$500,000 awarded to community organizations to address Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) prevention, intervention and support throughout Minnesota.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome 2233 University Avenue W, Suite 395 St. Paul, MN 55114

Media Contact: Emily Gunderson, Communications Directoremily@mofas.orgO: 651-917-2370 C: 612-708-8285

$500,000 awarded to community organizations to address Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) prevention, intervention and support throughout Minnesota.

ST. PAUL, Minn.–January 22, 2016 Each year, the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) awards $500,000+ in grants to organizations throughout Minnesota to address Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) prevention, intervention and support at the community level.

This year’s grantees include21 community organizations that will implement programs and services specifically for individuals with a known or suspected FASD diagnosis, and address priority areas related to equity and justice, early childhood screening, innovation and transformation, youth/young adult transition, and human services.

Congratulations to the following organizations:

Priority Area: Equity and Justice
Minnesota Disability Law Center/Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid
The Minnesota Disability Law (MDL) Center will develop and conduct an innovative self- advocacy academy designed for caregivers of students K-12 with a known or suspected diagnosis of an FASD. MDL will also provide legal analysis, advice, and on select cases representation, with the goal of reducing the use of restraint and seclusion in schools and increasing access to transition-age benefits and services.

School Law Center, LLC

The School Law Center will implement the FASD Legal Outreach Program to provide education law related services for families of students with a known or suspected diagnosis on the FASD spectrum. Services will include consultation and legal advice, brief services (such as attending IEP meetings) and select cases for extended services for more complex situations (such as mediation and settlement negotiations).

Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc.

The Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services (SMRLS) will provide legal advice and legal representation for low-income children with known or suspected FASD in consultation with their families. Services provided will include preparing the student and family for upcoming school discipline or special education administrative hearings or meetings, pre-hearing and follow-up negotiations, and activities in an appeal with cases of merit.

Priority Area: Early Childhood Screening
Houston County Public Health
Houston County Public Health will work in collaboration with MOFAS to develop and incorporate screening tools for prenatal alcohol exposure in early childhood focused programs: WIC, The Follow Along Program, Family Home Visiting, Birth to Three, and Maternal Child Health.

LifeCare Medical Center/Quin Community Health Services

LifeCare Medical Center, located in Roseau County, will work in collaboration with MOFAS to develop and implement screening tools for prenatal alcohol exposure in early childhood focused programs: Head Start/Early Head Start students, preschoolers, and WIC clients in Northwestern Minnesota.

Priority Area: Innovation and Transformation
African American Babies Coalition
The African American Babies Coalition will provide education on Adverse Childhood Experiences, trauma, and toxic stress. The coalition will provide opportunities to translate behavior research into behavior and practice and promote strategies for positive brain development with focused outreach to African American youth, parents, grandparents, and community members.

University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development

The University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development will use this grant to strengthen the capacity of their 4-H program to serve youth and families known or suspected to be impacted by an FASD. The University will work in collaboration with MOFAS to develop and pilot a curriculum for children with an FASD.

Priority Area: Youth/Young Adult Transition
The Link
The Link will work in collaboration with MOFAS to develop and implement a screening tool for prenatal alcohol exposure for assessing youth and young adults16-24 who have experienced homelessness and other complex traumas participating in supportive housing services programming. The Link will develop individualized FASD-informed case plans for clients known or suspected to be on the spectrum to improve outcomes.

CHOICE, unlimited

CHOICE, unlimited in Duluth will build on their experience of providing employment services for youth known or suspected to be impacted by an FASD and add wraparound services to meet their additional needs. They will use a person-centered planning approach and collaborate with school transition programs, vocational rehabilitation, post-secondary education, and employers, to help clients access safe and supportive housing, navigate public transportation, complete their GED, and apply to post-secondary education options.

Looking Forward Life Coaching

Looking Forward Life Coaching will provide life coaching services for transition-age youth with a known or suspected prenatal alcohol exposure history. Participants will receive a person centered plan to establish concrete, obtainable goals, and will receive on-going support and guidance.

RESOURCE, Inc.

