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School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Families and Schools Together (FAST) Project: Building Relationships

FAST is a family strengthening and parent involvement program by Families and Schools Together Inc. FAST is a natively science-based, multi-component, non-curricular multifactorial family strengthening and parent involvement program that is delivered in schools and communities using multifamily group interaction to: 1) build relationships between parents and schools, and improve the parent-child bond, 2) impart values and norms including personal accountability and family relationship management, 3) empower parents to become the primary protective agents for their children. FAST participants experience a reduction in compulsive behaviors such as substance abuse and violence, and an improvement in positive scholastic behaviors while building resiliency factors against risks and stressors that contribute to violence and delinquency. The program was developed by Dr. Lynn McDonald in 1988, and has been studies and improved through the efforts of the staff at WCER. Outcomes of rigorous randomized trials show a decrease in aggression and an increase in attention span; these are directly correlated with increased academic performance and reduced juvenile delinquency. The FAST program was studied and improved in a project called Building Relationships, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, in which FAST made structural improvements to the quality and consistency of the national replication of the FAST program. FAST has been recognized as one of the OJJDP's selected research-based family strengthening models since 1991.

Staff

Mary Tedeschi
Merideth Trahan

Funding

Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice

Status

Completed Sep 30 2003

Contact Information

Mary Tedeschi
Email: mltedesc@facstaff.wisc.edu