This section includes projects being conducted around Australia which may not include Telethon Institute for Child Health Research staff.
The medical, developmental, educational and social consequences of FASD: A survey of the knowledge, attitudes and practices and training deficiencies within the Queensland criminal justice agencies in regards to FASD
Alcohol in Pregnancy: What questions should we be asking?
Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Asking Questions about Alcohol in Pregnancy (AQUA)
Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
We are collecting detailed information about alcohol drinking in pregnancy from a large group of pregnant women to assess the effect of different amounts of alcohol and on the unborn child. We are also collecting information on things that might influence the effects of alcohol such as diet, medication and body size.
The aims of this project are to find out whether:
- low to moderate quantities of alcohol at various stages of pregnancy are associated with problems in the health and development of young children at birth and at 12-24 months of age and
- maternal DNA variations, specific dietary factors or other environmental influences can affect the impact of low to moderate quantities of alcohol in pregnancy
A total of 2,000 women pregnant with a single baby are expected to participate in this project.
The Lililwan Project - tackling fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
Initiated by indigenous women June Oscar and Emily Carter and supported by community leaders in the Fitzroy Valley, a partnership was formed between the Nindilingarri Cultural Health Services, Marninwarntikura Women's Resource Centre, The George Institute for Global Health and the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Sydney Medical School to undertake a prevalence study of FASD. Lililwan is a Kriol, or Aboriginal English word meaning 'little ones or children'.
To read more about the Lililwan Project
Marulu Film Project
The George Institute for Global Health
A documentary and an educational film will be produced to raise awareness of FASD and their impact on children, their parents and carers, and whole communities.
A group of Indigenous leaders has partnered with experts in Indigenous health, paediatric medicine, human rights advocacy, child protection and a world-class production company to progress a community-led strategy developed to address FASD in the Fitzroy Valley of WA.
The strategy, Marulu, has three components: diagnosis and prevention of FASD, support for parents and carers of children with FASD, and advocacy and awareness-raising about FASD. In line with the third component of the strategy the project team will produce two films to raise awareness of FASD and their impact on the lives of children living in the Fitzroy Valley.
The documentary film will be of 30 mins duration and will give a unique perspective on FAS by highlighting through the eyes of an 11 year old child living with FAS the challenges faced by both children with FAS or a FASD and also their families. The educational film will be of 15 mins duration and will include more detailed information about the clinical, behavioural and psychosocial features of FASD and the evidence base for its diagnosis, management and prevention.
For further information contact Associate Professor Jane Latimer
Development of the first screening and diagnostic service for FASD in NSW
The Children's Hospital at Westmead
This project will establish the first diagnostic clinic for FASD in Australia, and is a collaboration of health professionals, researchers, community organisations and government. A key component of the project involves testing and refining a new diagnostic tool, and building consensus on nationally agreed clinical guidelines. The project will inform evidence-based practice and provide training and education to more health professionals in the use of screening and diagnostic tools. The research team will collate prevalence data on FASD and also survey the impact of FASD on families, parents and carers, to enable the provision of more relevant and improved services. As part of the project evaluation, the research team will estimate the costs of setting up and running a FASD assessment service to inform the development of screening and diagnostic services elsewhere in Australia.
National Indigenous Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Resource Project
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre
This project aims to develop templates that can be used in the production of culturally secure and appropriate resources to assist health professionals in Aboriginal and Torres Straight health care settings across Australia to address the issues of alcohol and pregnancy and FASD.
Improving services for pregnant women dependent on alcohol
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NSW)
This project aims to improve treatment practices of chronic alcohol dependence in pregnancy. At present, only a small proportion of pregnant women who drink at high levels are identified and treated. There are a number of reasons for this, and to date barriers to treatment have been identified as including a fear of losing custody of their children, a lack of childcare if they were to go into treatment, a lack of access or priority for pregnant women and a lack of special services.
This study will examine the experiences of alcohol treatment in pregnancy and barriers in accessing services from the perspective of alcohol dependent women and the clinicians that treat them. In particular, this study will examine the role of gender stereotypes in the development of alcohol use problems in contemporary Australian society.
