Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: A disability in need of social work education, knowledge and practice
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a non-diagnostic umbrella term that describes a range of effects that can occur as a result ofa mother consuming alcohol during pregnancy (SAMSHA, 2014). Awareness of the need for professionals to become educated on FASD has emerged as a critical topic in the field of social work and child welfare practice specifically. The social work practice response to children and families, in order to be effective, must develop and emerge from an FASD Informed Practice lens – which implies particular knowledge and competencies in practice. This article will highlight the need to recognize FASD as a disabling condition and identify why training and knowledge is essential in order to work effectively with children and families. Further, an educational pathway to FASD informed practice in relation to a broad array of interventions and enabling/supportive approaches relevant to social work theory will be identified. The focus of this paper is to identifying why knowledge and education on FASD is important to social work practice.