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Competence 5: Continuing Care of Families Affected by FASD

Relapse Prevention, Continued

Community Referrals

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Social and community resources that are readily available for long periods are more likely to have a lasting influence on the course of alcoholism.4

Referrals may include living arrangements, work, and social and recreational resources.


Housing is a major issue for persons with an FASD. Group homes tailored to this population do not currently exist, and many persons with an FASD have difficulty fitting in with persons with other disorders. For the person with an FASD and substance abuse problems, finding appropriate housing becomes even more difficult. Some can return home, but others need help finding a safe, supportive environment.

mother and child on computer

In some cases, if supervision can be provided, a “sober living house” may be an option. Sober living houses are alcohol and drug free residences for individuals attempting to establish or maintain recovery. Sober living houses have been used as aftercare placements for clients completing residential treatment, places for clients to live while attending outpatient treatment, or as standalone approaches for substance misuse problems.5

Homelessness is a major risk among clients with an FASD. Many alienate their families or friends due to their unpredictable behavior and substance abuse problems and cannot seek help from them. Thus, it is important to integrate housing into treatment. Approaches vary and may include:

  • Providing housing at the point of entry into the service system combined with case management and supportive services6
  • Providing the support needed for the individual to maintain their housing.7
  • Using a continuing care strategy that combines housing and continuing care services8,9

Addressing housing needs requires an ongoing relationship with housing authorities, landlords, and other housing providers.

Groups and seminars that discuss housing issues also may be necessary to help clients with an FASD transition from residential treatment to housing. Another effective strategy for easing the transition has been organizing and coordinating housing tours with supportive housing programs. Finally, relapse prevention efforts are essential, as substance abuse generally disqualifies clients from public housing in the community.

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