FASS launches local Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Service

FASS (Fife Alcohol Support Service) will, in April, launch East Central Scotland’s first local Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder service. FASD is a result of pre-birth exposure to alcohol and is a life-long condition with no cure. FASD Fife will provide local peer and one-to-one support for parents and carers of those with FASD and raise awareness of the condition locally.

Evidence points to the fact that the little known disorder is 3 to 6 times more prevalent than autism and little diagnosed. Even so, FASS knows already of at least 20 families in Fife caring for someone with FASD. A National Lottery award from The National Lottery Community Fund will help those families connect and uptake local resources that can help. The funding was made possible thanks to National Lottery players.

The National Lottery Community Fund, Scotland Chair, Kate Still: said: “In these uncertain times our priority is to ensure that National Lottery money continues to flow to charities, voluntary sec-tor organisations and grassroots groups . I would like to congratulate FASS on their award, theirs is an important project and will support people now and in the future when they can physically come back together to make great things happen in their community.”

John Hamilton, Chair of FASS, commented, “It’s important to stress that this service is for anyone. FASD is by no means a condition always linked to heavy drinking during pregnancy. In fact the latest health advice states that no amount of alcohol is safe at any time during pregnancy.

We really want to raise awareness of this issue and help local parents and carers who have had very little support to date. Early intervention can improve a child’s development. By raising awareness of the condition we’ll improve diagnosis in general and early diagnosis in particular. By supporting and educating the local community in Fife we’ll improve opportunities for many children.”

FASD causes difficulties in relationships, education, employment and independent living. Poor self-regulation and angry outbursts are common. Because of lack of understanding of the condition, it can be extremely isolating for parents and carers.

Donald Grieve, Project Manager of FASS’s Curnie Clubs which combat loneliness and isolation amongst the adult population in Fife, said, “It’s great that we’re already set up to be able to help isolated or lonely adults who may have had no one to turn to for support. We will work hand in hand with FASD Fife to beat isolation and transform lives.

At FASS we really can provide a holistic service for people—from prevention through to moving on. Our staff are professionals, but we see in Curnie Clubs that it’s often being around others who understand our situation that is an almighty relief and incredibly empowering. People must not let stigma get in the way of accessing this new FASD Fife service.”