Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Canada – New Project Funding


The Public Health Agency of Canada is funding five projects that help address Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in Canada. The projects will focus on prevention, screening and surveillance by:

  • improving the capacity of medical and allied health professionals to screen, counsel and treat women at risk of using alcohol during pregnancy;
  • increasing the understanding and uptake of the Canadian FASD diagnostic guidelines;
  • supporting health and social service providers in their discussions on alcohol use with girls, women and their partners in a range of settings; and
  • enhancing data collection and analysis to inform science, programs and policy on FASD in Canada.

Project details:

Lead organization: Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC)
Project title: Using Screening, Training and Data to Address Women's Alcohol Use During Pregnancy
Funding: $799,976 (2016-17 to 2020-21)
Goal: This project will help health care providers better identify and assist women at risk for alcohol use in pregnancy.

Lead organization: Canada FASD Research Network (CanFASD)
Project title: Using Diagnosis and Data to Improve Outcomes in FASD
Funding: $799,995 (2016-17 to 2020-21)
Goal: This project will train clinicians on recently updated Canadian FASD diagnostic guidelines and will help screen women for alcohol use in a greater number of settings, such as mental health and addiction centres and homeless shelters. Funding will also support CanFASD to continue work on FASD data collection.  

Lead organization: BC Centre of Excellence for Women's Health (BCCEWH)
Project title: Dialogue to Action on Discussing Alcohol with Women
Funding: $366,322 (2016-17 to 2018-19)
Goal: This project will identify current approaches and share best practices related to screening and discussing alcohol use. It will help health and social care providers incorporate screening for alcohol use, interventions and referral to treatment into routine practice.

Lead organization: Nota Bene Consulting Group
Project title: Multi-Site Evaluation on FASD Prevention, with Holistic Programs Reaching Pregnant Women Who Could Be at Risk
Funding: $684,239 (2016-17 to 2020-21)
Goal: This project will evaluate ten FASD prevention programs designed to reach women at high risk of having a child with FASD. It will identify the program elements that are making a positive difference for these women and their children and families. Findings will be shared with federal and provincial governments and organizations who provide health and social services to pregnant women and new mothers.

Lead organization: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
Project title: Developing a multi-source surveillance system for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and prenatal alcohol exposure in Canada
Funding: $999,673 (2017-18 to 2019-20)
Goal: CAMH is collaborating with the CanFASD Research Network and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse to develop a multi-source surveillance system for FASD and prenatal alcohol exposure across three provinces (Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario) and two territories (the Northwest Territories and Yukon). CAMH will also expand data collection within existing national birth defects surveillance systems in the selected provinces and territories.

Public Health Agency of Canada Funding Programs
The above projects are funded by the following Public Health Agency of Canada programs:

The FASD Initiative’s National Strategic Projects Fund (NSPF) provides time-limited funding for national projects that aim to:

  • improve outcomes for those affected by FASD;
  • increase awareness and understanding of FASD, its risk factors and effects;
  • coordinate better access to tools, resources and expertise across Canada; and
  • address gaps in the areas of prevention and support.

The Enhanced Surveillance for Chronic Disease Program (ESCDP) explores new tools and approaches to collect, analyze, and disseminate timely surveillance information and builds new, non-traditional partnerships focused on risk and protective factors in order to prevent chronic diseases and injuries.

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