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Date posted: 30 April 2015
Researchers at the Telethon Kids Institute have developed a range of new resources to help lawyers, judicial officers and other justice professionals better deal with people who are impacted by Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).
The program, called Understanding FASD - a guide for justice professionals is designed to help those in the legal profession recognise potential FASD in young people engaged in the criminal justice system and identify the associated legal implications.
It also aims to encourage more justice professionals to consider referring young people for assessment and to consider the diagnosis when making decisions on orders, sentencing and management.
Telethon Kids Institute's, Associate Professor Raewyn Mutch, said FASD is a lifelong disability that can impact on the capacity of a person to fully understand and meaningfully participate in the judicial process.
'How the justice system identifies and responds to FASD will have a significant impact on the outcomes for people affected by FASD, their families and the broader community,' Associate Professor Mutch said.
The resources that will be available to justice professionals include a series of five web videos, which were launched on 29 April 2015 by the Hon. Chief Justice of Western Australia Wayne Martin AC.
An online Continuing Professional Development (CPD) module for WA lawyers will also be available from the Legal Aid Track-N-Train website from July 2015.
Legal professionals can access the FASD and justice section on the Telethon Kids Institute's Alcohol, Pregnancy and FASD website.
Source: Telethon Kids Institute