National Drug Strategy
National Drug Strategy

Intergovernmental committee on Drugs working party on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Australia: An Update

June 2012

8. Women, workers and systems change: Professional education and workforce development in FASD

Ann M. Roche

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Table of contents

An important issue in relation to the prevention, detection and management of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is the upskilling of the wide range of workers involved in this area. Even more importantly, the question of improved service system responses should also
be considered. These two issues are inextricably linked and this paper addresses both issues and tackles them from a workforce development perspective. The following chapter is presented in two sections. The first provides important background data on the dynamic patterns of alcohol consumption by young women in Australian society. Also addressed is a range of important social changes that impact on the role of young women of child bearing age and the behaviours that might impact on their health and that of their unborn children.
The second section of the paper addresses factors related to professional practice change and knowledge translation and research transfer. Changing practitioner behaviour and achieving organisational change is not easy or straightforward. The ultimate goal of achieving better prevention and intervention responses to FASD requires not just individual behaviour change but also a raft of organisational changes. Evidence is presented on some of the more effective ways that might be applied to achieve this end.

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