What is I-FAST (A strength-based common factors approach)
- A set of ideas and approaches based on identified factors that are common to most effective treatments.
- A meta-model developed with a strengths-based perspective and influenced by systems approach and social constructivism.
- Based on evidence-based common factors, it provides a meta-frame to integrate practice techniques such as therapeutic working alliance, interactional pattern shift, and system collaboration.
- It consists of systemic and clear practice phases and procedures to follow in the treatment process.
Why using I-FAST
- In recent years, there has been an increasing demand for social work practitioners to use treatment approaches with effectiveness proven by research. I-FAST is one of the few prevailing evidence-based treatment models with accreditation in Hong Kong.
- Our colleagues have each practiced from different approaches and models. We realize that colleagues strive to adopt approaches which are most effective to assist our clients. We respect different approaches we have used and I-FAST offers an framework to embrace these differences. I-FAST aimed to be a strengths-based treatment approach allowing practitioners to utilize their own perspectives and views while embracing broadly agreed upon components of existing effective treatments across different approaches. It seeks to bridge gap between approaches built on factors common to all effective treatment and those targeting more specific and active ingredients.
- As a certified I-FAST agency, we aim at provide ongoing training and clinical supervision to the colleagues so that their competency in casework intervention can be enhanced and the practice of I-FAST approach can be sustained.
How Caritas using IFAST?
Caritas Family Service is the first agency in Hong Kong to obtain official certification in the use of I-FAST in 2015. Up to 2019, there are forty one senior social workers and supervisors qualifying as IFAST supervisors in the service. The certification process represents a bold expansion of Caritas’s commitment to the use of I-FAST throughout this agency. Dr. Lee Mo Yee and I are both very pleased and impressed with the dedication of Caritas Family Service to the use of I-FAST as their overarching treatment model and we are both very pleased to continue to participate in the effort to further expand the use of I-FAST with Caritas Family Service.
History of I-FAST
- Begun in 2000
- Built through collaboration between community mental health agencies and universities
- Supported by the Ohio Department of Mental Health 2003-2007, Strong Family and Safe Community-Grant 2014-17
- Developed by:
Utilizing Strengths: A Parallel Process of Empowerment