Through this project, a new resource will be produced for use by clinicians to improve practices in the management of alcohol dependence in pregnancy.
Improving services to families affected by FASD
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NSW)
The medical, developmental, educational and social consequences of FASD: A survey of the knowledge and training deficits within the Queensland criminal justice agencies in regards to FASD
The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research
The aim of the project is to inform and provide the impetus to reform the policing, judicial and corrections systems while optimising effective service delivery, and contribute to the development of appropriate rehabilitation, support and management strategies for people with FASD and their families. Researchers will survey the knowledge, attitudes, practices and training deficits within Queensland criminal justice agencies in regards to FASD. Survey data will be collected from representatives from probation and parole services, correctional services, the police service, lawyers, judiciary, defence counsel, legal aid and other staff as appropriate. The survey results will inform recommendations for training across the Australian criminal justice sector.
No Safe Amount - The Effects of Alcohol in Pregnancy
NPY Women's Council - Alice Springs, Northern Territory
"No safe amount - The Effects of Alcohol in Pregnancy" is an early intervention and prevention campaign designed to raise awareness of the deleterious and permanent effects on the unborn child of using alcohol during pregnancy, particularly awareness of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), through an educational/advertising campaign and DVD resource using a combination of media including animation and live action. The campaign was developed in partnership with young people in the remote Aboriginal Community of manpa, including script development, pre- and post-production and casting. The stories contained within the DVD were role played by local community members who were actively engaged in the process. And the three 30-second broadcast-quality commercials are in both Pitjantjatjara (the local language) and English.
The three components of the campaign are: Ititjara(pregnancy); The Growing Brain; and Responsible Fathers. In 2010 the TV commercials were aired for three months on Imparja Television, which has the largest broadcasting footprint in Australia, ensuring the message was spread far and wide. The commercials have been recognised with a 'highly commended' at the 2011 National Drug and Alcohol Awards and the project won the 2011 Deadly Award for Outstanding Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.
The South West Women's Health and Information Centre (SWWHIC), Bunbury WA
SWWHIC is a centre for women to have one on one appointments with a councillor, Registered Nurse or Life Coach. We run Pap Smear Clinics, Sexually Transmitted Infection Screening Service as well as many other health programs and talks.
In 2009 the SWWHIC received a grant from AERF. The grant was to produce an education advertisement in regard to Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), to educate the public about the risk of drinking alcohol during pregnancy and breastfeeding. A focus group met twice deciding on a positive message to support the pregnant and breastfeeding mother, with the message to empower all women and the whole community to make the healthiest and safest choice. The message: "If you're pregnant or breastfeeding or breastfeeding, there is not known "safe level" of alcohol consumption." The advertisement features local talent, from many different cultures. It was filmed locally, with the scene's being chosen that don't identify Bunbury, they could be from anywhere in Australia. One of the talents is a local Noongar Elder, with her daughter and many other family members who support this message.
The advertisement has been aired on GWN throughout Western Australia, in February 2011. SWWHIC have received and continue to receive great positive qualitative feedback in regard to the simple and positive message.
This project was funded by the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation.
The full 30 second and short 15 second advertisements can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/user/SWWHIC
For further information contact Nerida McMillan, Nurse Educator.
The Strong Spirit Strong Future- Promoting Healthy Women and Pregnancies project commenced in July 2010 and is funded under the Council of Australian Governments' Closing the Gap funding until 30 June 2014. The project, designed for Aboriginal people and communities, aims to raise awareness of the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) 2009 guidelines about alcohol use when planning a pregnancy, during pregnancy and when breastfeeding. This prevention based project includes the following strategies:
- development of culturally secure resources
- community awareness media campaign
- training and education for health professionals and other workers.
Read more about this project at Strong Spirit Strong Futures
The National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Related Disorders (NOFASARD) is developing a training program for the child and family services sector aimed at building capacity to support those who care for children living with FASD. The pilot to be conducted in Tasmania is funded by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.
The WA Health FASD Model of Care was developed by a Working Group convened by the WA Child and Youth Health Network. Read the 2010 FASD Model of Care. Further information on the implementation process can be found on the Health Networks website FASD Model of Care.