Philadelphia Society for Services to Children (now Turning Points for Children), Philadelphia, PA

Expanding the Evidence Based Program FAST (Families and Schools Together) to Schools City-Wide in Philadelphia

Abstract: Philadelphia Society for Services to Children (now Turning Points for Children) has been accredited by COA for over 20 years.  During the preparation in 2006 for an Interim Self-Study (due to anticipated merger with Children’s Aid Society of Pennsylvania), we introduced COA to PSSC’s newest program, FAST (Families and Schools Together), a national research based program.   In deciding with COA which services were most appropriate, PSSC’s FAST program was thus accredited under the service standards of Counseling, Support, and Education Services (CSE).

For the purpose of this submission to COA of Innovative Practices, this Case Study identifies how PSSC applied the Evidenced-Based Practice of the FAST program in a forward-looking approach to multiply the effects of this quality program throughout the city of Philadelphia.  Within 7 years, the agency has gone from providing the FAST program in one (1) elementary school to providing the FAST program in thirty-eight (38) schools, and has served 1,870 families and their children in the past three years alone.   In February 2006, PSSC received an award from FAST National Training and Evaluation Center, recognizing PSSC for initiating and supporting the largest city wide expansion of the FAST Training program in 2005.  (See Attachment A)  Notably, just this past month, PSSC’s FAST program received from the School District of Philadelphia an award for “Best Practices Effective Community Partnerships”. (See Attachment B)
This Case Study will identify 1) challenges experienced by families and schools in Philadelphia, 2) how the FAST model of service meets those challenges with positive outcomes, and 3) the unprecedented augmentation in agency capacity to serve children and families through FAST throughout Philadelphia.

Download the Case Study


Private Organization Accreditation

Catholic Charities alleviates human suffering and improves the quality of life of 100,000 people annually, regardless of religious background. A staff of 600 provides support and services related to housing, food, mental health, children's services, addiction treatment, and domestic violence services.


The Village for Families & Children, Inc.

Galo A. Rodriguez, M.P.H., President & CEO

COA Peer Reviewers demonstrated their expertise through their knowledge of COA standards as well as experience in the behavioral health field. In addition, COA’s seminars and tools were very helpful in guiding us through the accreditation process.
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