In second term 2016, Impact Communities ran Kids FAST at Fairview Primary School, New Norfolk for the first time. There were 11 families that participated and all families graduated the program and completed the FAST evaluations. This program finished in June 2016 and the parents successfully continued on to FASTWORKS.
In September of 2017, slightly more than a year after the FAST program had been completed, interviews were conducted with parents and school staff that were involved in the program. The aim of the interviews was to assess the perception of the value of the program to families and the school at the time of participation and to determine if the program had an ongoing benefit to the families and the school.
Some of the results from the interviews revealed the following:
- A universal theme highlighted by parents was the increased connection they felt to the other parents in the FAST program.
I would never have gone out of my way to talk to that person any other time. Once you get to know them – we’re similar – [and now] our kids are good friends.
- Parents appeared to be surprised and relieved that the experiences they had in their own families with their children were not unique. There was a bond developed between parents as they acknowledged the day-to-day difficulties and shared their parenting strategies.
Nice to know that what I’m going through as a parent, I’m not the only one. Everyone is going through the same types of scenarios.
- The single biggest aspect of the program that parents commented on that they still do with their children is one-on-one time.
It reminded me that they are two very individual girls and they needed their one-on-one time. And it was actually so easy. You’ve just got to make it a part of your routine.
- For some parents it came as a surprise to see how much their children valued them, how important it was for their children to share their family with others and how important it was and how much fun it was to dedicate time each week just to spend as a family.
They wanted me to get involved, my children want me down at the school and involved in programs.
- The interviews demonstrated that the families perceived that the FAST program had a positive impact on their family functioning, and in particular their social support and relationships with their children. After 12 months, these appear to be significant and sustained outcomes of the program.
If you are interested in implementing FAST in your community or would like more information please get in touch.