Individuals with FASD can experience a wide range of complex needs, necessitating supports from across disciplines and sectors. Although awareness of FASD in Alberta is reportedly increasing, the prevalence of FASD is not decreasing. In fact, a challenging rise in demand for FASD services suggests that awareness alone may not result in behavioral change.
Large-scale surveys conducted after FASD awareness events indicated high rates of success in terms of sharing messages about the cause of FASD, that there is no known safe amount of alcohol to consume during pregnancy, and information about the needs of people with FASD. However, permissive messages from professionals about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy prevail, highlight the need to disseminate accurate FASD knowledge and information across sectors.
Evaluation findings revealed that professionals who received Prevention Conversation training had greater comfort and confidence in delivering messages about FASD prevention; improved their knowledge of FASD and relevant strategies, resources, and community services; and planned to incorporate this new knowledge into practice.
Supporting primary care providers, education, health and social service providers that work with youth, women of child-bearing age and their partners, and communities across Alberta to develop the necessary skills to engage in non-judgmental, empathetic conversations about alcohol use is paramount in the prevention of FASD.
For more information on the FASD Prevention Conversation, A Shared Responsibility project, click below.