Support for foster carers and children with FASD

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Support for foster carers is an continual process and within that support, there is on-going advice and dedication in helping foster families and foster children to overcome challenges and barriers together.

What is FASD?

FASD is Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder which can have a serious and long-term impact on babies when it comes to their growth and development. FASD is more of an umbrella term for different types of defects that a baby can endure when their mother drank a lot of alcohol whilst being pregnant. It cause issues such as learning disability and development problems within the UK and as foster carers, it’s important to be aware of the condition and how it can affect behaviour. It is sometimes detectable at very early stages like birth depending on it’s severity and how life-threatening it is.

FASD isn’t the only name it is referred to as. There are many more such as:

  • Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
  • Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND)
  • Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD)
  • Foetal Alcohol Effects (FAE)
  • Partial Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (PFAS)

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Support for foster carers when it comes to the effects of FASD

FASD can have a high number of effects that can impact a newborn significantly. Support for foster carers when it comes to alcohol abuse may be a problem that has been present way before your time as foster carers. This means that the alcohol has been passed into the foetus and has been circulating in the bloodstream for a significant amount of time which can end up killing brain cells and damaging nervous systems. This exposure to alcohol may not be on your mind until you come across foster children who suffer from FASD.

Support for foster carers comes into action when it comes to dealing with the most side effects and defects of FASD including:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Balance
  • Hearing problems
  • Growth and development issues including height and weight
  • Immune system issues
  • Epilepsy
  • Kidney and heart problems
  • Mouth, teeth and facial defects
  • Plus much more

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How to use the support for foster carers

There are a number of elements to keep an eye on if you suspect your foster children may be showing signs or effects of FASD.

  • Slower rates of growth – if you notice things like your foster children aren’t growing as quick as normal, you can contact your GP and get them checked over.
  • Poor concentration and social skills – though there are elements of such behaviours that cross over into other learning disabilities, it is worth keeping an eye on and considering that FASD may be playing a part.
  • Support for foster carers could help you pick up on sight and hearing problems
  • Poor motor skills like hand and eye coordination
  • Clear and distinct facial shape – Deformities can occur with FASD and the easiest one to pick up in mild or severe facial deformities which can become obvious over time.

We provide excellent support, training and development for foster carers and families of children with special needs. This can help with little things like helping them get up in the morning to emotional support to aid childrens needs both now and in the future. There are also other resources that can support you such as the FASD trust, FAS Aware UK and FASD Network UK.