Families on Track

Prenatal alcohol exposure is the largest preventable cause of developmental disabilities in the United States. Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) struggle with life-long learning and behavior impairments. Without appropriate supports, children with FASD are at high risk for secondary disabilities, such as mental health problems, school disruption, trouble with the law, and substance abuse.  Project TRAIN hopes to prevent those secondary issues from developing.

This two-year project is evaluating a preventive intervention called Families on Track which integrates two evidence-based interventions for children and families.  Project Train will enroll approximately 78 children, 48 of whom have FASD. Participants receive a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment with individualized recommendations at the start of the program. Children then attend weekly skills groups using the preschool/kindergarten Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) curriculum and specialists meet with parents every other week using the in-home Families Moving Forward program. Following the 9-month program, families will receive regular check-ins and booster sessions, if needed, to help them adapt to new challenges.

The Families on Track project is based on developmental psychopathology theory and promotes positive developmental trajectories for children with FASD and families during the key transition period around school entry. This is one of only a few interventions developed specifically for children with FASD and the first in New York State.

Principal Investigator

Christie L. M. Petrenko, Ph.D.


Special Thanks to our Funder
The National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism