Training & Education
Improvements in FASD prevention, identification and care can be enhanced through systematic efforts to educate medical and allied health students and practitioners about these issues. Such efforts will contribute toward the goals of better alcohol screening and care for women at risk for an alcohol-exposed pregnancy and identification, diagnosis, and referral to treatment for individuals with prenatal alcohol exposure.
Parents, caregivers, school staff, and others who are with children with FASDs every day can benefit from learning more about FASDs, how they affect the child, strategies for working with the child to best enable him or her to meet his or her full potential, and how to locate appropriate services for the affected child and his or her family.
CDC is committed to the education and awareness of those who care for and work with individuals living with FASDs. CDC supports the following education activities:
Enhanced Resources for FASD Prevention and Intervention – NOFAS
In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded a 4-year cooperative agreement to the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) . The purpose of this project is to (1) increase the availability and coordination of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD)-related prevention, intervention, and support services at the national, state, and local levels, and (2) increase awareness regarding FASDs through the distribution and dissemination of accurate information through professional and public health networks and the media. The project, The NOFAS Clearinghouse and Media Outreach Center: A Model of Collaboration, Communication, and Capacity Building, includes the following components:
- A clearinghouse to:
- Enhance and expand the National and State Resource Directory to link communities and professionals with community resources such as diagnosis, family support groups, treatment for women, and treatment for individuals living with an FASD.
- Enhance and expand the NOFAS Information Clearinghouse and disseminate resources and materials.
- Affiliate and stakeholder networks to:
- Media outreach to:
- Track current media coverage regarding alcohol use and pregnancy and FASDs.
- Develop a process for responding to media portrayals of these issues in a timely manner using consistent messages.
- Develop strategies to engage the media proactively to provide accurate coverage of the topics of alcohol use, pregnancy, and FASDs.
CDC previously collaborated with NOFAS to develop and disseminate FASD prevention and education resources for parents and family members, educators, students, professionals, and the public.
As part of this project, NOFAS developed a school-based K-12 FASD Education and Prevention Curriculum for teachers to implement with students in Kindergarten through grade 12. The curriculum provides age-appropriate information about the consequences that alcohol can have on human development while also encouraging youth to be tolerant and accepting of all individuals regardless of a person's individual capabilities or disabilities.
NOFAS also developed an FASD Public Awareness Guide . The primary purpose of the guide is to enhance public awareness about the risk of prenatal alcohol consumption, FASDs, and the needs of the people and families living with the disorder. The guide offers practical suggestions and strategies to approach community members, service systems, the media, etc. with the FASD prevention and education message, as well as suggestions on how to advocate for services for individuals with FASDs.Top of Page
Screening and Intervention Tools for Women's Healthcare Providers
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), in collaboration with CDC, has developed resources for women’s health care providers in identifying women who drink too much and in providing brief educational counseling to reduce or eliminate alcohol use. Resources include a cell phone app, downloadable patient information sheets, current news articles, treatment referral information, and more. These resources are available at no charge to women's health care providers. Learn more!Top of Page
Educational Materials for the Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Russia
CDC has collaborated with the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, in collaboration with St. Petersburg State University, to develop (1) training materials for Russian health professionals (pediatricians, obstetricians-gynecologists, substance abuse treatment providers), (2) printed educational materials targeting women of childbearing age in Russia designed to increase their knowledge and change attitudes about alcohol use during pregnancy, and (3) the first web-based FASD education resource in the Russian language to disseminate information to women, health professionals, and the general public. Visit the Russian website on FASDs to access educational materials in the Russian language.
Educating Families and Professionals
In 2001, CDC funded four nonprofit organizations to develop and evaluate educational curricula for various audiences about FASDs and how to access appropriate services for children with FASDs and their families. After being tested through multiple trainings and found to be effective, materials from three of these organizations are still available:
The Arc of the United States has developed and tested a comprehensive curriculum for educators to use with families who are raising children with FASDs and for professionals working in school systems, public health service agencies, and social service agencies. Three modules address general information about FASDs, components of care for children with these conditions, and advocating for services and supports. These materials have been tested with more than 1,000 participants, such as parents and caregivers, professionals, and trainers in approximately 20 states.
Double ARC has developed and tested separate training curricula for parents and teachers. The parent curriculum describes the core deficits of children with FAS and related conditions, teaches effective parenting techniques addressing these deficits, and directs parents to service resources for children, including school programs. The curriculum for teachers describes FAS and related conditions, ways to recognize children who might have the condition, and approaches to enhancing school performance. Double ARC has also created a video on FAS available for use with the curriculum. Double ARC offers training for facilitators who will be teaching the parent classes. These materials have been tested with more than 400 participants in sessions for parents and teachers.
