Bruised Before Birth

Posted on 07/02/2011 in TACT News.

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Adoption UK‘s Adoption Today magazine features a conference report on TACT’s Bruised Before Birth November 2010 conference in Birmingham.

Concern at the little known affects of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) has prompted a children’s charity to call for better education and understanding.

The Adolescent and Children’s Trust (TACT) provides secure and stable foster placements and adoptive families, helping children in care to prosper and thrive.

Around 200 people attended a conference in Birmingham organised by TACT called Bruised Before Birth, which brought together experts in the field including Professor Edward Riley, International FASD Neurodevelopmental Brain Expert from the USA.

The conference opened with an explanation from TACT that as a children’s charity it is committed to the welfare of all children in the care system, campaigning for changes to law, practice and policy to minimise the disadvantage and discrimination they face.

One of TACT’s greatest areas of concern is the education system. Children in care often perform poorly in school. preparing for exams is difficult enough for any child. However, many children in care experience multiple placements disrupting their exam preparation. About one quarter of children in care have special educational needs (SEN). Children with SEN often struggle in school, particularly in accessing the support they need if in a mainstream environment. That disadvantage is compounded if they are already in the care system. Adopted children are further disadvantaged by losing access to benefits those in care receive, such as prioritised admissions.

Many of these issues are well documented. However, TACT is concerned there is a particular issue facing children about which little is known by education professionals and others: Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Awareness of FASD is slowly growing, particularly among health professionals, but remains limited.

Read the full Bruised Before Birth article published in February 2011’s edition of the Adoption Today magazine.

Bruised Before Birth conferences

TACT is holding further Bruised Before Birth conferences in March 2011 on 10 March in Edinburgh and then on 30 March in London.

For further information, contact Charlotte Lindsell, TACT’s Events & Press Officer at or call 020 8695 2315.

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