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Families and Schools Together (FAST)


The Families and Schools Together (FAST) programs are designed to strengthen families, enhance parenting skills, and connect families to their schools, with a view to helping children succeed academically and socially. The major intervention elements aim to build social support (social capital) for families within the school context, improve parent confidence and empower parents, improve family relationships, and increase child competence. Primary School (Kids) FAST requires considerable coordination and volunteer support as it invites all families within the targeted primary school to participate in the program.


Evidence Evidence from overseas randomised trials supports the benefits of the program. Positive outcomes include significant reductions in behavioural problems (Fisher, 2003), improved academic competence and improvements in parent ratings of anxiety (Kratochwill, McDonald, Levin, Young Bear-Tibbetts, & Demaray, 2004), and improved family adaptability and cohesion (Fischer, 2003). The program has been successfully trialled in Victoria, beginning in 1997, and demonstrated positive changes from pre- to post- program (Coote, 2000). Communities That Care Mornington Peninsula have included delivery of the FAST program in many of their local action plans.

Monitoring Recommendations

  • Advice on program monitoring requirements is available – see contact details below.
  • Boards should negotiate agreements to receive regular progress reports and request to monitor examples of session delivery.
  • Monitoring information should include: number and characteristics of participating families; parent and professionals reports on changes in child behaviour problems.
  • Where feasible, evaluate pre-post changes in parent confidence, child behaviour, and targeted risk and protective factors against control schools.

Implementation Tip

CTC Ltd. may be able to assist with evaluation designs and academic partnerships


Mark Boonstra,
FAST Regional Director Australia


0419 367 528
Program details
Target Audience: 
6 - 14 years
Target Risk Factors: 
  • Low neighbourhood attachment
  • Community transitions & mobility
  • Personal transitions & mobility
  • Family history of antisocial behaviour
  • Favourable parental attitudes to antisocial behaviour
  • Family conflict
  • Low commitment to school
  • Low social skills
  • Early initiation of problem behaviour
  • Interaction with antisocial peers
  • Friends' use of drugs
Target Protective Factors: 
  • School, family and community opportunities for prosocial involvement
  • School, family and community rewards for prosocial behaviour
  • Social skills
  • Belief in moral order
Community Indicators: 
  • Low parental education
  • Sole parents
  • Low income and poor housing
  • Unemployment
  • HIgh aggregation of risk factors from primary school