Families and Schools Together (FAST) at Gillen Primary School: The sustained impact of a family-strengthening process.

Families and Schools Together (FAST) at Gillen Primary School: The sustained impact of a family-strengthening process. Report

CRC-REP Research Report

  • Author(s): Guenther, J
  • Published: 2014
  • Publisher: Ninti One Limited
  • Volume: CR002

Abstract: Families and Schools Together (FAST) is a family - strengthening program that helps build positive relationships between parents, schools and the broader community. At its core is an evidence - based eight - week program designed to facilitate social support, greater parental self - efficacy, better child behaviour and improved educational outcomes. In the Northern Territory, the program has been run since 2005 in a variety of locations from remote communities to more urban contexts. The Gillen School, in Alice Springs, has used the FAST program since 2011 as a vehicle for engaging families with the school. The Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation’s (CRC - REP) Remote Education Systems project i s investigating processes that work to support better outcomes for students in and from remote communities. While Gillen School is technically not a ‘very remote’ school, it shares many features of more remote schools – it has a high proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students (71 per cent) , many students come from low socio - economic backgrounds, and student academic performance is well below the national average. Like many other remote schools it has, in the past, struggled to engage families. The lessons to be learned from the experiences of Gillen School may have implications for other schools, and certainly have implications for FAST and potentially for other family - strengthening programs. The research conducted by the CRC - REP for FAST at Gillen occurred during the calendar year of 2013. The focus of this research was on the medium - term impacts of the program, at least 12 months after participants had been involved. Previous evaluations of the program, both at Gillen and elsewhere in the Northern Territory, indicate that the program has a range of benefits for parents, children and the school. Questions remained, however, about the sustained nature of these outcomes.

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Suggested Citation
Guenther, J, 2014, Families and Schools Together (FAST) at Gillen Primary School: The sustained impact of a family-strengthening process., Volume:CR002, Report, viewed 15 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=2863.

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