Center for Family Strengthening is dedicated to strengthening families through education and advocacy. The center partners with family support organizations in San Luis Obispo County to provide resources to families in need, protect children from abuse and neglect, and ensure that strong families are a community priority.

Helping families thrive.
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News
  • 2019 Children’s Memorial Flag Raising Ceremony

    Please join us for the 1st Annual Children's Memorial Flag Raising Ceremony in San Luis Obispo County. The Department of Social Services in collaboration with the California Office of Child… Read more…

  • 2019 Child Abuse Prevention Academy

    Please join Center for Family Strengthening and Cuesta College Early Childhood Education for the Annual Child Abuse Prevention Academy. We gather every April in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month to… Read more…

  • Give Children Affected by Trauma a Chance to Thrive

    Martha's Place Gives Children who Suffer from Prenatal Substance Exposure and Early Childhood Trauma a Chance to Thrive and to Reach their Full Potential. A research study known as the… Read more…

  • Promotores Collaborative Program Successes!

        The County of San Luis Obispo Preventive Health Grant sponsors the professional coordination services required for a high functioning Promotores Collaborative. Center for Family Strengthening (CFS) provides leadership development and… Read more…

  • CFS Promotes Staff Member

    Center for Family Strengthening promotes Erica Ruvalcaba-Heredia to Director of Promotores Collaborative. “We are thrilled with Erica’s accomplishments in driving the growth and success of Promotores Collaborative,” said Lisa Fraser,… Read more…

FASD Prevention Awareness

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that occur in an individual prenatally exposed to alcohol. 

Center for Family Strengthening promotes a local culture that supports women in their efforts to abstain from alcohol, tobacco or other harmful substances during pregnancy. 

Our vision is a San Luis Obispo County community where every child is born free of the effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol, tobacco or other harmful substances.

In 2005, the US Surgeon General stated, “No amount of alcohol consumption can be considered safe during pregnancy.” 


Key Facts on Alcohol and Pregnancy

There is no safe amount or type of alcohol to consume during pregnancy. Any amount of alcohol, even if it’s just one glass of wine, passes from the mother to the baby. It makes no difference if the alcohol is wine, beer, or liquor (vodka, rum, tequila, etc.)

A developing baby can’t process alcohol. Developing babies lack the ability to process alcohol with their liver, which is not fully formed. They absorb all of the alcohol and have the same blood alcohol content as the mother.
 
Alcohol causes more harm than heroin or cocaine during pregnancy. The Institute of Medicine says, “Of all the substances of abuse (including cocaine, heroin, and marijuana), alcohol produces by far the most serious neurobehavioral effects in the fetus.”
 
Alcohol used during pregnancy can result in FASD. An estimated 40,000 newborns each year are affected by FAS, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or have FASD, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, with damage ranging from major to subtle.
 
1 in 100 babies have FASD, nearly the same rate as Autism. FASD is more prevalent than Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, SIDS, Cystic Fibrosis, and Spina Bifida combined. Alcohol use during pregnancy is the leading preventable cause of birth defects, developmental disabilities, and learning disabilities.

FASD Prevention efforts include raising community awareness about the benefits of healthy pregnancy and the consequences of prenatal exposure to alcohol, tobacco or other harmful substances.

September is FASD Awareness Month 

September 9th is International FASD Awareness Day 

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