A recent study by Svetlana Popova and colleagues estimated the number of children (0–18 years) in care with FASD in Canada 2011 and the associated cost by age group, gender, and province/territory.

In 2011, the total number of children in care in Canada was estimated to be 67,433. The research team estimated that the number of children in care with FASD ranged from 2,225 to 7,620, with an annual cost of care ranging from $57.9 to $198.3 million Canadian dollars (CND).

Cost studies can be important for developing public policy. In terms of FASD prevention, this researchers suggest that the implications of this study could include:

  • Funding for FASD prevention should be a priority—if 10% of the cost of care were devoted to prevention, Canada could allocate as much as $20 million each year to this objective
  • Strategies to enhance access to substance abuse treatment programs for the mothers of children with FASD should be implemented
  • Strategies to increase the effectiveness of substance abuse treatment programs for women of childbearing age


Popova, S., Lange, S., Burd, L., Rehm, J. (2014).  Canadian Children and Youth in Care: The Cost of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Child and Youth Care Forum, 43(1): 83-96. (Free full-text)