Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is relevant to faith groups for two reasons:

  • It is estimated that as many as 70% of children in care have FASD, and there are many carers who are members of faith groups
  • Faith and community groups, through their social action work, may be offering support to families experiencing problems with alcohol or affected by FASD

FaithAction became interested in the issue of FASD through one of our member organisations, FASD Network UK. We decided to bring together interested professionals and faith and community organisations, to gather intelligence on current activity around FASD and to determine whether there are steps that the group or FaithAction could take to improve care for affected families.

Ultimately, we want to support faith and community groups to improve public health.

This paper is a summary of the discussion.


What is Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)?

FASD is an umbrella term for a spectrum of behavioural, emotional, physical and neurological issues that affect a developing foetus, caused by the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. It includes Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS); partial FAS (pFAS); alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD); and alcohol-related neuro-developmental disorder (ARND).

FASD is a series of birth defects whose effects are lifelong. It is a leading cause of non-genetic learning disability in the UK, but one that is completely preventable.

The specialist groups working in this field can provide more detailed information. See, for example, www.fasdnetwork.org/what-is-fasd.html and www.fasdtrust.co.uk/about.php.

To get involved, please email us: info@faithaction.net.