The North Carolina Fetal Alcohol Prevention Program began as the Fetal Alcohol and Drug Program in 1983. The primary goal of the program was the identification and prevention of problems associated with prenatal drug and alcohol exposure to the residents of North Carolina.
The program was housed in the Department of Pediatrics, Section on Genetics at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and continued its work by a grant funded under the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1986. Additional support was provided by the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services and the NC Department of Human Resources.
In 2002, the NC Fetal Alcohol and Drug Program moved from Wake Forest University to Mission’s Fullerton Genetics Center in Asheville. During this time, the program became known as the NC Teratogen Information Service (NCTIS) and the Fetal Alcohol Prevention Program. Over the next eight years, the prevention program consisted of a part-time contracted position that provided trainings and education sessions on FASDs primarily in the western part of the state and at select conferences throughout the state. NCTIS provided resources via a toll-free phone service staffed by genetic counselors for pregnant women, their partners and the professionals that served them about avoiding teratogens during pregnancy. In 2010, the NC Fetal Alcohol Prevention Program grew to support a full time position to increase awareness about FASDs by providing trainings to a variety of disciplines across the state.
Since 2010, the NC Fetal Alcohol Prevention Program has utilized grant funds to support a website, develop a brand (FASDinNC), continue outreach efforts, and promote the Fullerton FASD Clinic and Mother to Baby NC Program (formerly NCTIS) across the state.
In 2016, FASDinNC received funds from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to expand efforts to underserved areas in the eastern part of the state by working with East Carolina University (ECU). Effective May 12th, 2019, the contact at ECU is no longer active. In July of 2019, FASDinNC will see some exciting structural changes that will address our prevention effort statewide. In the meantime, any outreach efforts or training request from the East can be directed to the Program Coordinator.
In 2020, The Arc of North Carolina announced The North Carolina Fetal Alcohol Prevention Program (FASDinNC) is now a part of The Arc of North Carolina’s Advocacy division. The program will increase the number of trained Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) educators across the state, as well as spreading the No Safe Amount/No Safe Time message to women of child-bearing age across the state. Lauren Borchert will serve as the Program Coordinator and Amy Hendricks will serve as the Training Coordinator.
John Nash, Executive Director for The Arc of North Carolina, stated: “We are extremely excited to implement prevention-based work into The Arc of NC for the first time. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are so common and misunderstood, and we do not often speak of prevention within I/DD circles. We hope to utilize our chapter network to spread important information across the state regarding the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and expand collective knowledge across the state of North Carolina.”
Meet the Staff
Lauren Borchert, BS, is the Program Coordinator for FASDinNC. Lauren has been in the Intellectual and Developmental Disability field since 2002. In 2004, she joined The Arc of Mecklenburg County as the Advocacy Coordinator and formed an FASD Committee for Mecklenburg County. In 2005, Lauren became the Executive Director of the agency. Lauren continued to chair the FASD Committee of Mecklenburg until 2018 at which time she joined the staff at The Arc of North Carolina as the Brand & Outreach Manager for the state-wide organization. During the time in which Lauren chaired the Mecklenburg committee, they hosted a variety of trainings in the Charlotte community for youth, professionals, and women of child-bearing age. This committee also led the way across the state in media and marketing campaigns that targeted the general population.
In her current position, Lauren provides education to women of child-bearing age, and the professionals who work with them about the dangers of alcohol use during pregnancy, as well as how Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) may present in an individual across the lifespan. Lauren also serves in several workgroups whose efforts focus on the prevention of FASDs.
In her spare time, Lauren is an avid Jazzercise instructor and spends much of her time at the studio dancing. When not Jazzercising, Lauren is spending time with her husband and sweet eight-year-old son.
Amy C. Hendricks, BS, is the Training Coordinator for FASDinNC and is a certified FASD Trainer through the University of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes FASD Regional Training Center. Amy has over 25 years of experience deeply rooted in the field of public health and prevention.
In her current position, Amy provides education to women of child-bearing age, and the professionals who work with them about the dangers of alcohol use during pregnancy, as well as how Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) may present in an individual across the lifespan. Amy also serves in an advisory capacity to the NC Collaborative on FASDs, as well as co-leads a workgroup whose efforts focus on the prevention of FASDs.
In her spare time, Amy is actively pursuing a career as a mixed media artist, enjoys hearing live music with her sweetheart and is a parent of two amazing young men!