Making a compelling case for FAST with your community-based organization

The last blog post, “How to Find Community-Based Organizations: Start with the End Goal in Mind,” described the benefits of starting with the end in mind, and determining the outcomes you wish to achieve within your school, before approaching a community-based organization. But identifying outcomes is just one part of a well-crafted proposal. You also want to propose a solution that will be a good investment of an organization’s time, resources, and funding. Over the years, FAST has been implemented by a number of community partners and schools. Let’s take a look at a few reasons for FAST’s appeal in your community:

Grounded in Research

Founded in 1988 by Dr. Lynn McDonald, Professor of Social Work and Family Therapist, FAST is a highly successful program that has been implemented throughout the US and in more than 20 other countries. The principles of FAST are grounded in extensive academic research; numerous studies have verified positive outcomes for the students and families who participate in the FAST Program. As a result, the program has a foundation of social, behavioral, and physiological science, including social ecological theory, family stress theory, family systems theory, parent empowerment, community development, brain development research, social capital, and risk and resiliency.

FAST’s commitment to research and evaluation continues. Through more than 29 years of implementation evaluation and rigorous study, including several Randomized Control Trials, FAST has amassed the scientific validation required to earn inclusion on highly selective evidence-based lists, such as SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Model Programs Guide.

A Blueprint for Implementation

FAST comes with a proven road map for implementation and clearly defined roles and responsibilities for the School, Community, and Parent Partners, to provide structure and accountability. A Certified FAST Trainer, who has experienced the program firsthand as a team member, and has gone through a rigorous training process that includes attending a five-day FAST Training of Trainers and supervised internship, works with sites during their first cycle of FAST. Each trainer has a thorough understanding of the program and can guide you through the implementation process, while taking into account your school and community needs.

A Track Record of Success

FAST has been successfully implemented in urban and rural, and large and small school districts in the United States, and more than 20 countries around the world.  The program consistently produces statistically significant improvements in children’s behavior, emotional well-being, and academic performance while building social capital in families, schools, and communities.

After reviewing FAST’s research, implementation resources, and history of achievement, organizations can invest their time, resources, and funding with confidence.