RESOURCE, Inc. will enhance their current employment services for youth and adults known or suspected to be on the FASD spectrum by providing expanded on-going individual support and assistance through wrap-around services for basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing,

transportation, child care, healthcare, and mental/chemical health services. The additions include engagement activities, more structure, additional assessments, stronger supports to connect participants with healthcare services and navigate the healthcare system, and integrated support.

Priority Area: Human Services
Adoption Medicine Program and Clinic, University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota Foundation Adoption Medicine Clinic will use this grant to increase the number of FASD medical evaluations and assessments provided by the Adoption Medicine Clinic.

Children’s Theraplay

Children’s Theraplay will expand its FASD social skills group specifically for children with aknown or suspected history of prenatal alcohol exposure ages 3-6 and their parents/caregivers. The group will address social skills, self-care skills, and self-regulation, and incorporates multi- sensory lessons.

Arc Northland

Arc Northland in Duluth will continue to build their Young Adult Activity Club to increase social opportunities for youth known or suspected to be on the FASD spectrum. Arc Northland will also implement an Extreme Parenting Support Group for birth and foster parents of children with an FASD.

Children’s Consultation Network

Children’s Consultation Network will provide children known or suspected to be impacted byprenatal alcohol exposure and their caregivers with short-term behavior assessments and therapeutic treatment services in western Minnesota.

Division of Indian Work

The Division of Indian Work (DIW) will use this grant to improve on their Women in Traditional Birthing program for low-income, high-risk pregnant Native American women. They will enhance their program with additional on-going supportive services for the women after the baby is born.

Rise, Inc.

Rise, Inc. will enhance its employment services for individuals 18–24 with a known or suspected FASD diagnosis. Rise will implement person centered planning approaches to assess immediate and on-going benefit/service needs of each participant and provide additional individualized support on benefits planning and navigation.

Southside Family Nurturing Center

Southside Family Nurturing Center will develop a targeted service plan to support children known or suspected to be impacted by prenatal alcohol exposure enrolled in its therapeutic preschool program. Southside Family Nurturing Center will implement a new extended 6-month program of ongoing formal transition support for families and children entering kindergarten.

TreeHouse

TreeHouse will use this grant to fund an additional support group in New Hope for teenagers that face challenges due to poverty, abuse, and neglect, and many of whom may have prenatal alcohol exposure. The support group will provide a safe space for teenagers to work towards reducing at-risk behaviors, build healthy relationships, and pursue educational goals.

Upper Midwest American Indian Center

Upper Midwest American Indian Center will conduct a needs assessment to determine how to best meet the needs of individuals with an FASD and their families. They will collect data from the community to involve American Indian people in the progress of what is needed to heal the community. Potential supportive services that will be assessed include cultural case management, a resource room, and cultural based healing.

NAMI Minnesota

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota will expand their Parent Resource Support groups and Youth Connection Groups to youth with an FASD and their families in Greater Minnesota. The Parent Resource Support groups help parents and caregivers of children and youth who live with a co-occurring mental illness discover resources, learn coping skills, and develop problem solving skills. The Youth Connection Groups are peer led support groups for teens and youth who live with a mental illness.

Each year, over 7,000 babies are born in Minnesota with prenatal alcohol exposure. Prenatal exposure to alcohol continues to be a public health issue and puts an exposed child at risk for a range of physical and neurodevelopmental problems that persist across the lifespan. The lifetime cost for an individual with an FASD can be as high as $2.9 million, and is estimated to cost Minnesotans $131 million each year to support families and individuals with this disorder.

Since 1998, the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome has been the hub of hope for families affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), guiding and supporting families through the FASD journey. MOFAS is the leading voice and resource on FASD statewide, standing up for the rights of the FASD community, providing education and training so FASD is better understood and working to ensure that all women know that there is no safe level of alcohol during pregnancy.

For more information contact MOFAS at 651-917-2370 or toll-free 1-866-90-MOFAS; 2233 University Avenue West, Suite 395, St. Paul, MN 55114;www.mofas.org