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.

Training on FASD for Foster Parents (HF3305/SF2896)

 The Facts

  • 80% of children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome are in foster or adoptive care1.
  • The prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in the foster care system is 10 times higher than in the general population2.
  • Children in foster care are at higher risk for an FASD. As many as 75% of children in foster care have a family history of mental illness, drug, and/or alcohol abuse3.
  • Because of the behaviors and lack of social adaptive skills, children who have been exposed to alcohol prenatally can be challenging to parent. Without understanding of the disability, parents can become overwhelmed and frustrated.
  • Young children with maternal risk factors of substance use, mental health conditions and domestic violence exposure are 2-3 times more likely to experience aggression, anxiety, depression and hyperactivity than children without these maternal risk factors4.
  • Lack of understanding, frustration and ineffectiveness as a foster parent can lead to multiple placements which increases the childhood trauma for children as they go from one foster placement to the next.

Addressing the Issue

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is common. Each year, an estimated 7,000 babies are born with prenatal alcohol exposure5. It is now estimated in the general population that FASD may be as high as 2-4%6. However, the numbers of children who have been prenatally exposed to alcohol and are entering protective services and have spent time in foster care is much higher than that.

Because so many children who are entering or are in foster care are at risk of FASD, and because foster parents need and want the tools to effectively parent the children in their care, ongoing required training on this topic is essential. This training would prevent unnecessary moves within the foster care system and would increase identification and diagnosis of this primary disability as well. Informed foster parents lead to informed communities and other professionals.

Recommendation

The Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) is advocating for requiring one hour of training for all non-emergency foster parents per year. This training would provide the basic information on FASD, effective parenting strategies and information on resources and referrals for support.

Sources

 

[1] Burd, 2001; May, Hymbaugh, Aase, & Samet, 1983; Streissguth, Clarren, & Jones, 1985. Studies by May et al., (1983) and Streissguth et al., (1985)

[2] S. J.. Atley, PhD, J.Stachowiak, RN, MN, S. Clarren, MD, Ch Clausen, RN, MN, (2002) Application of the fetal alcohol syndrome facial photographic screening tool in a foster care population, Journal of Pediatrics, Volume 141, Number 5.

[3] S. J.. Atley, PhD, J.Stachowiak, RN, MN, S. Clarren, MD, Ch Clausen, RN, MN,(2002) Application of the fetal alcohol syndrome facial photographic screening tool in a foster care population, Journal of Pediatrics, Volume 141, Number 5.

[4] Whitaker, R. C.; Orzol, S. M.; Kahn, R. S. 2006. Maternal Mental Health, Substance Use and Domestic Violence in the Year After Delivery and Subsequent Behavior Problems in Children at Age 3 Years. Archives of General Psychiatry 63: 551-560.

[5] 2009 Annual MN Births, Minnesota State Demographic Center X current percentage of pregnant women who self-identify for drinking alcohol while pregnant from CDC (70,617 births X 10.2% or 1 in 10 )

[6] Philip A. May, et al, “Prevalence and Characteristics of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders,” Pediatrics, Volume 134, Number 5, November 2014.

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