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The Family Advocacy and Support Tool (FAST) is a family-based version of the suite of TCOM tools that include the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS), the Adult Needs and Strengths Assessment (ANSA), and the Readiness Inventory for Successful Employment (RISEmploy). The original version of the FAST, called the Multi-level Family Assessment, was developed in collaboration with Margaret Nickels, PhD, at the Juvenile Protection Agency in Chicago, Illinois. This tool was further developed into the FAST in collaboration with Susan Furrer, PsyD at Rutgers University and representatives of Family Support Organizations in New Jersey. It has been further refined in various applications in Illinois, New York, Singapore, Tennessee, and Washington. Given this history, a large number of individuals have contributed to the design, development and refinement of the FAST.



The FAST is a communimetric tool, like the others. It is designed to maximize communication about the needs and strengths of families. The FAST includes ratings of the Family Together, each Caregiver, and all children and youth. Interventions in the family system can be directed at that system or to address the individual needs of family members or dyadic relationships within the family.