Australia: Senate Inquiry into FASD
The Senate of the Australian Parliament has opened an inquiry into foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).
The aim of the inquiry, which opened in September 2019, is to find effective prevention and diagnosis strategies for FASD.
According to Anne Russell from the Russell Family Fetal Alcohol Disorders Association believes FASD needs more national focus. She says that “FASD – The Hidden Harms report” from 2012 made some good recommendations which were not yet adequately implemented.
About 10% of the Australian population suffer from FASD, which is higher than autism prevalence. Prevention of FASD is a urgent need of the society. Specially considering that FASD intersects with other social issues such as mental health, alcohol and other drug use disorders, domestic violence and youth justice.
The importance of early intervention cannot be overstated to help children with FASD achieve better well-being in life. Currently, large gaps in understanding and knowledge about FASD exist in all sectors, including justice, child protection, and the education and health systems.
Submissions are now open for this inquiry that will report in 2020.