FAST® - Elementary School Level

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About This Program

Target Population: Children in Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade and their families

Brief Description

FAST® - Elementary School Level is a 2-year prevention/early intervention program based on social ecological theory, family systems theory, social mobility theory, child development theory, and family stress theory. FAST® is designed to build relationships within and between families, schools, and communities (particularly in low-income areas) to improve childhood outcomes.

The intervention consists of an active outreach phase to engage and recruit families; 8 weeks of multifamily group meetings, each about 2.5 hours long; and continued in 2 years of monthly, parent-led group meetings. The 8 weekly sessions follow a preset schedule and include activities such as family communication and bonding games, parent-directed family meals, parent social support groups, between-family bonding activities, one-on-one child-directed play therapy, and opening and closing routines modeling family rituals. Sessions are led by trained culturally representative teams that include at least one member of the school staff in addition to parents and professionals from local social service agencies.

Program Goals:

The goals of FAST® - Elementary School Level are:

  • Strengthen family functioning
  • Increase child well-being and improve child mental health at home and school
  • Improve capacity of the child and family to manage daily stress by building social networks
  • Prevent substance abuse in children and reduce potential substance abuse in families
  • Enhance parent–child bonding and family functioning while reducing family conflict and child neglect
  • Build protective factors and coping skills to reduce routine stress that children and parents experience
  • Build capacities to cope with future or potential traumatic stress
  • Enhance school success through more parent involvement and family engagement at school, improved school climate, and decreased school mobility
  • Prevent substance use by both adults and children by building protective factors and referring appropriately for treatment
  • Empower parents, build social capital, and increase social inclusion

Contact Information

Carol Goedken
Title: CEO/Executive Director
Agency/Affiliation: Families and Schools Together, Inc.
Phone: (888) 629-2481
Fax: (608) 663-2336

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: July 2017

Last CEBC Contact Date: May 2017

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: July 2015

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: June 2013