The Family Empowerment Network: A Service Model to Address the Needs of Children and Families

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Abstract: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) represent a leading cause of mental retardation and learning disabilities in children seen in pediatric offices today. This article provides an overview of FASD and describes a model program, the Family Empowerment Network (FEN). FEN is an information, referral, and support network for children and families affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and the professionals who serve them. FEN's mission includes: (a) increasing awareness about FASD by providing education, training and resources to families, providers, and the general public; (b) providing support and referrals to families affected; and (c) increasing opportunities for diagnosis and intervention. We hope to increase awareness of the resources available to nurses and their patients and provide a template that can be replicated in other service delivery systems. Pediatric nurses are in a unique position not only to assist in the recognition of children at risk of FASD, to link families to appropriate diagnostic and intervention services, but also to work to develop additional local and regional resources with other providers.

Related Topics

  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
  • Treatment Models