Proposed micro credential on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Proposed micro credential on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Toitū te Waiora has been through a period of consultation after being contacted by FASD-CAN (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Care Action Network) in June 2022 to develop a micro-credential in FASD that would support best practice for those who are working alongside and engaging with people living with FASD in our communities.

We have developed two new skill standards which can be used in NZQA-approved programmes of study, and a standalone micro-credential that we hope will be used for professional development purposes.

Although there are no prevalence data for FASD in New Zealand, based on overseas research and New Zealand’s relatively high levels of consumption of alcohol the Ministry of Health estimates that the prevalence is 3-5% of the population.

(For more information see Manatū Hauora, the Ministry of Health’s website).

This is equivalent to 1800 to 3000 babies born with FASD in Aotearoa every year.  These prevalence rates make FASD more common than autism, Down Syndrome, and cerebral palsy, combined.

Despite this significant prevalence rate, people with FASD receive very little support in our systems. FASD is not recognised as a disability in Aotearoa unless there is an accompanying intellectual disability.  The IQ range for all on the spectrum is from 20 – 130. Approximately 20% of those diagnosed in New Zealand have an intellectual disability, defined as an IQ below 70.  However, IQ is not the only measure of brain function – people affected by FASD can have an ‘average’ or even quite high IQ but are seriously affected by deficits in their adaptive and executive functioning and memory.

People who live with FASD are likely to have involvement in the criminal justice system, poor mental health, greatly increased suicide rate, (substance abuse and addiction) and experience homelessness and social isolation.

There is no specific FASD content on the NZQCF, and the intent of the two FASD skill standards and micro-credential is to meet a current gap in knowledge and skills in responding to people who live with FASD to ensure they are supported effectively and able to have positive life experiences and outcomes.  We envisage that the micro-credential could be used for continuing professional development (e.g., Police, Dept of Corrections, Justice, GPs, Health, Education, Mental Health and Addiction workforce, Social Workers, Kaiāwhina and Kaimanaaki workforce, and Employers across sectors).

Here are the proposed micro-credential and skill standard documents:

If you would like to provide any feedback, please email us at [email protected] by Friday, June 30, 2023.