Professional Practices in FASD Among International Forensic Mental Health Clinicians

Excerpt from Executive Summary

Individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), a common neurodevelopmental disability (NDD) caused by prenatal alcohol exposure, face high rates of criminal justice system contact and are overrepresented in correctional and forensic settings. As a result, forensic mental health clinicians, who frequently provide assessment and treatment services in criminal justice system contexts, are likely to see youth and adults with FASD in their practice. Existing evidence suggests that awareness of FASD among clinical and criminal justice system professionals is variable. Evidence also suggests that many lack the appropriate training, knowledge, and skill to work effectively with this population, potentially leading to missed diagnosis and other adverse legal and social outcomes. As forensic mental health professionals play an increasingly important role in providing assessment and intervention services for individuals with FASD, it is critical to understand their FASD-related knowledge, professional practices, and training needs. The current study sought to evaluate the professional practices of forensic mental health clinicians regarding FASD, with the overall goal of informing best practices and identifying needs
for the development of potential training, tools, and resources.

published by
the Government of Canada

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