The CICADA Centre NSW
Care and intervention for children and adolescents affected by drugs and alcohol
The CICADA Centre NSW brings together three teams of experts from the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Clinic, Family Service and the Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Service, at The Sydney Children's Hospital Network to assist children, adolescents, families and NSW health professionals to build leadership and research into the prevention of harm to children and adolescents from drugs and alcohol.
Click here to see the CICADA Service brochure
Key areas are:
- to support preventative research and education.
- to extend already successful local programs on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and the Family Service which provides paediatric-based health service to children and adolescents with a parent with drug and alcohol related issues). The Adolescent program supports young people in the hospital with drug and alcohol problems.
- to promote and support sustainable strategies to improve the health of children and young people in metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas of NSW.
CICADA FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) Service
The CICADA FASD Service is a state-wide service for the assessment of children with prenatal alcohol exposure and/or children in whom the diagnosis of a FASD is suspected. We provide trauma-informed and culturally appropriate assessment, diagnoses and recommendations for children and adolescents from 0 to 17 years of age.
Children have an initial assessment, sometimes by telehealth, and then may undergo a targeted physical and multidisciplinary assessment with particular attention to neurodevelopment. The clinic is actively involved in research on FASD, including its prevalence and impact on families, and implementation of national diagnostic guidelines.
Referrals are accepted from Paediatricians and other medical specialists. We only accept children in whom a confirmed history of prenatal alcohol exposure is provided to us. This may be obtained from direct or indirect witnesses, for example, birth parents, other family members, the child’s carer or caseworker, or from documents such as medical, justice or other records.
When: Mondays and Tuesdays 8:30am to 5:00pm
Where: Adolescent Medicine Unit, Level 1 (between Wade and Hall wards), The Children's Hospital at Westmead.
Phone: 9845 2446 Fax: 9845 2517 Email
In order for a referral to be accepted onto our waiting list, we require a Paediatrician referral with the following information provided:
- Documented Evidence of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure – This can be in the form of a witness statement, legal/medical records, case worker documentation
- A Medical Referral letter from a Specialist doctor ie Paediatrician, Clinical Geneticist, Psychiatrist etc
- Completed CICADA FASD referral form
- Results/reports for any previous assessments eg Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and/or Psychology.
For Medicare purposes the Medical Referral letter must be addressed to:
Professor Elizabeth Elliot
CICADA FASD Clinic
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
Referrals can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, faxed 02 9845 2517 or sent electronically via consultmed
Once we have received the referral it will be reviewed at an intake meeting and you will be advised whether it has been accepted for the waitlist.
Please feel free to call 02 9845 2446 on Monday or Tuesday if you have any further questions.
Click for fasd_intake_form_march_2023.pdf
Click for 2b._fasd_witness_statement_form.pdf
Click for Community based assessments for FASD (updated June 2021)
CICADA Family Service
The CICADA Family Service is a health service for children and adolescents, aged 0 to 18 years, whose parents have drug and alcohol related issue.
Families will be seen by a Paediatrician and Psychologist to assess the needs of the children and intervention and/or recommendations will be provided.
Referrals can be made by GP's and other medical specialists.
When: Mondays 8:30am to 5:00pm
Where: Adolescent Medicine Unit, Level 1 (between Wade and Hall wards), The Children's Hospital at Westmead
Phone: 9845 2446 Fax: 9845 2517
Click for CICADA Family Service Referral form (Fillable) or send a referral electronically via consultmed
CICADA Adolescent Service
The CICADA Adolescent Service provides clinical services, primarily the assessment and management of young people under 16 years, presenting to hospital with substance use.
It provides leadership in developing effective responses to alcohol and illicit drug use by young people and provides prevention, harm minimisation and management of the health consequences associated with drug use.
When: By appointment
Adolescent Medicine Unit, Level 1 (between Wade and Hall wards), The Children's Hospital at Westmead.
Phone 9845 2446 Fax: 9845 2517
Bright Alliance Building, Sydney Children's Hospital at Randwick.
Phone 9382 5451 or Fax 9382 5680
Click below for referral form to Westmead or Randwick service:
CICADA Adolescent Service Referral Form - Westmead
CICADA Adolescent Service Referral Form - Randwick
Or send your referral electronically via consultmed
COVID-19 supports for adolescents PDF Click here --> covid_info_for_yp.pdf
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
- The Australian Guide to the diagnosis of FASD was produced to assist clinicians in the diagnosis, referral and management of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). It contains the Australian FASD Diagnostic Instrument and information about how to use the instrument. It provides clinicians with diagnostic criteria for FASD, which were agreed following a review of existing guidelines and consultation with clinical experts (released May 2016) is available here Australian FASD Diagnostic Instrument
- The support the use of the Australian Diagnostic Instrument and Guide are now available here Australian FASD Diagnostic Instrument e-Learning Modules
- The National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Australia (NOFASD Australia) is an independent not-for-profit charitable organisation. NOFASD Australia is the national peak organisation representing the interests of individuals and families living with FASD. NOFASD Australia also provides education and training workshops to parent and carer groups, government and non-government service providers and school communities throughout Australia. Find out more at www.nofasd.org.au.
