- UWA research clinic for foetal alcohol spectrum disorders
- Youth Justice Board funding for two-year pilot project
The State Government has allocated $195,000 to fund clinical research into a major factor behind juvenile crime - foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).
Acting Corrective Services Minister Liza Harvey said the $195,000 grant would enable The University of Western Australia-based Fastrack Clinic to conduct training, research and assessment in young people aged under 18.
"Young people with FASD are more likely to end up on the wrong side of the law and are at higher risk of developing other conditions such as drug and alcohol addiction," Mrs Harvey said.
"Children with FASD may experience impulsive behaviour, language and speech difficulties and problems with learning, sight and hearing. It's a form of brain damage that is a lifelong condition."
Funding to Fastrack was approved by the Youth Justice Board which was established by the State Government in 2014 to identify innovative programs to tackle juvenile crime, especially among young Aboriginal people.
"FASD is prevalent in many Aboriginal communities. Today's announcement reinforces the State Government's commitment to address the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system," the Acting Minister said.
Mrs Harvey said Fastrack's role would include providing care plans to FASD children, building a clinical database for researchers and helping mothers reduce alcohol intake during pregnancy.
"This work, coupled with research by the Telethon Kids Institute, will increase our capacity to assess FASD and deliver treatment and prevention measures," she said.
- Fastrack Clinic has been developed by WA paediatricians Dr Amanda Wilkins and Dr Raewyn Mutch
- To date, the Youth Justice Innovation Fund has allocated $4 million to address high reoffending rates, especially among Aboriginal young people
Minister's office - 6552 6500