Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) National Strategic Projects Fund 


July 24, 2019

The Government of Canada is providing more than $1.8M over four years through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s FASD National Strategic Projects Fund to support projects that will increase public awareness and help prevent the use of alcohol during pregnancy.
Projects being funded include:

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
FASD prevention school-based program for children and adolescents in select urban, rural and First Nation schools in Ontario, Canada

This pilot project aims to educate youth aged 12 to 18 about the risks of prenatal alcohol and other substance use in order to raise awareness and understanding of FASD and prevent alcohol use during pregnancy. CAMH will modify, culturally adapt, translate, and deliver the National Organization on a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome school-based FASD Education and Prevention Curriculum in select Ontario schools in urban, rural and First Nation communities. The curriculum is focused on:

  • increasing knowledge about the risks of alcohol use; and
  • allowing students to understand concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention and how they can advocate for their personal and community health.

CAMH will also evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum and develop a toolkit that will be shared with other jurisdictions to provide school-aged girls and boys with the resources they need to make informed decisions.

Young Women’s Christian Association (Metro Vancouver)
Culturally Sensitive Awareness to Prevent FASD in Marginalized Communities

This pilot project aims to provide women of childbearing age and families in of-risk and underserved populations with information, resources and access to supports in order to reduce the use of alcohol during pregnancy and the prevalence of FASD. The YWCA will work with a committee of FASD and community development experts—as well as people with lived experience—to develop and disseminate community-driven interventions, such as healing workshops, brochures, comic strips or theatre productions, that will provide information to reduce prenatal alcohol use. The YMCA will pilot this project to women and families in the Downtown Eastside area of metro Vancouver. The community consultation process, resources and dissemination strategies will be evaluated, revised and re-tested with marginalized, under-served populations, such as new immigrants and refugees, and incorporated into a toolkit that the YWCA will share through its network across Canada.

Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Supporting our Inuit Families and Communities

This project will conduct focus group sessions and interviews that will inform future programming and policies, and support the promotion of FASD prevention in Inuit communities. This project aims to improve maternal and infant outcomes for Inuit women and their families, and reduce stigma associated with FASD. The focus group sessions will include:

  • individuals with lived experience
  • individuals who are or have been in conflict with the law
  • program practitioners
  • frontline workers
  • health professionals
  • policy makers

The data gathered through the project will identify needs, current attitudes and social norms, and will help inform key messages and multimedia resources using a gendered-lens, harm-reduction and trauma-informed approach to prevention. Prevention messaging will be shared across all four Inuit regions and with Inuit populations in three key urban centres through social media, printed resources, mail-outs, and traditional media. These new resources will help build capacity in Inuit communities to raise awareness of the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy and help reduce the stigma associated with FASD.

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