Families And Schools Together (FAST™) is an internationally award-winning, after-school program designed to address three problems: alcohol and drug abuse, violence and delinquency, and school drop outs. Its strategy is to reduce causal factors by starting with young children using a family-based model.
This family strengthening program builds protective factors in families and in children and empowers
parents to be the primary prevention agents for their own children. Although originally developed for at-risk youth and their families, because of its powerful ability to prevent problems from developing, FAST™ is now offered as a universal model of prevention for all elementary school children.
FAST™ became an “evidence-based” model endorsed by the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Juvenile Justice in 2002.
The goals of FAST™ are to:
- Increase parental involvement in education and prevent school failure
- Enhance family functioning
- Prevent substance abuse by the child and family
- Reduce the stress in the daily lives of parents and children
- Foster and enhance relationships between families, schools, and the community
Since its inception in Columbus in 2007, FAST™ has demonstrated outstanding success. External, independent evaluations have consistently shown statistically significant improvements. We see on average:
- 55% increase in parental involvement in the schools
- 41% improvement in children’s conduct and behavior
- 42% decrease in family conflict
- 74% improvement in family and parental functioning
- 531% increase in positive, reciprocal social relationships
- 5% of parent participants in 2007-2010 reported a return to school or completion of their GED as a result of completing FAST™