FASD is preventable and CFAN continues to deliver Prevention Conversation training to professionals in sectors such as health care and social services to encourage non-judgmental, respectful dialogue with women about alcohol and pregnancy. There is still no identifiable safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and CFAN supports the message that no alcohol is best for a healthy pregnancy and prevention of FASD.
In Alberta, 739 to 1884 babies with FASD are born each year, so prevention efforts continue to be essential. Beyond training and public awareness about pregnancy and alcohol, targeted prevention initiatives reaching women at increased risk of an alcohol-exposed pregnancy are very important. No woman wishes to harm her unborn baby, but profound complicating factors, including vulnerabilities such as addictions, family violence or lack of natural supports, may prevent women from abstaining from alcohol. Programs that include supportive relationships and a harm-reduction approach may offer women the supports they need to have healthier pregnancies and improved conditions for their own health and safety.
The Parent-Child Assistance Program (PCAP) delivered by McMan Calgary offers this kind of support through 3 CFAN-funded programs serving women with addictions in Calgary and area as well as parents who have FASD who care for their children at least 50% of the time. In 2016-17, 28 individuals were served by the PCAP programs.
CFAN Priority Outcomes
Decreased number of children born with FASD
Vulnerable parents are connected to community supports
Women at high risk of having a child with FASD are supported to have a healthier pregnancy
PCAP program client survey results
Of respondents to the survey
- 95% report increased assistance with their ongoing development and the development of their baby
- 95% report increased motivation to protect their baby's health
- 100% report their advocate helps them learn to solve their problems
- 95% report their advocate helps them understand their challenges
- 95% report their advocate helps them develop as a member of their family and helps the family get along better
- 95% report the program helps them build on their strengths