Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

9 September 2019

Senator GRIFF (South Australia) (16:48): Before moving general business notice of motion No. 2 standing in my name, I ask that the names of Senators McCarthy and Siewert be added to the motion. I, and also on behalf of Senators McCarthy and Siewert, move:

(1) That the Senate acknowledges that:

(a) 9 September, is International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day;

(b) FASD is a life-long but preventable condition caused by in-utero exposure to alcohol;

(c) FASD can cause developmental, physical, mental and behavioural problems, including problems with memory, learning, impulse control, planning ability, understanding consequences, emotional regulation, speech and language; and

(d) people with FASD are likely to have poorer academic and employment outcomes, higher rates of homelessness and incarceration, and increased rates of mental health issues and alcohol and other drug abuse.

(2) That the following matters be referred to the Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by the first sitting day in June 2020: Effective approaches to prevention and diagnosis of FASD, strategies for optimising life outcomes for people with FASD and supporting carers, and the prevalence and management of FASD, including in vulnerable populations, in the education system, and in the criminal justice system–with particular reference to:

(a) the level of community awareness of risks of alcohol consumption during pregnancy;

(b) the adequacy of the health advice provided to women planning a pregnancy, pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding, about the risks of alcohol consumption;

(c) barriers that may prevent women receiving accurate, timely and culturally/ethnically appropriate information and advice on alcohol and pregnancy;

(d) provision of diagnostic services in Australia including capacity, training, integration and diagnostic models in current use;

(e) the prevalence and nature of co-occurring conditions and of misdiagnosis of FASD;

(f) international best practice in preventing, diagnosing and managing FASD;

(g) awareness of FASD in schools, and the effectiveness of systems to identify and support affected students;

(h) the prevalence of, and approaches to, FASD in vulnerable populations, including children in foster and state care, migrant communities and Indigenous communities;

(i) the recognition of, and approaches to, FASD in the criminal justice system and adequacy of rehabilitation responses;

(j) the social and economic costs of FASD in Australia, including health, education, welfare and criminal justice;

(k) access, availability and adequacy of FASD support available through the National Disability Insurance Scheme, including access to effective and early intervention services for individuals diagnosed with FASD;

(l) support for adults with FASD and for parents and carers of children with FASD;

(m) progress on outstanding recommendations of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs report, FASD: The Hidden Harm, tabled on 29 November 2012;

(n) the effectiveness of the National FASD Action Plan 2018-2028, including gaps in ensuring a nationally co-ordinated response and adequacy of funding;

(o) the need for improved perinatal data collection and statistical reporting on FASD and maternal drinking; and

(p) any other related matters.

Question agreed to.

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