- Russell Family Fetal Alcohol Disorders Association (RFFADA) is a national not-for-profit health promotion charity dedicated to prevention and ensuring that individuals affected prenatally by alcohol have access to diagnostic services, support and multidisciplinary management planning in Australia and that parents and caregivers are supported with a “no blame no shame” ethos.8 Magic Keys, educational support strategies for children with FASD
FASD Hub AustraliaThis online resource is a one-stop shop for information, tools and resources that are current and evidence based about FASD in Australia. It provides tailored information for health professionals, parents and carers, other professionals (including for justice, education, child protection and disability services), researchers and policy makers. www.fasdhub.org.au
The story of alcohol use in pregnancy video featuring Prof Elizabeth Elliot from FARE Australia. The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to stop the harm caused by alcohol.
- FASD Diagnostic assessment information
- Information for families after a FASD assessment
- FASD Strategies not Solutions booklet This booklet provides strategies and suggestions for people who already have a base understanding of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
- Understanding behaviors of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) in children and adolescents - factsheet for parents and carers from mofas.org
- FAS Guide for daily living Parenting Children Affected by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: A Guide for Daily Living,
Youth drug and alcohol information
- Clinician's Guide to Supporting Adolescents and Young Adults Quit Vapes
- ADF Australian Drug Foundation Provides information on specific drugs and on issues suc
- h as talking to teenagers and organizing a party. Lots of downloadable factsheets that are really useful
- Australian Drug Information Network (ADIN) The Australian Drug Information Network (ADIN) is Australia’s leading alcohol and drug search directory. Here you will find reliable information on alcohol, other drugs and mental health.
- Drinkwise A website that provides extremely useful information for parents around all issues alcohol, particularly if, when and how parents should provide alcohol to their children. Full of practical strategies and tips no matter what age your child.
- NDARC National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre Excellent resource for fact sheets and ongoing research information Look under ‘Drug Information’ then ‘Fact Sheets’
- APSAD Australian Professional Society of Alcohol and Other Drugs
- Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia (DARTA)
- DrugInfo Facts and Resources about alcohol and other drugs Collects, interprets and disseminates information on drug prevention. It is provided by the ADF and funded by the Victorian Government Its in-house library offers an online catalogue.
- Dovetail An amazing Queensland site that provides clinical advice and professional support to workers, services and communities across Queensland who engage with young people affected by alcohol and other drug use.
Interactive websites for youth
- Your Choice Binge drinking educational program
- Your Room Interactive drug and alcohol educational website
- NIDA National Institute for Drug Abuse for teens (USA) Great site that facilitates learning about the effects of drug use on the brain, body, and lives of teens
Drug use in the family
- Children Of Parents With a Mental Illness (COPMI) Website full of resources and training
- Family Drug Support Information for families and friends of people who are using drugs. It is particularly useful for those who have never been involved in drug use who find themselves in a situation they find difficult to understand.
- Raising Children network Article about parenting as a drug user
- Family Drug Help Specialist service to support family members and friends who are concerned about a loved one’s alcohol and other drug use
- Mirabel Foundation The Mirabel Foundation works specifically to assist children being raised by grandparents and other family members due to parental illicit drug use. Mirabel supports kinship carers regardless of their legal or statutory status.
- Responseability Response Ability is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Health in partnership with tertiary educators throughout Australia. It aims to promote the social and emotional wellbeing, or mental health, of children and young people.
- Caretakers Cottage - Options youth housing Options is a transitional accommodation service for young people aged 16 to 25. Work towards independence from the social welfare system. Offers affordable housing, individual case management, advocacy, referrals, personal support, budgeting and financial support, education and employment support, living skills development
- Marist Youth Care Services designed to help young people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or living away from family. They provide accommodation, focus on addressing issues faced by young people and help them develop skills for independent living.
- Youth on track Early intervention scheme for 10–17 year-olds for young people at risk of long-term involvement in the criminal justice system. Police and Education can refer young people known to be at medium/high risk of offending without requiring a mandate.
- Australian Drug Foundation Factsheet - Drug Use in the Family
- Families Affected by Drug Use of Someone Else booklet
- Talking to children about addiction article - Chelsy Ranard
- Why Can't They Just Stop - Alcohol - booklet
- Grandparents Supporting Children Factsheet
External support agencies
- Y Foundations A great website that provides a hub for youth health services across NSW
Drug and alcohol services
- Nepean Youth Drug and Alcohol Service (12 - 20 years) (02) 4734 2129 or (02) 4374 1333
- Smart Recovery Self-management and Recovery Training Australia free group program assisting any problematic behaviours, including addiction to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, food, shopping, Internet and others
- Odyssey House provides services to support drug users, their families and friends
- Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) provides information, telephone counselling and referrals for people struggling with alcohol and other drug use, families and friends of users, and health and welfare professionals. Phone: (02) 9361 8000 or 1800 422 599
- Kids Helpline Phone: 1800 55 1800
- Lifeline Phone: 13 11 14
- HeadSpace Government service and website with information to assist young people.
- Mental Health Association Offers information and education advice about protecting mental health, mutual support and advocacy services.
- Beyond Blue National initiative to raise awareness of anxiety and depression, providing resources for recovery, management and resilience.
- Black dog Institute A leading Australian clinic and research facility into depression.
- SANE Australia SANE Australia is a national charity helping all Australians affected by mental illness lead a better life – through campaigning, education and research.
- 2016 Visual-motor integration, visual perception, and fine motor coordination in a population of children with high levels of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
- 2016 Review of Teenlink: A health service for children and adolescents of parents with substance use
- 2013 Report - Breaking New Ground: Service of Addiction Medicine for Youth
- 2013 Addressing adolescent substance use in a paediatric health care setting
Pioneering clinician recognised for improving outcomes in unborn babies