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FCFC receives Best Practices in Sustainability Award for FAST program

8/19/2015 FCFC receives FAST award

The Family & Children First Council (FCFC) recently received a Best Practices for Sustaining FAST Award from the national Families and Schools Together (FAST) program. The award recognizes Cuyahoga County for its “commitment to maintaining a vibrant FAST community for over 10 years.”

On July 20, 2015, at the national FAST conference in Madison, Wisconsin, Dr. Lynn McDonald, Founder of FAST, and Carol Goedken, CEO, presented the award to Julie Fratoe, FAST Manager for Cuyahoga County.

Cuyahoga County has operated FAST since 2000, adapting to changing family and school district needs and to changing funding levels over the 15-year period.

“FAST is a popular and effective program. We’ve done everything we can to keep it going,” said Robin R. Martin, FCFC’s Program Director.

Following the national model, the local FAST program uses weekly family sessions set within a child’s school to achieve its four goals: enhance family functioning; prevent children from failing in school; prevent substance abuse by the child and other family members; and reduce the stress that parents and children feel in daily life situations.

“At FAST, parents spend quality time enjoying their children, and meeting other families and school personnel. Together, they do activities that are both fun and based on brain research to help kids grow intellectually and emotionally,” Fratoe, a certified FAST trainer, explained. “It’s a great program that strengthens relationships between parents and their children, and between families and schools.”

In the past, at the request of the national organization, Fratoe has spoken to other high-level FAST sites, sharing techniques, creative approaches, and efficiencies that can help keep the program active in local communities.

This fall, FAST will operate at 20 school sites within Cuyahoga County. If you have questions about FAST or would like to bring it to your school, contact Fratoe at (216) 348-3953 or

Photo (left to right): Carol Goedken, CEO of FAST; Dr. Lynn McDonald, Founder of FAST; Julie Fratoe, FAST Manager for Cuyahoga County