The Parent–Child Assistance Program (PCAP) began in 1991 at the University of Washington. It is an intensive three-year one-on-one mentoring program for women at high risk of having a child born with FASD.
The primary aim of the program is to prevent future alcohol and drug exposed pregnancies by encouraging the use of effective contraceptive use, by helping women abstain from or decrease their use of alcohol and drugs and by addressing the range of factors that contribute to women’s substance use, including poverty, isolation, and lack of parenting support. The program uses a home visiting/case management approach and is based on principles of harm reduction.
The model has been replicated and evaluated across North America and has been found to be effective in a number of ways.
A recent study conducted an economic evaluation of the PCAP program in Alberta. Between 2008 and 2011, 366 women participated in 25 P-CAP programs across the province.
The evaluation estimated that the program prevented approximately 31 (range 20–43) cases of FASD among the 366 clients in a 3-year period which resulted in a cost-benefit of approximately $22 million.
For more on the Parent-Child Assistance Program in Canada, see earlier posts:
Rasmussen, C., Kully-Martens, K., Denys, K., et al. (2012). The effectiveness of a community-based intervention program for women at-risk for giving birth to a child with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Community Mental Health Journal, 48, 12–21.
Thanh, N.X., Jonsson, E., Moffat, J., Dennett, L., Chuck, A.W., and Birchard, S. (2014). An Economic Evaluation of the Parent-Child Assistance Program for Preventing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Alberta, Canada. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research.