Pregnant girls and women abusing alcohol and drugs will be a focus for the Office of Children and Families (OCF), says its Minister, Alison Anderson. She recently announced that pre-natal child protection will be part of new legislation. Ms Anderson is pictured at the opening this morning of the OCF's new section, in Minerals House, Hartley Street. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
There is only one cause of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and that is prenatal alcohol exposure, in other words a pregnant mother's drinking. This can cause brain damage in the unborn child. A report released yesterday by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs looks at the "hidden harm" of FASD and sets out a national strategy to deal with it. Most of its recommendations concern the Commonwealth but two involve engaging with the states and territories. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Pictured: A diagram from the report shows how, when a pregnant woman drinks, the alcohol is passed directly to the fetus through the placenta.