Evaluation of the Multisystemic Therapy Service in Essex - Report of the Findings July 2019

A new report from the Rees Centre, University of Oxford, highlights the impact of Multi Systemic Therapy (MST) in helping to keep young people out of care in Essex. The evaluation looks at quantitative data collected by Essex County Council for 302 young people who received MST.
The MST service was delivered via a £3.1M Social Impact Bond over five years to 380 adolescents at the edge of care in Essex. Social services referred young people aged 11 to 16 at risk of entering the care system to the service, who display anti-social, offending behaviour or other conduct disorders. The therapy is delivered over a period of 3-5 months to young people and their parents by specially qualified therapists, who each work with around ten families a year providing 24/7 support. The MST service was provided by Action for Children, a national children’s charity.
The independent evaluation shows that MST had a positive effect with 91% of the cohort of 302 young people having social care provision in the two years prior to MST, and only 55% of young people having provision in the year after MST. The evaluation was commissioned by Essex County Council and the programme manager - Children’s Support Services Limited (CSSL).
The Essex Social Impact Bond (SIB) successfully completed in March 2019. Essex County Council was the first local authority in the UK to commission a SIB using a therapeutic programme to improve outcomes for young people and their families on the edge of care. Social Finance was instrumental in the development and programme management of the Essex SIB, supporting CSSL and Essex County Council to achieve the planned outcomes, and overseeing the contract with Action for Children.