New action plan and funding to tackle Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Posted 2 weeks ago by Nicole Pope

The announcement of a national strategic plan and $7 million in funding will help address Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder [Source: Shutterstock]
The announcement of a national strategic plan and $7 million in funding will help address Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder [Source: Shutterstock]

The Government will match its recent funding boost announcement for autism research by unveiling a new national action plan and funding initiative to tackle Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

More than $7 million in new funding will help reduce the impact of the lifelong physical and neurodevelopmental condition.

The funding will be divided into five key priorities;

  • prevention ($1.47m),

  • screening and diagnosis ($1.2m),

  • informing schools and workplaces and support the justice and policing sectors

  • tailoring solutions to local communities ($1.27m)

  • continuing existing activities such as development of a one-stop digital hub for information, resources and support ($1.55m)

“This funding will enable work to start immediately and help protect future generations and give children the best start possible,” Minister of Greg Hunt says.

The National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Strategic Action Plan 2018-2028 (the Plan) is a ten year plan that has been developed and built around the previous foundational work made by Governments, non-Government organisations, families, researchers and clinicians, individuals and communities to provide a clear pathway of priorities and opportunities to improve the prevention, diagnosis, support and management of FASD in Australia.

The key national priorities, outlined in the Plan to help reduce the prevalence of FASD are prevention, screening and diagnosis, support and management and priority groups and populations at increased risk.

“This plan will show us the way forward to tackle the tragic problem of FASD - guiding future actions for Governments, service providers and communities in the priority areas of prevention, screening and diagnosis, support and management and tailoring needs to communities.”

Minister for Indigenous Health and Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM says a collaborative approach between families, communities, service providers and governments will help reduce the prevalence of FASD.

“FASD requires a national approach linking in closely with local solutions.”

“We are acknowledging the scale of the issue in Australia and intensifying efforts to address it.”

Executive Officer of National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (NOFASD), Louise Gray says the organisation welcomes the 10 year action plan and funding boost and says it will address all the priorities associated with this complex disability.

“We think the Australian Government Department of Health deserve positive recognition for this leadership,” she says.

“Australia once lagged behind on this agenda but with this plan we have developed strategies to address the issue across different target groups, mainstream populations, reduce alcohol exposed pregnancies and most importantly better assist those already affected.”

“FASD cannot be prevented or adequately supported without strategic approaches. Many countries adopt project-based strategies and they will not be able to make the impact that a national plan like this one will make.”

Click here to read the National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Strategic Action Plan 2018-2028. 

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