The Judges' Page newsletter is published by the National CASA Association and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: How Can Courts Respond Effectively?
J. Dean Lewis, Judge (retired)
This issue of The Judges’ Page addresses fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) in children, youth and adults involved in the court system. Thank you to Kathryn Kelly for securing the articles in this issue. Kathryn serves as the project director of the FASD Legal Issues Resource Center at the University of Washington Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit in Seattle, WA.
Articles in This Issue
American Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare System Reforms Addressing FASD
Summary: As juvenile courts become more aware of the presence of this disability in their dependency and delinquency caseloads, efforts to modify practices to improve outcomes have grown.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): What Judges and Other Legal Professionals Need to Know
Summary: The authors introduce the topic of FASD and its relevance within the judicial and legal context, indicating how these brain-based conditions might look in court-involved youth.
A Neurodevelopmental Paradigm for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Summary: This article provides an overview of how FASD is diagnosed in the new DSM-5 in order to empower judges and other legal professionals for decision making involving afflicted individuals.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Key Services for Children in Foster Care
Summary: The authors outline the challenges faced by children and youth with FASD and discuss services to effectively address them.
Parents Who Have FASD in Dependency Courts
Summary: The author provides information for courts dealing with parents who have FASD
FASD: Modifications for the Disability in the Courtroom
Summary: A rural judge knowledgeable about FASD but without local resources for diagnosis or a “mental health court” offers some suggestions on adaptations that can be accomplished in the courtroom.
Identifying Youth with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in the Juvenile Justice System – A Practical Approach
Summary: The authors offer a practical approach to identifying FASD in adjudicated delinquents and improving outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system.
Yukon Community Wellness Court
Summary: The author describes the creation and work of the Yukon Community Wellness Court, developed to reduce recidivism by providing offenders with therapeutic alternatives tailored to their needs, thereby enhancing the safety of Yukon communities and ensuring the needs of victims are met.
Innovative FASD Intersectoral Training and Judge-Led Discussion in Saskatchewan
Summary: The authors describe the process of convening a multi-location FASD training designed to increase information-sharing and collaboration among organizations working with individuals affected by FASD
Recognizing and Serving Children with FAS/FASD from the Bench
Summary: The author shares advice and lessons learned from 23 years of experience on the bench about recognizing and serving children with FAS and FASD.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): How Judges Can Improve Outcomes for Affected Children and Parents (links to March 2012 Judges' Page)
Summary: The authors provide extensive background on FASD and its prevalence among court-involved children and their parents, and introduce a draft of the FASD judicial bench cards. This article was written for the March 2012 Judges' Page newsletter on young children involved in the dependency court.
Summary: A brief description of potential Social Security benefits for children and adults dealing with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
Focusing on the Perception Piece of the FASD Puzzle Faced by Schools: Making a Difference for Students
Summary: This article focuses on the misfit between the abilities of students with a history of prenatal exposure to alcohol and the expectations of the education system; the importance of medical diagnosis of a FASD; and how techniques fit for developmental age can lead to success.
Advocating for the Proper Educational Services and Community Support for Children with FASD
Summary: The authors outline steps to ensuring that comprehensive, supportive services are provided in order to foster a better life outcome for FASD-affected children.
Facing the Challenge: FASD and Frontline Policing
Summary: This article discusses some of the challenges frontline police encounter when working with someone who has FASD, highlighting some areas where changes can, and are, being made to help bring about better justice outcomes for individuals with FASD.
Parent-Child Assistance Program Comes to Lake County Tribal Health Consortium
Summary: Authors describe a tribal health organization’s process of bringing a Parent Child Assistance Program for their site.
Navigating the System with FASD
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Implications for the Juvenile Justice System (links to March 2010 Judges' Page)
Summary: Among foster children, emotional, behavioral and developmental problems are thought to be present at a rate three to six time greater than children in the general population. It is likely that FASD is a culprit in the "crossover" phenomenon. This article was written for the March 2010 Judges' Page newsletter on crossover cases.
National CASA Association Reprint Policy
If an article published in The Judges' Page is reproduced, credit shall be given to the author(s) of the article, the National CASA Association and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.