UNODC Global Family Skills Initiative: Outcome evaluation in Central Asia of Families and Schools Together (FAST) multi-family groups
Lynn McDonald, Professor of Social Work Research, Middlesex University, UK
Taghi Doostgharin, Freelance Consultant on Research and Evaluation and International FAST Trainer/Supervisor
Abstract: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Global Family Skills Initiative reviewed hundreds, and then recommended 23 evidence based programmes (2010). UNODC invited FAST (Families and Schools Together) to be piloted in Central Asia, and funded the cultural adaptation teams, translations, trainings, implementations, supervisions and evaluations. Outcome evaluation results are summarized of FAST multi-family groups offered at 9 primary schools in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. FAST is a complex, multi-systemic intervention which aims to build protective factors across the child’s social ecology to enhance resilience against stress and promote child well-being. Pre- post data were collected from parents and teachers on child mental health (SDQ), family functioning (FES), parent reciprocity in social networks, and parent involvement in school. 190 families of children (age 7) attended 8 weekly sessions. Trained teams of local teachers and parents were encouraged to locally adapt 60% of the processes for a cultural fit, while following a manual of core programme components. SPSS analyses used one-tailed, paired t-tests and showed improved outcomes. Discussion of results includes the high retention rates of 100%.
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