Monash Children’s Hospital VicFAS program receives funding to further support regional communities

Members of the VicFAS team stand around a cardboard sign saying VicFAS in a hallway.

The Victorian Fetal Alcohol Service (VicFAS), based at Monash Children’s Hospital, was established in 2019 with grant funding received from the Australian Government. 

Two years on, VicFAS continues to assist local health services and supports children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and their families. VicFAS diagnostic services and training have continued throughout the pandemic, using a flexible model of care that includes telehealth, outreach clinics, school visits and collaborating closely with community clinicians.  

The VicFAS team pictured in 2019 when the program was established.

FASD describes a range of lifelong effects caused by prenatal alcohol exposure, which impacts development, learning and behaviour. Early diagnosis and intervention can improve social and developmental outcomes.  

Earlier this month Minister Greg Hunt, Federal Minister for Health, announced that VicFAS have received an additional $1.2 million grant from the Australian Government Drug and Alcohol Program, as part of the National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Strategic Action Plan 2018 – 2028. The funding will allow VicFAS to expand its services in regional communities in Victoria over the next 3 years.  

The expanded service will include direct clinical multidisciplinary assessments, supporting regional paediatricians through a structured secondary consultation pathway, and providing regional coordinators embedded in local teams. Training and education remain an integral part of the VicFAS, aiming to help the community recognise and support children affected by alcohol.

To learn more about the funding grant, read the media release from the Federal Minister for Health 

For more information on VicFAS and FASD, view the VicFAS profile, part of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation Insights series.  

Congratulations to Monash Children’s Hospital and to the VicFAS team. 

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