The Guidance Center’s Social Innovation Fund Evaluation Report: 2014-15

Program/Intervention: 
Families and Schools Together (FAST)
Implementing Organization: 
The Guidance Center
Intermediary(s): 
United Way of Southeastern Michigan
Summary: 

The Guidance Center and its Walter White Community Resource Center designed and implemented a comprehensive community-driven, socially-innovative approach to kindergarten readiness. Their intervention, Families and Schools Together (FAST), is a multi-family learning and support group that focuses on the developmental and behaviorally based needs of preschool-age children as well as the needs of their parents. FAST programs last for 10 weeks of 2 ½ hour meetings each week.

The evaluation utilized a quasi-experimental design with a pre/post test and a non-random pseudo-control group comprised of the national FAST evaluation sample. The Guidance Center reported that three cohorts of FAST were implemented. Over 100 families were recruited for FAST; 50% of those agreed to attend; 46% attended at least one session; and 46% graduated (21 families in total graduated).

The evaluation found statistically significant improvement in:

  • Parent's relationship with the FAST child;
  • Reduction in conduct problems for the FAST child as reported by parents;
  • Improved community-social relationships for parents;
  • Improved total social relationships for parents;
  • Tangible support for parents (help with cooking, chores, child time);
  • Emotional support (listening, getting together, getting advice);
  • Total support for parents.
CNCS Program(s): 
Social Innovation Fund
CNCS Focus Area(s): 
Youth Development (SIF)
Outcomes Category(s): 
School Readiness
Study Type(s): 
Outcomes
Study Design(s): 
Quasi-Experimental (QED)
Level of Evidence: 
Preliminary
Year Published: 
2015
Date Posted Online: 
January 26, 2018
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