Through more than 25 years of implementation and rigorous study, FAST® has amassed the scientific validation required to earn inclusion on highly selective evidence-based lists.

Evidence-based lists are an important tool for practitioners, clinicians and others looking for proven approaches to improving the well-being of children. Such lists include only the programs found to be effective based on the results of rigorous evaluations, while excluding programs that fail to produce positive results or that have too little data to demonstrate their impact.

FAST (Families & Schools Together) has been evaluated by the most prominent reviewers of family engagement programs, and has earned inclusion in a number of widely referenced evidence-based lists. These include: 


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). FAST was first recognized in 2002 as a SAMHSA model program with numerous positive outcomes replicated in a variety of program outcomes.


SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP). FAST is listed on this searchable database of mental health and substance abuse interventions, having met NREPP’s review standards as well as its requirements for independent assessment. In NREPP Quality of Research reviews conducted in 2008 and 2013, FAST received a rating of 3.7 out of a possible 4.0 – one of the highest ratings earned among family strengthening programs. FAST’s Readiness for Dissemination rating, which assesses the availability of implementation materials, training and support resources, and quality assurance procedures, is 4.0 out of a possible 4.0.

The NREPP Intervention Summary for FAST notes, “Excellent materials and a strong implementation model support the implementation of this program. Detailed information on funding and sustaining the program is available to administrators. Robust training, consultation, and trainer certification are provided by developers. Training includes comprehensive information for both planning and implementation. Evaluation is seen as an integral part of program implementation and is addressed during training. Numerous evaluation tools and clear instructions for their use support a comprehensive quality assurance package.” No weaknesses were identified by reviewers. See the NREPP’s Intervention Summary for FAST here.


United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Compilation of Evidence-Based Family Skills Training Programmes. FAST is one of just 23 evidence-based family skills training programs in the world selected by the UNODC on the basis of scientific evidence. More than 150 programs were screened by the UNODC to identify the 23 programs selected.

According to the  UNODC:
Evidence-based programmes are based on a vast body of scientific research that has undergone peer review to ensure that the results are safe and beneficial to those targeted by such programmes. Secondly, that research not only shows that evidence-based programmes are effective and have a positive impact but also indicates how those results are achieved. Evidence-based programs therefore offer the assurance that positive results will be obtained, that the program will benefit those targeted and that close adherence to the programme structure and content will ensure that implementation has no negative effects. (Source: Compilation of Evidence-Based Family Skills Training Programmes, UNODC.)
Download UNODC’s Compilation of Evidence-Based Intervention Family Skills Training Programmes here.



Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Model Programs Guide. FAST is rated as an effective model program on this interactive database of evidence-based juvenile justice and youth prevention, intervention, and reentry programs. Of the 206 programs listed, only 50 qualify for the effective rating.

View OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide


National Dropout Prevention Center/Network. FAST is deemed as having strong evidence as an effective intervention and prevention strategy that reduces substance abuse, special education referrals and dropout rates as well as decreases the likelihood of child abuse/neglect. See the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network’s review of FAST here.

In addition to earning a place on these national evidence-based lists, FAST appears on numerous evidence-based lists compiled by the U.S. government and state-level governments as an effective intervention for:

  • child abuse and neglect prevention;
  • child mental health promotion;
  • substance abuse prevention;
  • crime solutions; and
  • health promotion.


i3: Investing in Innovation Project

In ongoing research, FAST and FASTWORKS are subjects of a 5-year, $15-million Investing in Innovation (i3) project undertaken to study the program’s ability to change school climate. Learn more.

To learn more about how the evidence-based FAST Program can improve the well-being of children and families in your community, call toll-free 888-629-2481 or send us an email.