A solid foundation of evidenced-based practices makes up the core of the FAST Program. For 30 years, FAST has utilized evidence-based practices to transform families, schools and communities through parent engagement and family strengthening.
According to the U.S. Department of Education’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), evidenced-based interventions are defined as “practices, strategies, or programs that have proven to be effective in leading to a particular outcome. In other words, these activities have definitive evidence to show that they produce results when implemented.”
As an eight-week prevention/early-intervention program proven to produce far-reaching, statistically significant positive outcomes, FAST satisfies this definition.
ESSA further highlights four tiers of evidence within evidence-based interventions. The highest-level tier – Tier 1 – demonstrates that the practice, program or strategy is supported by the strongest level of evidence available. To achieve Tier 1 – Strong Evidence, a program must be supported by at least one “well-designed and well-implemented” experimental study, such as a randomized control trial (RCT). Multiple RCTs support the effectiveness of the FAST Program.
An RCT is a scientific experiment in which study participants are randomly assigned to an experimental group (receives intervention) or a control group (does not receive intervention). A few select FAST RCTs are highlighted below:
- Investing in Innovation (i3) Validation Study of Families and Schools Together (FAST) (2018)
- Differences between Hispanic and non-Hispanic families in social capital and child development: First-year findings from an experimental study (2011)
- Families and schools together: An experimental study of multi-family support groups for children at risk (2009)
FAST also appears on multiple evidence-based lists including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Compilation of Evidence-Based Intervention Family Skills Training Programmes and the National Institute of Justice Model Program Guide. Adding to FAST’s recognition as an effective evidence-based program is a recent endorsement from The Center for the Study of Social Policy’s Strengthening Families framework, complementing FAST’s protective factor-building strategies.
For a school looking to implement a rigorously tested, evidence-based program, FAST is an exemplary choice.