The University of Newcastle, Australia

Many hands collaborative project

The Newcastle Local Drug Action Team (LDAT) is working to end foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

FASD is a common form of non-genetic birth defect with an estimated prevalence rate of 5%. Of these children, an average of 90% will develop a mental health and/or alcohol and other drug problem, while 60% will have contact with the juvenile justice system at an average age of between 12 and 13 and the same percentage will experience disrupted schooling.

By embracing a therapeutic and restorative approach, the project aims to boost and sustain the level of awareness and associated prevention of FASD within the local juvenile justice system, develop a local-diagnosis referral pathway for all children suspected of having a cognitive impairment, and to create a model to divert all local children with cognitive problems away from the justice system.

This will involve the recognition of impairments by key stakeholders to ensure that the needs of young people and their families are upheld.

Video: The many hands project