Youth Justice FASD Program

One of the concerns of the Asante Centre is that young people with FASD have a propensity to become involved with the law as offenders, witnesses and victims.  Accordingly, the Centre has formed a partnership with the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) and the Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of BC as a means to provide youth suspected of having FASD, who are before the courts as offenders, with effective alternatives to custody and individualized assessments and post-program family follow-up services.

Who is eligible for the program?

To access the program, and individual must be:
  • On a youth court order
  • Meet the screening criteria of the FASD Screening and Referral Tool for Youth Probation Officers (see below)
  • Be supervised and referred by a youth probation officer (YPO) in British Columbia


How are referrals made?

YPOs across British Columbia are expected to complete the screening for every individual on an adjudicated youth probation order, and may also use it for individuals on another youth court order.

If the individual meets the screening criteria, the YPO will work to obtain consent for a referral to the Program, and submit it to the Asante Centre.  YPOs can access an up-to-date version of the provincial screening tool below.


What happens after referral?

Upon receipt of the probation officer referral, an intake worker will:

  • Contact the legal guardian to complete an intake interview and determine the needs for an assessment
    • If the youth has been previously assessed for FASD, the support worker will offer the family a consultation to ensure the youth is connected to appropriates resources
  • Provide support to families to complete the required background documents
  • Gather all necessary medical, health, and social history information, developmental assessments, school records, court records, and other required documents
  • Link with the youth’s care network to gather information and provide support for the youth and his or her family throughout the process
  • Schedule the youth for an assessment


What happens at an assessment?

The scheduled assessment typically includes:

  • Medical exam and interview
    • If there is no prenatal alcohol or other substance exposure, there may be no further need for assessment; this will be determined with the Centre and the family
  • Psychology evaluation
  • Speech-Language evaluation
  • Explanation of results with youth
  • Family Conference

The Family Conference is an opportunity for parents, caregivers, social workers, probation officers, educators and other support persons to hear the results of the assessment and diagnosis, as well as participate in the development of a coordinated care plan.


What happens after an assessment?

Collaborating with the youth’s guardian, family members and services providers, the Asante Centre:

  • Provides a report detailing the assessment results and recommendations for care
  • Assists to interpret the assessment findings
  • Provides individual—specific consultation to community service providers
  • Helps connect to resources and services appropriate for the youth and his or her family based on the needs and levels of ability identified through the assessment process


What about training and research?

As part of the program, the Asante Centre is committed to ongoing FASD research and education, and provides:

  • Specialized FASD training for MCFD youth probation officers and social workers, caregivers, service providers, and other community partners on FASD, implications for the justice and child welfare systems, as well as strategies for support
  • Experiential Training through observation of the assessment process, helping professionals understand the benefits of an accurate and updated assessment, and how to translate the results of testing into appropriate plans of care
  • Research, which respects the confidentiality of individuals, to help systems better understand and effectively support the youth justice population in terms of FASD


Resources for BC Youth Probation Officers


Through an Aboriginal Lens Project

The Through an Aboriginal Lens project is an exciting partnership with the Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of BC designed to support indigenous youth referred to the Asante Centre's Youth Justice FASD Program.  For more information, see the project description or the project's website.


For more information on the Youth Justice FASD Program or FASD training, contact a youth justice worker at the Asante Centre.