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Banksia Hill FASD Project



The Banskia Hill FASD Project aims to address an urgent need to understand the extent of involvement of young people with Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in the West Australian (WA) justice system, and develop appropriate management strategies for these young people.

The project is being conducted at Banksia Hill Detention Centre, with all young people sentenced to detention at Banskia Hill during a one year period offered screening and assessment for FASD. The screening takes about 15 minutes, followed by assessment sessions by a paediatrician, psychologist, occupational therapist and speech pathologist to provide information for a diagnosis of FASD.

A report for each person assessed will provide:

Discussion of this information with the young person and their parent/guardian/carer will facilitate improved support for young people with FASD during detention and in the community following their release. In addition, an information and training program for managing young people affected by FASD will be delivered to the workforce at the detention centre.

The research will establish the first Australian estimate of FASD among young people in detention, and will contribute to the understanding of factors which influence the over representation of Aboriginal young people in the criminal justice system.

This program is an initiative of the Telethon Kids Institute, with funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Abstract adapted from Telethon Kids Institute


Carol Bower
Senior Principal Research Fellow
Telethon Kids Institute
Ph: (08) 9489 7751

Related publications

Bower C, Watkins RE, Mutch RC, Marriott R, Freeman J, Kippin NR, Safe B, Pestell C, Cheung CSC, Shield H, Tarratt L, Springall A, Taylor J, Walker N, Argiro E, Leitão S, Hamilton S, Condon C, Passmore HM, Giglia R (2018)

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and youth justice: a prevalence study among young people sentenced to detention in Western Australia.

BMJ Open; 8(2): e019605

Retrieved 13 February 2018 from

Passmore HM, Giglia R, Watkins RE, Mutch RC, Marriott R, Pestell C, Zubrick SR, Rainsford C, Walker N, Fitzpatrick JP, Freeman J, Kippin N, Safe B, Bower C (2016)

Study protocol for screening and diagnosis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) among young people sentenced to detention in Western Australia.

BMJ Open; 6: e012184

Retrieved 22 June 2016 from

Telethon Kids Institute (2018)

The Banksia Hill Project - findings and recommendations.

: Telethon Kids Institute


Last updated: 15 February 2018
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Australia's National Research Centre on AOD Workforce Development National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre National Drug Research Institute