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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), United States Department of Health and Human Services
(HHS), is the lead Federal agency addressing behavioral health services. SAMHSA's mission is to build resilience and facilitate
recovery for people with or at risk for substance abuse and mental illness. SAMHSA was established as a services agency in 1992,
though its predecessors have existed within the Public Health Service since 1930.
The SAMHSA Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Center for Excellence (CFE) was launched in 2001. Congress authorized the Center
in Section 519D of the Children's Health Act of 2000, which included six mandates
(Section b of 42 USC 290bb-25d
or Public Law 106-310).
The mandates focused on exploring innovative service delivery strategies, developing comprehensive systems of care for FASD prevention and treatment,
training service system staff, families, and individuals with an FASD, and preventing alcohol use among women of childbearing age.
While the scope of the FASD CFE has been reduced in the current fiscal year, SAMHSA continues to rely on the FASD CFE for information dissemination
and knowledge expansion related to FASD. Specifically, the FASD CFE continues to:
- Provide a variety of informational resources for consumers and practitioners, including a toll-free information line (1-866-STOPFAS [786-7327]),
a comprehensive Web site, and resources and products;
- Conduct ongoing literature reviews related to FASD, as these are vital for maintaining the online database, identifying trends and gaps in FASD
information and research, and providing source material for future technical reports on emerging focus areas in the FASD field; and
- Conduct outreach to selected public and private entities to encourage the inclusion of important and accurate FASD prevention and treatment information
and/or services in critical new areas.
The mission of the FASD CFE is to facilitate the development and improvement of behavioral health prevention and treatment systems in the United States by
providing national leadership and facilitating collaboration in the field.