Families and Schools Together (FAST)
From FAST website
Families and Schools Together (FAST) is a set of preventive/early intervention after-school programs. FAST is designed to enhance family functioning, prevent school failure and prevent substance misuse.
The three main components of FAST are outreach to parents, family group sessions for approximately 8-10 weeks for about 2½ hours each, and monthly group reunions for up to 24 months.
From the California Evidence Based Clearinghouse
Kids Families and Schools Together (Kids FAST) is a set of multifamily group interventions designed to build relationships between families, schools, and communities to increase child well-being. Family activities are led by the parents, with support to be authoritative and warm. Participants work together to enhance protective factors for children, including parent-child bonds, parent involvement in schools, parent networks, family functioning, parental authority and warmth, and social capital, with the aim of reducing the children's anxiety and aggression and increasing their social skills and attention spans. Kids FAST is for all families of children 4-5 years old in communities with high risk factors.
The goals of Kids FAST are to:
- Strengthen the family functioning.
- Increase child well-being and child mental health functioning at home and school.
- Reduce daily stresses and hassles for child and family while building social support networks.
- Reduce substance abuse by child and family.
Target Population: FAST Programs range from Baby FAST to Teen FAST.
- Baby FAST is an intervention for reducing neglect and abuse of babies by stressed, isolated and conflicted teenage mothers.
- Pre-K FAST is designed to assure that children ages 3-6 have a chance to enter school ready to learn and capable of achievement at their own level.
- Kids FAST was the first version, developed for families with children in grades K-5.
- Middle School FAST is for children in 6th-8th grades, critical transition years.
- Teen FAST is for high school youth.
FAST was developed at a nonprofit family service agency in Madison, Wisconsin in 1988. Since 2001, four randomized controlled trials have been completed.
FAST experimental studies across populations and sites have shown statistically significant results in the following areas:
- Improved child behavior (social skills, attention span, and academic competence and performance) reported by parents and teachers
- Reduced aggression at home and in the classroom
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Reduced family conflict
- Increased parent involvement in school
California Evidence Based Clearinghouse Rating for Kids FAST – 3 (Promising)
Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) externalizing subscale and internalizing subscale
Social Skills Rating System (SSRS) parent and teacher versions
FAST requires a combination of on-site training for implementation teams for 6 days over a 4-month period plus 3 one-day observation site visits during months following, program manuals and checklists, ongoing technical assistance, licensing fees, and evaluation with pre and posttest materials for parents and teachers. Participants receive a detailed evaluation report. The training package costs approximately $6,000 not including travel and lodging. Other implementation costs include supplies and food.
Nebraska Children and NCAPF Board Grantee communities
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