Foetal Alcohol Syndrome – What Foster Carers Need to Know

07/09/2011

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome – What Foster Carers Need to Know

The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) has launched an information leaflet on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome aimed at increasing support for foster carers who provide substitute care for children. The leaflet, which was developed in association with the local Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder Support Group for Foster Carers, was launched this week to mark World Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Day on Friday 9 September.

 

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is a condition affecting a child as a result of pre-natal exposure to alcohol. Alcohol intake during pregnancy can lead to organs of the body being affected; from the development of the brain resulting in behavioural problems and the ability to learn, through to damage to the heart, kidney, skeleton and facial features. 

 

There are 200 foster carers in the Western Trust area caring for children of all ages.  Children are placed in foster care for many reasons, some children are there for a brief period, others long term. This leaflet and the Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Support Group are in place to provide foster carers with information, guidance and support on this condition which is often difficult to identify.

 

Launching the leaflet, Clare McCallion, Western Trust Service Manager for Fostering/Adoption, said: “The leaflet provides foster carers and those who work with children who have or are suspected of having Foetal Alcohol Syndrome or Foetal Alcohol Spectrum disorder, advice on how the condition affects the child.

 

“The leaflet also provides advice on how to respond to Foetal Alcohol Syndrome affected children and signposting information on support agencies that can assist the carer.  Foster care is extremely rewarding and the Western Trust, through the many local groups, aims to provide as much support as possible to our foster families.”

 

Margaret McGillion Chairperson of the Western Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder Support Group for Foster Carers, added: “We are committed to helping children, adolescents, adults and the families who care for them. As foster carers we provide the one to one attention that these children require in order to achieve as full a life as possible.

 

“We collectively believe that the production of the “Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, What Foster Carers Need to Know” leaflet will give foster carers the knowledge on how to identify signs of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and in turn let them know how to support children in their care that may be affected by it.”

 

The Western FASD Support Group for Foster Carers meets every two months in Clooney Hall, Waterside Derry from 8.00pm to10.00pm. The group is open to all foster carers and those who work with children who have or may be affected by Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. The next meeting will take place on the 19 September from 8pm to 10pm.

 

For more information on The Western Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder Support Group for Foster Carers please contact Michael Morrison, Western Trust Community Support Worker, Community Support Services, telephone 028 7186 5236.

Please click here to view the 'Foetal Alcohol Syndrome - What Foster Carers Need to Know' leaflet.