The Families and Schools Together (FAST) program aims to have a significant impact on families, schools and communities that participate. For each program that takes place, parents and teachers fill out extensive evaluation surveys both before and after the program so that this impact can be measured. One of the most interesting things to come out of this evaluation process is the way that each group gets a really unique set of data that shows change in the participants. Recently we got three reports back from the University of Wisconsin, where the data had been analysed, showing three very different sets of results.
St Paul’s Catholic School had an especially high number of statistically significant results to come out of the program. These included:
- An 85% increase in parent to school contact.
- A 68% increase in total parent involvement with the school.
- Teachers reported a 41% reduction in children experiencing emotional difficulties and parents reported a 41% reduction in hyperactivity. This contributed to a total 32% reduction in difficulties with children’s behaviour.
- There was an 82% reduction in the impact that these behavioural difficulties had in the home as reported by parents and an 86% reduction in the impact that these difficulties had in the classroom as reported by teachers.
- 88% of parents reported an improvement in their social relationships.
At New Norfolk Primary School:
- 67% of parents reported an improvement in family cohesion. This was a statistically significant result of a 14% increase overall.
- 83% of parents reported an improvement in their general efficacy. This was a statistically significant result of a 13% increase overall.
- Parents reported a 30% decline in children’s hyperactivity.
- 80% of parents reported improvements in their involvement in the school.
- 83% of parents reported an increase in the tangible support they receive – a statistically significant increase of 41%.
At Fairview Primary School:
- 80% of parents reported an improvement in their family relationships
- 83% reported an improvement in their relationship with their focus child.
- Parents reported a statistically significant 28% increase in the prosocial behaviours of their children.
- 67% of parents reported a reduction in conduct problems of their children.
- 83% reported an improvement in their total social relationships.
- There was a statistically significant 127% increase in the amount of support that parents provided to others and a 107% increase in total reciprocal support.
The first school term of 2018 will see two FAST programs running. St Brigid’s Catholic School in New Norfolk will be running FAST for the second year and for the first time FAST will be running out of a community centre, Jordan River Services, Gagebrook. Both programs will be run by trained teams of people who live or work in these communities with strong support from Impact Communities. We wish them all the best!