Priority Action Area 3: Support

Activities under priority action area 3 of the fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) action plan.

Specific Action 6

Enhance the ability of frontline professionals to recognise and respond effectively and compassionately to people with FASD and other neurodevelopmental impairments

Activity and progress Status
Activities
20. Conduct a stocktake and gap analysis of current frontline and allied health workforce competencies for preventing, identifying and responding to FASD Ongoing
The Ministry of Health has contracted Matua Raḵi, the national centre for addiction workforce development, to co-design training and resources for frontline health professionals to identify people with neurodevelopmental impairment and respond appropriately. The experiences of people living with FASD will inform the development of training and resources. This activity will be completed with frontline professionals as part of the Matua Raḵi co-design project.
21. Develop generic modules (eg, a module on working with people with neurodevelopmental impairments and alcohol and pregnancy) for use in training and resources for a range of professionals Ongoing
This activity will be completed with frontline professionals as part of the Matua Raḵi co-design project.
22. Test the ability of the B4 School Check / WCTO screens to identify children with FASD and other neurodevelopmental impairments Ongoing
The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) researchers is completing a study on the neurodevelopmental outcomes of four year old children exposed to alcohol prenatally using the GUiNZ data.
23. Develop a resource for teachers, to improve their knowledge and practice regarding FASD Completed
The Ministry of Education has developed resources for teachers to improve knowledge and awareness of FASD and its effect on learning. These resources also include a range of strategies that teachers can use to help support students with FASD. These resources are available on the Te Kete Ipurangi website.
24. Develop guidance for people working in the youth justice system, to increase their awareness of and ability to respond effectively to people with FASD and other neurodevelopmental impairments Ongoing
The Ministry of Children (Oranga Tamariki) along with NOFASD Australia hosted a FASD Eyebites Cards Webinar to showcase the FASD Eyebites Cards, a resource for practitioner, parents or carers working with people with FASD. See the Oranga Tamariki Practice Centre website.
Also guidance for people working in the youth justice system, to increase their awareness of and ability to respond effectively to people with FASD and other neurodevelopmental impairments will be developed as part of the Matua Raḵi co-design project.

Specific Action 7

Improve the capability of clinicians to diagnose FASD

Activity and progress Status
Activities
25. Conduct a stocktake and gap analysis of current clinical workforce competencies for formally assessing, diagnosing and managing FASD Ongoing
The Ministry of Health has supported a number of clinicians from Auckland to attend training to build the capability and capacity of clinicians to diagnose and manage people with FASD in the Auckland metro region. Matua Raḵi is piloting education programmes for health professionals in two pilot sites as mentioned above.
26. Develop and test a clinical pathway for FASD / suspected FASD, including protocols for collecting standardised data Ongoing
The Ministry of Health and Oranga Tamariki have tested pathways for responding to children coming into care and protection services with FASD (and generally high and complex needs). The Ministry and Oranga Tamariki have also collected data on the prevalence of FASD with two DHBs through the ‘Access to Services’ trial.
27. Develop and test a minimum assessment protocol for FASD Completed
The Ministry of Health has tested a minimum assessment protocol for FASD with the Leading Lights pilot group of the Growing Up in NZ (GUiNZ) cohort.
28. Test the accuracy and usability of facial screening software for FASD in a New Zealand cohort Completed
The Ministry of Health has tested the accuracy and usability of software which uses clinical photography to assist a clinician to identify facial characteristics linked to fetal alcohol syndrome.
29. Work with professional colleges to support the implementation of consistent diagnostic guidelines for FASD in New Zealand, and embed them into core training Ongoing
The Ministry of Health has supported the development of an Australian/New Zealand network of clinicians working with people with neurodevelopmental conditions and FASD.  A New Zealand clinician co-chairs the Australian/New Zealand FASD Clinical Network.

Specific Action 8

Improve cross-sector collaboration and capacity to provide effective assessments for people showing signs of significant neurodevelopmental impairment

Activity and progress Status
Activities
30. Undertake policy and co-design work on the make-up and mandate of an appropriate multidisciplinary assessment team for FASD, the resourcing it will require and its ideal location/s Ongoing
The Ministry of Health continues to work with Oranga Tamariki to bolster the existing Gateway Assessment team to identify young people with neurocognitive and neurodevelopmental conditions coming into statutory care. The Ministry is also scoping the support and service options for people with neuro-developmental conditions and neuro-disabilities, including FASD.
31. Place a greater emphasis on neurodevelopmental need in the review of Child Development Services Completed
Emphasis on the neurodevelopmental needs of children were addressed as part of the Child Development Services Review in 2015/16.

Specific Action 9

Develop a coordinated, consistent, accessible and appropriately resourced pathway for supporting affected people and their families, whānau and caregivers

Activity and progress Status
Activities
32. Undertake a stocktake and gap analysis of FASD interventions, services and supports Completed
A stocktake and gap analysis of FASD interventions, services and supports has been completed (for Ministry planning purposes). There are service gaps. The Ministry has supported FASD-Care Action Network, a group of family and caregivers with children affected by FASD, to organise and coordinate face-to-face workshops for the parents, caregivers, and family members supporting individuals living with FASD to learn necessary and practical skills and strategies to decrease risk of secondary disabilities.
33. Undertake social investment analysis and co-design work to develop pathways and target investment for multiagency support for people affected by FASD across the life course Ongoing
The Activity is dependent on Activity 30 the scoping work on service options and supports for people with neurodevelopmental impairment. The Ministry of Health and Oranga Tamariki have tested pathways for responding to children coming into care and protection services with FASD (and generally high and complex needs).
34. Apply a neurodisabilities lens to the Cross-agency Conduct Problems project Started
The Ministry of Health is scoping the support and service options for people with neurodevelopmental conditions and neurodisabilities including conduct disorders.
35. Focus on neurodevelopmental need within the Special Education Update Ongoing
The Ministry of Education continue to address neurodevelopmental needs of children as part of the Learning Update. See the Ministry of Education website.
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