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Families and Schools Together

NCJ Number
247769
Date Published
Author(s)
Lynn McDonald, M.S.W., Ph.D., and Deborah Howard
Annotation
This Fact Sheet describes the features, impact, success factors, and funding of the Families and Schools Together (FAST) program, which addresses youth violence and chronic juvenile delinquency by building and enhancing youths’ relationships with their families, peers, teachers, school staff, and other members of the community.
Abstract
The FAST process improves family functioning by strengthening the parent-child relationship; preventing school failure by improving a child’s behavior and performance in school; preventing alcohol and other drug abuse in the family by increasing awareness and knowledge of substance abuse and its detrimental impact; and reducing the stress that families experience by developing an ongoing support group for parents of at-risk children. The program begins with outreach in which parent-professional partners visit homes of isolated, stressed families that are identified by schools. The program brings together 10-15 families for 8 to 10 weekly sessions of planned social activities. After completing this initial program, families join an ongoing school-based group of 40-50 families, who meet once a month for 2 years. Assessments of FAST in Wisconsin show that 6 months after completion of the program, there was a statistically significant improvement in children’s classroom and home behaviors, family closeness, and parental involvement in their children’s school, as well as a reduction in social isolation. FAST funding amounts and sources are discussed.
Date Created: July 29, 2014