More than half of children diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder will come in contact with the Australian justice system around the age of 12.
Around 90 percent will struggle with their mental health or drugs and alcohol throughout their lifetime.
Data on the prevalence of the disorder in Australia is few, according to the Australian Medical Association, however it warns of a prevalence of between two and five per cent of the population in studies out of the United States and could be as high as 12 percent in some high-risk indigenous communities.
The disorder is linked to expectant mothers' alcohol consumption during pregnancy, the diagnosis of which describes a sever impairment of the central nervous system. Infants and adults diagnosed with with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder often experience lifelong developmental, behavioural and learning challenges.
Newcastle is one two Australian communities - the other is Alice Springs - part of a consortium funded by the Commonwealth government to develop FASD models of care, and will host a free community forum at Fort Scratchley on Monday from 5.30pm.
"The forum symbolises that alcohol consumption during pregnancy is a big community and whole of government issue, and not just a concern for women," Newcastle's Local Drug Action Team chairperson Tony Brown said.
The forum includes a range of local parents, medical, law and community speakers providing a combination of invaluable insights, experiences, research and expertise.
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