Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs)—the general term for the range of adverse effects associated with prenatal alcohol and drug exposure is estimated to affect 400,000 newborns annually in the United States. This article presents information on the effects, legislation, and current efforts on prenatal alcohol exposure and the child welfare system. There is a special focus on the current needs and potential solutions for child welfare social workers, children, and their families.
Sharon Dietsche, ACSW, DCSW, LICSW, LCSW-C
Alcohol use during pregnancy is a leading preventable cause of birth defects
and intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum
Disorders (FASD)—the general term that encompasses the range of life-long adverse cognitive, behavioral and physical effects associated with prenatal alcohol exposure—affects up to 1 in 20 children in the U.S., and is disproportionately present among youth in foster care and juvenile justice systems. Recent resources for social work practitioners to enhance their understanding, competency and practice skills around FASD are included.
These standards are based on the consensus of expert health care social workers from across the country and are designed to enhance social workers' knowledge to work effectively in health care settings, within the current context of the health care environment.
Chris Herman, MSW, LICSW
Though case management has been integral to social work since the founding of the social work profession, the practice of case management has changed greatly over the past century. NASW's standards for social work case management revised in 2013, reflect this evolving context and reinforce the social work profession's leadership role in case management. The practice perspective includes case examples illustrating how the revised standards may be applied with a variety of client populations across practice settings.
These standards were developed to broadly define the scope of services that social workers shall provide to clients with substance use disorders, that clients and their families should expect, and that program administrators should support. The standards are designed to enhance awareness of the skills, knowledge, values, methods, and sensitivities that social workers need to work effectively within systems dedicated to serving clients with substance use disorders.
Sharon Issurdatt Dietsche, LICSW, LCSW-C
Each year, millions of high school graduates leave home to start their college education in the United States. This new independence, in addition to demands of college and peer pressure, can be difficult for many young adults to manage, leaving them vulnerable to excessive alcohol consumption.