy vnutriutrobnogo alkogol’nogo vozdeystviya u detey rannego vozrasta. [Morpho-functional diagnosis of the consequences of prenatal alcohol exposure during pregnancy in early childhood]. Avtoreferat dissertatsii kan med nauk Pediatriya. [Dissertation Abstract, PhD. Pediatrics]. Yekaterinburg, Russia.

Fuchs, D., Burnside, L., Marchenski, S., & Murdy, A. (2005). Children with disabilities receiving services from child welfare agencies in Manitoba.Ottawa, ON: Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare. Retrieved from

Mena, M., Navarrete, P., Avila, P., Bedregal, P., & Berrios, X. (1993). Relation of paternal alcohol ingestion with offspring intellectual coefficient. Revista Medica de Chile, 121, 98–105.

Olson, H.C., Oti, R., Gelo, J., & Beck, S. (2009). “Family matters”: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and the family. Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 15, 235-249.

Stade, B., Ali, A., Bennett, D., Campbell, D., Johnston, M., Lens, C., Tran, S. & Koren, G. (2009). The burden of prenatal exposure to alcohol: revised measurement of cost. Canadian Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 16, 91-102.

Strömland, K., Ventura, L. O., Mirzaei, L., Brandt, C., Fontes, K., Moura, A., et al. (2011). Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in orphanage children in Brazil: A multidisciplinary study. Birth Defects Research Part A—Clinical and Molecular Teratology, 91, 332.

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