Funding boost for foetal alcohol diagnosis, awareness

Wednesday, 01 December, 2021

Funding boost for foetal alcohol diagnosis, awareness

The government has announced $37 million funding boost for foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) diagnostic and support services.

The announcement coincides with the launch of a new National Awareness Campaign for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Women that aims to support and inform women to make healthy choices while planning and during a pregnancy to reduce the risk and the incidence of FASD.

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) will be provided $27.4 million to support the campaign. The government will also invest $9 million to expand diagnostic services in New South Wales (including regional locations), regional Victoria and Southern and Central Queensland.

Minister Hunt said the national campaign builds on the ongoing commitment to support women and families to stop drinking when trying for a baby and during their pregnancy, to prevent babies from being born with FASD, and help babies born with this condition.

Minister for Regional Health Dr David Gillespie said it’s important that all families and children that need these support services can access them when and where they need them, regardless of where they live.

“The University of Sydney will receive more than $4 million to boost FASD services through the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network in multiple rural and regional communities in NSW, as well as Sydney,” Dr Gillespie said.

“The funding will also support Patches Assessment Services (NSW), the University of Queensland and the Victorian Foetal Alcohol Service (Monash Health) to deliver new services and treatment to Australians who need it.” Below are the details of the FASD grant opportunity:

Grant recipient Project description Funding
University of Sydney
The FASD diagnostic service will operate as a hub-and-spoke model based out of the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network with sites in multiple rural and regional communities across New South Wales. $4,846,976.67
Patches Assessment
Services NSW
FASD diagnostic services will be provided within the youth justice system in Newcastle, with outreach services to Port Macquarie, Lismore and Ballina. This project recognises the over-representation of people with FASD in the criminal justice system. $2,148,163.44
University of
Queensland Qld
Funding will allow for expansion of the existing University of Queensland and Children’s Health Queensland Neurodevelopmental Clinic to reduce the current 3-year waitlist for access to services.
Services will be delivered in locations across southern and central Queensland via a tiered model including telehealth support and upskilling of regional practitioners.
Victorian Fetal
Alcohol Service
(Monash Health) Vic
Funding will allow expansion of the existing Commonwealth-funded Victorian Fetal Alcohol Service into more regional communities across Victoria. Services will be delivered through a tiered model including upskilling of regional practitioners to diagnose FASD independently. $1,249,218.41

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