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Families and Schools Together (FAST): Integrating Community Development with Clinical Strategies.

Abstract: Families & Schools Together (FAST) is an early-intervention- prevention, collaborative, school-based, multifamily family support program for elementary school children who have been identified by their teachers as having behavior problems. The program, in operation in 26 states & Canada, integrates concepts & practices of community organizing with effective clinical techniques based on family & play therapy. Parent-professional partnership is used to engage low-income & isolated families into the 8-week program. Process & outcome evaluation indicate that children show statistically significant improvements in conduct disorder, anxiety/withdrawal, & attention span over time. In addition, 2-year follow-up interview data from 191 participants suggest that child-functioning gains are maintained, & FAST parents become more involved at school, regularly see their FAST friends, begin employment after being on welfare, return for further education, & become involved in the community.