The Preparing a Healthy Path curriculum is designed to inform justice systems personnel about FASDs and to provide them with strategies for responding to persons with FASDs who are involved with the justice system. The curriculum has been tested with more than 400 participants from tribes in California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.Top of Page
Regional Training Centers (RTCs)
CDC funds FASD Regional Training Centers (RTCs). The purpose of these Centers is to develop, implement, and evaluate educational curricula regarding FASD prevention, identification, and care; and incorporate the curricula into the training programs at each grantee's university or college, into other schools throughout their regions, and into the credentialing requirements of professional boards.
The competencies upon which the RTC trainings are based are:
Executive Summary: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Regional Training Centers
External Peer Review, July 2013
- Demonstrate knowledge of the historical, biomedical, and clinical background of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and other disorders related to prenatal alcohol exposure, known collectively as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).
- Provide services aimed at preventing alcohol-exposed pregnancies in women of childbearing age through screening and brief interventions for alcohol use.
- Apply concepts and models of addiction to women of childbearing age, including those who are pregnant, to provide appropriate prevention services, referral, and case management.
- Describe the effects of alcohol on the developing embryo and the developing fetus.
- Screen, diagnose, and assess infants, children, adolescents, and adults for FAS and other prenatal alcohol-related disorders.
- Provide long-term case management for persons with FASDs.
- Recognize ethical, legal, and policy issues related to FASDs.
Funded Projects from 2012 to 2014: Implementation of Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention
In 2012, CDC funded three FASD Regional Training Centers to move from training on alcohol screening and brief intervention (SBI) to implementation of this practice as a routine part of primary care within a health system in their region. The RTCs are documenting the implementation process, identifying barriers and facilitators to implementation, developing ways to overcome barriers, and evaluating uptake of alcohol SBI in multiple settings:
- State of Alaska, Section of Public Health Nursing
- Three Public Health Nursing Clinics (Fairbanks, Ketchikan, Mat-Su/Wasilla, AK)
- University Health System, University of Nevada School of Medicine
- Women’s Health Care Center and Patient Care Center (Las Vegas, NV)
- Family Medical Center, Student Health Center, Student Outreach Center (Reno, NV)
- Meharry Medical College Family Medicine Primary Care System
- Two Family Medicine Clinics (Nashville, TN)
Funded Projects from 2011 to 2014:
Arctic FASD Regional Training Center – based at the University of Alaska Anchorage (Anchorage, Alaska)
Frontier FASD Regional Training Center – based at the University of Nevada Reno (Reno, Nevada)
Great Lakes FASD Regional Training Center – based at the University of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin)
Midwestern FASD Regional Training Center – University of Missouri (Columbia, Missouri)
Southeastern FASD Regional Training Center – based at Meharry Medical College (Nashville, Tennessee)
Enhancing the Health and Development of Infants and Children
American Academy of Pediatrics
In 2009, CDC funded the American Academy of Pediatrics to implement the Public Health Program to Enhance the Health and Development of Infants and Children (PEHDIC). The overarching goal of this program is to link the physician community at the national, state, and local levels with activities that support health promotion and disease prevention for newborns and infants, child development and health, hearing screening, early identification of children with developmental disabilities, prevention of secondary conditions among children with disabilities, health promotion for children with disabilities, and transition of children with disabilities to adult life. As part of the project, AAP is working with CDC to conduct a variety of activities, including:
- Developing professional education materials to inform pediatricians about the prevention, identification, and treatment of FASDs. This includes:
- A PediaLink online educational course, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Identification and Management, emphasizing the importance of the primary care provider in suspecting or identifying FASDs, making proper referrals, and facilitating appropriate health care, education, and community services.
- An FASD Toolkit to raise awareness, promote surveillance and screening, and ensure that all children living with FASDs receive appropriate and timely intervention. The toolkit serves as the framework for the management of a child with an FASD in the medical home and includes a variety of resources and tools.
- Disseminating information on FASDs to AAP membership through a variety of newsletters and communication channels, such as AAP OnCall, AAP SmartBriefs, and AAP News.
- Disseminating a fact sheet encouraging pediatricians to consider FASDs when evaluating children with developmental problems, behavioral concerns, or school failure.
- Page last reviewed: April 21, 2014
- Page last updated: April 21, 2014
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