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Families and Schools Together (FAST) Project

Program Type: Resources - Information or materials that might help develop a program/project in a community but can not be defined as a Best Practice, Promising Practice, or Local Effort.

Families and Schools Together (FAST) is a multifamily group intervention designed to build protective factors and reduce the risk of factors associated with substance abuse and related problem behaviors for children 4 to 12 years old and their parents. FAST systematically applies research on family stress theory, family systems theory, social ecological theory, and community development strategies to achieve its four goals: 1) Enhanced family functioning 2) Prevention of school failure by the targeted child 3) Prevention of substance abuse by the child and other family members 4) Reduced stress from daily life situations for parents and children. One of the primary strategies of FAST is parent empowerment: parents receive support to be the primary prevention agents for their own children. Entire families participate in program activities, that improve intra-family bonds, and enhance the family-school relationship. FAST activities were developed to build the social capital of parents and provided a safe place to practice parenting. As a result of this program the participating children increase their social skills and attention span, while reducing their anxiety and aggression. Research has shown that these childhood behavioral outcomes are correlated in adolescence to the prevention of substance abuse, delinquency, and school failure.

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Maternal Child Health

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Name: Lynn McDonald, MSW
Site or Location Name: Families and Schools Together (FAST)
Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin -Madison, 1025 W. Johnson Street
Madison, WI 53706
Phone: (608) 253-9476