Families & Schools Together is committed to providing early intervention/prevention programs that meet the highest standards of evidence for efficacy in theory and in practice. FAST® is built on the foundation of the following social, behavioral, and physiological science:


Social Ecological Theory

Social ecological theory suggests that children develop within a multi-layered “ecosystem” that naturally supports their ability to bond and develop. Numerous studies indicate that when social ecology zones are disturbed, children begin to exhibit stress and behavioral variance that compensates for or exaggerates their condition.

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Family Stress Theory

Family stress theory defines and explores the periodic, acute stressors that happen to all families. When these stressors become frequent or if the individual or family lacks the support of significant relationships, this build-up can lead to personal and family crises, including physical, emotional or relational trauma.

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Family Systems Theory

Family systems theory establishes a series of natural interactions within and between families that builds cohesion and stability. Many researchers have demonstrated that certain positive actions in everyday lives can help support thriving children.

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Parent Empowerment

Parent empowerment is a core concept of the FAST® program, as is the conviction that parents are capable of being the primary teachers and nurturers for their own children.

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Community Development

When people are connected to neighbors and friends, they become accountable to each other and depend upon one another as a base of mutual support.

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Brain Development Research

The science of brain physiology and development has advanced significantly in recent years as we have gained a clearer understanding of the impact of early life experiences on a child’s ability to learn, develop healthy relationships, and eventually lead a productive, fulfilling life.

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Social Capital

Social capital refers to relations of trust, mutual expectations, and shared values embedded in social networks. Social capital has value for individuals because it provides an avenue for exchange of information and support as it encourages the emergence and enforcement of social norms.

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Risk & Resiliency

The logic model for the FAST® Program is based on risk and resiliency factors. These primary personal drivers of prevention and intervention keep children on a safe course as they grow. Risk factors can be seen as variables that, when present, cause families to experience more stress.

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Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Research links Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), including experiences of abuse, neglect and trauma, to a range of negative outcomes related to children’s health and well-being. As the number of ACEs increase for any given child, the risks for these outcomes also increases.

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