Through government funding and partnering with key agencies such as The Smith Family, Anglicare and the Red Cross, FAST connects with schools to support families in helping their children to grow up and succeed in life. From humble beginnings in 2003, FAST NT trainers have brought together a school community and a trained team of local people. Each FAST team is made up of parent and school partners and local agency workers, who together deliver the eight week program, designed to build relationships and empower parents to be in control of their children.
Today, FAST NT is active in over twenty sites, delivering Baby FAST, Kids FAST and Youth FAST. A small, dedicated and widely travelled group of trainers use skills of community development and team building to support local teams.
FAST NT holds to a foundational belief that ‘all parents love their children’ and want the best for them. This belief undergirds the training of the local team, who support families in their community. It is understood that for many reasons, not all parents have the resources to parent well and provide for their children. For this reason, FAST helps to strengthen key relationships between child and family, between family units, as well as between families and the broader community.
History and Administration:
Since delivering its first programs in 2003, FAST NT has sat under the administration of NT Christian Schools. From early beginnings with a desire to strengthen relationships between remote schools and their local communities, the FAST program has gone on to be delivered in urban and remote schools in both the government and independent sectors across the NT.
NT Christian Schools has eight community-governed schools located in the NT, with a strong framework and value of parent engagement. This provides a solid space for FAST NT to deliver its programs to the wider community across the NT. FAST NT aligns with NT Christian Schools being passionate about living out God’s kingdom-values of love, hope and transformation. It’s what inspires and drives us to strengthen families across the NT through capacity building and empowering parents.
FAST NT endorses and works towards building capacity within families to ensure that children have a strong, caring place to live and grow up in as articulated in Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
FAST NT is well-placed to continue to deliver this vital family strengthening program to young Territorians and their families into the future.
What is FAST?
FAST is a family-strengthening program working with at-risk and vulnerable families.
Families partner with a local team, schools and community agencies so that children can grow up to succeed.
Success is achieved through strengthening relationships:
between parents and children
with families, schools and other community agencies.
Developed in the US in 1988, now established in 20 countries and effective across cultural, language, socio-economic strata, and urban and regional settings. Based on:
Social Ecological Theory
Family Systems Theory
Social Capital Family Stress Theory
Risk and Resiliency
FAST Australia is on the Australian Institute of Family Studies’ Communities for Children Facilitating Partners evidence-based program listing.
• Pre- and post-program surveys conducted with parents and teachers
• Process evaluation conducted to test program fidelity
• Program adapted to Australia, including remote Aboriginal communities
• Evaluation adapted to be culturally and linguistically appropriate
Parent involvement at school
Child strengths and difficulties