National Screening Tool Kit for Children and Youth Identified and Potentially Affected by FASD

Last modified by Lisa Stromquist on 2019/04/24 20:37



Welcome to the National Screening Tool Kit for Children and Youth Identified and Potentially Affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) the ‘Tool Kit’. The development of this Tool Kit has been an engaging, sometimes challenging, and always an energetic exploration of the ‘state of the art’ on screening for FASD. It is still very much a work in progress! It has involved nearly one hundred experts and providers from Canada and the United States who, led by our Steering Committee, have worked diligently to produce this Kit. Everyone involved cares passionately about children and youth affected by this condition and are committed to prevention, screening, diagnosis and early intervention and treatment. Through this process the social, economic and cultural conditions which effect families profoundly and lead to alcohol abuse have also been recognized and all remain strong advocates for changes and supports for these families.

It is extremely important that screening is never used as a substitute for full assessment and diagnosis. Screening tools are not perfect and can only predict the likelihood that a child or youth is at-risk for FASD. Misuse of screening tools has the potential to stigmatize individuals and families and runs contrary to the ethical dictate to ‘do no harm’.

Similarly, screening should not be done where there is no access to diagnostic services or in areas where capacity for diagnosis is so limited that an individual must wait a long time to be seen. In these situations screening is likely to be become a ‘de facto’ diagnosis and not serve the needs of the child or youth. Unfortunately in many parts of Canada access to assessment and diagnosis is limited and efforts are required to highlight and address this problem. FASD prevalence in Canada is estimated at 9.1 per 1,000§ live births which under- scores the pressing need for increased capacity for assessment and treatment.

The Steering Committee has consistently employed criteria for evaluating and selecting screening tools and this must be an on-going process as new tools emerge and existing tools develop further. As well, the tools in this Kit require wider implementation to further test their effectiveness. It is within this context that we present this Tool Kit. The Steering Committee invites users to contribute to the tool development process by providing feedback and suggestions on the tools they’ve used. This feedback can be directed to the CAPHC office at

For more information on this project click here.


 ToolType of ScreenPopulation ScreenedSettingSector
Neurobehavioural Screening Tool (NST)Maladaptive behaviour6–18 yearsElementary & secondary schools, primary care, and children’s mental healthHealth
Social Services, Education
Meconium FAEE Testing 3Pre-natal exposureNewborns
At-risk mothers
Maternal Drinking Guide - Fact Sheet and ToolPre-natal- exposureAt-risk womenPrimary care, pre-natal care, women’s mental health, specialized child healthHealth, Social Services
Medicine Wheel Student Index
Medicine Wheel Developmental History
Maladaptive behaviour
Pre-natal exposure
4–14 years
At-risk mothers
Elementary & middle school
Home, counselling services
Health, Social Services
FASD Screening & Referral Form for Youth Probation Officers 5Maladaptive behaviourYouthYouth Justice SystemJustice


  1. Preamble - National Screening Tool Kit for Children and Youth Identified and Potentially Affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
  2. Identifying the behavioural phenotype in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: sensitivity, specificity and screening potential
  3. Prevalence of Fetal Ethanol Exposure in a Regional Population-Based on Meconium Analysis of Fatty Acid Ethyl Esters
  4. Introduction to the Medicine Wheel Tool Kit
  5. Youth Probation Officer's Guide to FASD Screening and Referral


This project was made possible through a contribution agreement between the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres (6789-15-2008/8040774)


The National Screening Tool Kit for Children and Youth Identified and Potentially Affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), including all the tools individually, is protected by copyright laws in Canada and other countries. The Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres (CAPHC) welcomes and encourages providers of health, social services, education and legal/justice services to use and copy the Tool Kit to identify children and youth at risk for FASD.

All copies must retain the copyright and other proprietary notices and any disclaimer contained thereon. Except as expressly provided above, no other copies or use, may be made of the Tool Kit, or any of its parts, without the express written consent of CAPHC and/or the screening tool authors. No commercial use may be made of the Tool Kit. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring a license or any right under copyright of CAPHC.

Created by Administrator on 2010/05/10 12:14