Formerly known as MOFAS: Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Exciting News
from MOFAS

If you're looking for the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) you have come to the right place. We have some exciting news about our organization. We have a new name! MOFAS has officially been renamed Proof Alliance. Our mission remains the same: to prevent prenatal alcohol exposure and to improve the quality of life for people living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).

Why PR%F

We now have the proof that prenatal alcohol exposure is a leading cause of brain injury in children. We have the proof that FASD is 100% preventable and people living with an FASD can reach 100% of their potential.

Why Alliance?

We seek to build powerful alliances with people with an FASD, their families, legislators, experts in the field, new partners, and community members to bring awareness, research, and services to this field.

What's Next?

Proof Alliance is rebranding, expanding, and we're moving! We have a new logo, website, and prevention campaign to help change the norms around drinking during pregnancy. And in May 2019 we will be moving to a stand-alone building. Proof Alliance commits to the people of Minnesota and we will continue to develop transformative programs to help Minnesotans impacted by FASD.

2016 Legislative Priorities

Creating Change in Minnesota

Over the course of the next several months, MOFAS will finalize plans for the 2016 Legislative session in St. Paul.  Getting feedback from people living with an FASD, families, professionals and policy makers on what priorities we should tackle is an ongoing process.  Figuring out which of the concepts have the greatest chance of making it through the legislative process to actually become a law that will improve the lives of people living with an FASD or help prevent prenatal alcohol exposure is a fluid and sometimes tricky process.  Working together, and making sure we are consistently being heard as FASD advocates is essential to seeing our ideas become realities.

Identifying Priorities

In December 2015, our Board of Directors will approve the final list of priorities, and we will be set for the start of the legislative sessions when it begins on March 8, 2016.  Here are some of the exciting concepts that we are analyzing:

  • Require training for all foster care, licensed respite care and adoptive parents on FASD
  • Require screening for FASD or prenatal alcohol exposure for all children referred to child protection services
  • Require documentation of maternal prenatal alcohol consumption to be transferred to newborn health records
  • Eliminate suspensions for students in grades K-3, adjustments to the law for students in grades 4-12
  • Mandatory training for all school staff and transportation providers
  • Increase after school programs for students with an FASD and extended school year options
  • School release programs for students with an FASD
  • Require screening for alcohol use during pregnancy in the early childhood screening system in Minnesota
  • Appropriation for additional respite care for caregivers of children with an FASD
  • Expand screening and diversionary program for first-time offenders who are identified as having FASD
  • Mandatory programs in schools for trauma-informed and FASD informed classrooms
  • Expansion of long term aftercare programs for pregnant and parenting mothers who have used alcohol during pregnancy
  • Elimination of parental fees associated with accessing services funded through Medical Assistance

We are always looking for feedback on additional suggestions to add to the list.  Please contact Sara Messelt, Executive Director at sara@mofas.org or call 651-917-2370 if you have ideas or would like to get involved in this work.

Advocating on the Federal Level

MOFAS is also taking on a national role in advocating that Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders be added as a disability category to the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA).

Currently, students with an FASD may be considered eligible under another disability category, such as other health impairments, speech/language, emotional disturbance, specific learning disability, or multiple disabilities.  Including FASD as a category will help to efficiently provide targeted and appropriate services that will be effective in achieving better educational outcomes for this population.  It will increase the opportunities for teachers and other school personnel to be properly trained on educational strategies that work for students with an FASD.

It’s important to note that a student with an FASD will not automatically become eligible for special education and related services simply because of having an FASD.  However, if he or she has an FASD, and because of the FASD, has poor educational performance then the child may be eligible.  Achieving this legislative goal would be a major breakthrough for students struggling with an FASD in school.

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