United Kingdom (UK)
Lynn McDonald, MSW, PhD (FAST Founder & Program Developer) and Pat Davenport (Chief Executive Officer)
Attendees at International FAST Conference in
London, England. (March 2010)
The FAST Programme is the UK version of the FAST program developed by Dr. Lynn McDonald and first released in the United States in 1988. FAST (Families and Schools Together) is a multi-family group prevention designed to build protective factors for children and empower parents to be the primary prevention agents for their own children.
FAST is a two-year universal programme, designed for children aged 5-9. The programme serves 30-60 families at a time and addresses ECM priorities in extended schools.
Multi-family group activities for eight sessions use experiential learning, coaching and support, as parents try positive parenting approaches and repeat them weekly. Activities are designed to build deeper bonds between parents and their children and include embedded compliance requests, parent led family communication games, and one-to-one responsive play. For parents, sharing meals, music, and time to talk to other parents increases social capital and reduces stress. FAST helps parents feel respected; parents are assumed to love their children and want the best for them. They are not subjected to lectures, reading, entry requirements or exclusions. Across 1000 schools in eight countries, retention rates average 80% for parents who come once. After eight weeks, graduated groups of parents lead monthly meetings; 86% make a friend they see four years later. Four RCTs with low-income, minority families show improved family and child social, conduct and academic outcomes.
The programme's design is based on social ecology of child development, family stress, family systems, attachment and learning. Practitioners participate in 12 training days over 4 months in teams alongside service user parents, with supervised practice. No previous training is required; a social work and psychology background is preferred. Training of trainers is available.
UK Contact Information
Professor Lynn McDonald MSW, PhD,
Phone: 020 8411 6072
USA Contact Information
FAST In London
FAST Top Programme in the UK
Good Practice: Examining What Works
National Academy for Parenting Practitioners
Primary School Initiative
Parenting Early Intervention Pathfinders (PEIPs)
Secondary School Initiative