Life-changing transformations for children by engaging families, empowering parents, and enhancing relationships and social connectedness
At the core of FAST® and FASTWORKS® are three multi-faceted, level-specific goals that revolve around strengthening family relationships, strengthening feelings of school connectedness, and strengthening community connections to help reduce stress.
At hundreds of FAST Program sites involving thousands of families:
- Weekly after-school meetings create a strong, positive, and consistent source of social connection
- Peers, non-family adults, school personnel, and community leaders come together to form a supportive social network beyond the family
- Intentional one-on-one and group time fosters a safe environment to talk about and express feelings, and share experiences
- Positive childhood experiences provided to children and youth build protective factors and promote a sense of belonging
The outcome: FAST produces statistically significant improvements in children’s behavior, emotional well-being, and academic performance while building social capital among families, schools, and communities. These positive outcomes persist and even increase over time.
“I’ve seen families come in as just a way for them to get a free meal, or a way for them to win a gift bag … That was the first thing that drew them to FAST. After a few weeks, you start to see the relationships with their kids really begin to develop, and you see them making friends in a bigger social support system within the school or the community that they live in. They start to realize the impact it’s having on their life, so that makes them want to keep coming back.”
-FAST Program Director at The Family Center in Columbus, Georgia, USA. Read more about FAST at The Family Center on our blog.