Community-Based Services – Multisystemic Therapy (MST)

What is MST?

Download Savio Family Support Brochure PDF
Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is a unique, goal-oriented, comprehensive treatment program designed to serve multi-problem youth in their community. MST is the only family-focused and community-based treatment program that has:

  • been the focus of several major research studies, and
  • demonstrated clinical- and cost-effectiveness for youth with complex emotional, social, and academic needs.

MST was developed at the Family Services Research Center at the Medical University of South Carolina, and uses only treatment strategies that are supported by research.

Goal

  • Multisystemic Therapy is a program that provides intensive in-home services for adolescents at risk for placement and/or commitment, utilizing family and community supports to reduce juvenile delinquent behavior.

Principles

  • Multisystemic Therapy (MST), a comprehensive, time-limited evidence based treatment model; that impacts the family system in addition to the peers, community and school
  • Services aim at decreasing delinquent behavior and sustaining success through family strengths and community supports and interventions.
  • MST calls for a high amount of collaboration among all involved systems including, Human Services, Probation, Mental Health, Schools, and the family;
  • The MST Therapist is responsible for engaging the family in the service plan;
  • The MST Therapist provides family counseling and case management as well as individual counseling when appropriate; and,

Criteria

MST Client Testimonial

  • 12-18 year-old adolescents at risk for out-of-home placement. MST is effective in helping youth with chronic, violent delinquent behavior and youth with serious emotional problems, including: truancy and academic problems, serious disrespect and disobedience, aggressive behavior (fighting and property destruction), criminal behavior, drug and alcohol problems, or running away
  • Minimum of one involved adult caretaker;
  • Client may be residing at home, shelter, or a detention center with a goal of reunification

Objectives

  • Therapists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Services are provided in the home, school, neighborhood and community
  • Caseloads of therapists are small (4-6 families per therapist) and treatment is intensive, often including multiple contacts with family and other participants every week
  • Length of treatment averages 2-5 months
  • Therapists work in teams and provide coverage for each other’s caseloads
  • Each team has a supervisor and an expert consultant who consults weekly on all cases

Desired Outcomes

  • A complete functional assessment of youth in the context of their family, school, and community
  • Seeks to understand the “fit” between the child’s problems and the factors which contribute to them
  • Focuses on helping parents build supportive social networks
  • Empowers parents to address the needs of the youth more effectively
  • Emphasizes long-term change that families can maintain after the program
  • Decrease involvement in the Judicial and DHS systems

For more information contact: Courtney Fiedler, 303-225-4112