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The FASD Center

United States of America

SAMHSA's FASD Center for Excellence

The mission of SAMHSA's FASD Center for Excellence is to explore innovative service delivery strategies; to assist states, localities, and U.S. territories in developing comprehensive systems of care; to provide training and resources; and to help to prevent alcohol-exposed pregnancies and improve the quality of life for individuals and families impacted by FASD.

The FASD Center for Excellence is engaged in several initiatives to advance the field and promote comprehensive systems of care.

  • Building FASD State Systems: This initiative is designed to facilitate and enhance systems of care at the state level through an annual meeting and work with States and Territories throughout the year.

  • FASD Prevention and Diagnosis and Intervention Initiative: This work is funded through subcontracts. Training and support is provided by the Center.

  • Native Communities: This effort uses the strengths of the Native communities to increase awareness and provide support to Native communities to address FASD prevention and treatment.

The FASD Center for Excellence has also developed online courses and educational materials, and provides training and technical assistance. Products include:

  • The FASD Center has numerous fact sheets and other materials that can be downloaded under Grab and Go on our Web site.

  • FASD: The Basics, an overview presentation that can be used and adapted by consumers and/or caregivers to provide the latest and most accurate information about FASD.

  • The Curriculum for Addiction Professionals (CAP), Levels 1 and 2. Level 1 is available online here and provides an overview of historical findings related to alcohol use by pregnant women, identification and diagnosis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, prevention and treatment methods, and legal issues. Level 2 is geared toward practical application, and is available from the SAMHSA Store.

  • Tools for Success Curriculum: Working with Youth and FASD in the Juvenile Justice System, a training to promote strategies to identify needs of youth in corrections with FASD and to develop and present more effective intervention strategies. The training curriculum is designed to help juvenile justice professionals intervene more effectively with juvenile offenders with FASD who are identified as likely to engage in repeated criminal activity. This training is also available from the SAMHSA Store.

We also encourage you to visit our links page here at the FASD Center for Excellence Web site, where you can find additional information about State, Federal, and regional organizations that provide resources, training, and research in the area of FASD.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

NIAAA coordinates the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (ICCFAS). Members of the ICCFAS include several agencies from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, and Justice. The objectives of the ICCFAS are to exchange information and coordinate Federal strategies and programs in an effort to address FAS on a national level. On September 23-24, 2008, the ICCFAS is holding a symposium titled Preventing Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Substance-exposed Pregnancies: A Community Affair at the HHS facilities in Rockville, MD. There is no charge to attend.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

FASD is a public health concern that the CDC addresses through their National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD). The CDC has developed guidelines for the diagnosis of FAS, and has spearheaded a number of prevention efforts, including:

  • Project BALANCE is a project to prevent alcohol-exposed pregnancies among young women.

  • Project CHOICES is a prevention program that targets high-risk women.
The CDC is also working on a number of collaborative, international FASD projects, including:
  • Conducting prevalence and prevention studies with South Africa

  • Partnering with researchers in Denmark to examine central nervous system development in children with varying levels of alcohol exposure.

Congressional Caucus on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

The mission of the Congressional Caucus on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders is to educate members of the United States House of Representatives on issues relevant to preventing FASD and increasing the quality of life for those currently living with these debilitating birth defects.

National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) Exit Disclaimer Graphic

NOFAS is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating alcohol-related birth defects and improving the quality of life for individuals with FASD and their families. Among the many resources they provide, NOFAS has developed a comprehensive school-based FASD education and prevention curriculum for grades K-12. These brief units offer teachers the opportunity to integrate information on FASD and disabilities into the standard curriculum. In addition, NOFAS pursues and co-sponsors many legislative initiatives, including the reauthorization of the national Task Force on FASD.