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Focus on Doncaster CAN team

The MST CAN team in Doncaster is the first MST team in Doncaster. Multisystemic Therapy for Child Abuse and Neglect (MST-CAN) is an adaptation of MST that was developed to treat families who have come to the attention of Children’s Services due to physical abuse and/or neglect and who have one or more children aged 6 to 17 years who are subject to a child protection plan.

The team have worked to contribute to social work development within Doncaster Children’s Services Trust by closely developing relationships with the social workers working with the family. In turn this has filtered out to the wider social work work-force and MST Social Work Champions are planned to be identified across the organisation. The team have concentrated on ‘What we do and how’, reframing of cognitions of Stakeholders, integrating MST across the wider networks within the area and sustainability.


Use of social media has been a key area for the team to communicate and promote MST with the wider population. Working alongside the communications team at Doncaster Children’s Services Trust the team are active tweeters. Tweets cover topics on MST including Principle of the week, promotion of their successful outcomes, mental health tips and advice and celebration of national days in the UK.

The team have also been regularly attending social work team meetings, Practitioner Forums and holding workshops to increase knowledge of MST CAN and the work that the team are doing.


When Covid hit in 2020 the team had to rethink their approach to delivering MST CAN to families. They spoke to the families that they were working with to find a way that treatment could continue during lockdown. This included providing trauma therapy via Microsoft Teams. Despite the barriers that lockdown presented the Team have continued to achieve successful outcomes for the families that they work with. A review of all cases that have completed treatment with the team have shown that 97% of children remain at home and 65% of children have had their plan stepped down to CIN or closed to social care.


There was great news in December 2020 as Doncaster Children’s Services Trust agreed to mainstream the service and make the team a permanent fixture. This permanent funding of the team will allow them to support many more families at the edge of care in 2021 & beyond. MST UK & I are excited to continue the partnership with such an enthusiastic stakeholder and for the Team to continue delivering positive outcomes for the families of Doncaster.