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Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is an intensive family and community based intervention for children and young people aged 11-17, where young people are at risk of out of home placement in either care or custody and families have not engaged with other services.
MST teams focus on the whole world of the young person - their homes and families, schools and teachers, neighbourhoods and friends. MST staff go to where families live and work with them intensively for three to five months, including being on call to families 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
MST therapists aim to:
• work intensively with parents or carers to empower them with the tools and resources to manage the young person’s behaviours;
• increase young people’s engagement with and success in education and training;
• promote positive activities for parent and young person;
• reduce young people’s offending and/or anti-social behaviour;
• improve family relationships;
• tackle underlying problems in the young person or parent, including substance misuse.
MST is based on many years of research into what works for families and therapists use approaches, such as behavioural therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and structured family therapy to work with young people and their families. This evidence base has shown that the MST approach achieves excellent, long-term results for young people and families. For more information about this research, please visit the MST Research & Outcomes section of the website.