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Multisystemic Therapy (MST)

Proven Help for Children and Their Families


 

Youth Villages offers intensive in-home services using Multisystemic Therapy® (MST®) in Alabama, North Carolina and Washington, D.C. MST has been demonstrated to be successful in helping young people age 12 to 17 who display serious antisocial behaviors and are at-risk of placement out of the home due to their behaviors.

MST is built on the principle and scientific evidence that a seriously troubled child's behavioral problems are multidimensional and must be confronted using multiple strategies. The serious behavior problems of a child typically stem from a combination of influences, including family factors, deviant peer groups, problems in school or the community, and individual characteristics. The MST model calls for simultaneously addressing all of those inter-related areas.

MST is a family-based mental health treatment model developed by Scott W. Henggeler, Ph.D., at the Family Services Research Center at the Medical University of South Carolina. MST has been validated as an effective treatment model for reducing anti-social behavior among juveniles. Sixteen published outcome studies have documented positive, long-term behavioral change in youth who received MST.

Therapy is intensive and is conducted in the child's home by a single counselor. The counselor typically works with the child and family over a three-to five-month period. As part of the process, the counselor typically works closely with teachers, neighbors, extended family, even members of the child's peer group and their parents. A counselor on the MST team is available to the family 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Youth Villages' MST Program features elements of successful trials of MST that have been demonstrated to transport to diverse communities:

  • Low caseload (four to six families)
  • High level of supervision, training, and clinical consultation, all conducted in accordance with MST specifications
  • Thorough, on-going assessment of each family's strengths, needs, and barriers to progress
  • Individually designed treatment plans to address specific drivers of antisocial behavior
  • Monitoring of adherence through implementation of MST's Quality Assurance protocols

The average cost of MST treatment for a child is thousands less than traditional hospital-based treatment or other out-of-home placements. Savings result not only from less expensive services, but from reduced future costs to the community due to successful treatment outcomes.

MST is one of only a handful of models to be listed as highly effective in comprehensive reviews of randomized clinical trials for treating seriously troubled youth.

Examples of these findings include the following reports:

MST Locations

Youth Villages offers Multisystemic Therapy (MST) in the states/cities listed below. Please see individual state pages for office locations and services offered through each location:

About Us
Youth Villages is a national leader in children’s mental and behavioral health bringing help and hope to more than 25,000 children, families and young people across the United States this year. The organization offers a continuum of evidence- and research-based programs, including its two national models: YVIntercept, which offers intensive in-home services, and YVLifeSet, which gives former foster youth a good start on a successful adulthood.
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