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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 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 focus 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
The mission of the FASD Center for Excellence 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.
- Reduce the number of infants born prenatally exposed to alcohol.
- Increase functioning of persons who have an FASD.
- Improve quality of life for individuals and families affected by FASD.