It is often the case that prevention/education in schools begins with a child student who has a diagnosis within the FASD spectrum and this is brought to the attention of a teacher or a service provider. This prompts a contact with NOFASD Australia and a conversation from which recognition grows about how little knowledge there is in a community generally. Promoting a community development approach, workshops are planned for students, educators and parent/carers. Ideally these are developed and delivered separately to account for the different needs of each group with some overlap in general content.
Following on from the success of our Shoalhaven Drug Action week 2013 “Alcohol & Pregnancy Matters”, in which Vicki facilitated two sessions, we have formed a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Related Disorders (FASARD) Action Group. We have 10 committed and motivated service providers who are meeting for the first time on Monday 26/8/13. We have already had requests from local schools to facilitate workshops for teachers. We are keen to develop a solid foundation of resources and knowledge before we hit the ground.
I am also involved in a pilot project “FADS – Families, Alcohol, Drugs, Sex” for Year 10 students at our local high schools. We ran the program for 232 students at one school and now have funding to roll it out across the Shoalhaven. We have four other schools to do before the end of 2013. I do a session on Alcohol & Pregnancy. I would appreciate more resources. We will see approx. 500 students over the four schools.
Great stuff happening in the Shoalhaven!
Veronica Riordan, Midwife and Community Liaison for Shoalhaven Drug and Alcohol Service