Legislation Introduced to Combat FASD

Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD), Mark Begich (D-AK), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), have introduced the Advancing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Research, Prevention, and Services Act, S. 2262. This bill would reauthorize FASD activities carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Health Services and Resources Administration. Major tenets of the bill include research, prevention activities, collaboration, public awareness and education, best practices, and services and supports. Furthermore, S. 2262 directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish and carry out a research agenda for addressing FASD, facilitate surveillance, public health research, prevention of FASD, and continue the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Under this bill, federal grants will be awarded to partnerships of health professionals, school systems, child welfare offices, incarceration facilities, parent organizations, Indian tribes and others to collaborate on common objectives and integrate services. Grants will also be awarded for pilot projects to identify and implement best practices for educating children with FASD, and educating the criminal justice, adoption, and foster care workforce on how to provide services for children with FASD. Assistance will also be available for adolescents with FASD as they transition to adulthood including housing, vocational training and placement services, healthcare management, and mental health services.

In the House, the Congressional Caucus on FASD is expected to introduce companion legislation sometime this year.

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