Wigan MST Helps Prevent Placement

Posted by Garry Blackburn, MST Supervisor

Apr 17, 2018 1:08:01 PM


This young boy was headed to placement, but MST helped him remain in the home

Kyle* made it clear to his parents that they had taken “everything away” from him and didn’t understand him. He took out his anger by getting into trouble. Stealing, joy-riding, using drugs, hanging out with friends who were bad influences. And the police constantly knocking on the door.

Kyle’s parents sought help from four different services that achieved different levels of success. But at the end of the day, Kyle showed little improvement, the police kept arriving with the boy moving closer and closer to placement. The mother remembers “the worst was the feeling you had failed as a parent that you hadn’t done enough, and this was our fault.”

wigan council MST

Members of the Action for Children Wigan MST team, above


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Topics: success stories,

Locking Up Youth for Status Offenses Is Counterproductive

Posted by Laurie Spivey, MST-FIT Expert

Apr 10, 2018 1:44:49 PM


Putting youth behind bars for status offenses doesn't make communities safer

I am 38 years old. I am a wife and mother of three kids. We live in the suburbs with our dog, a hamster and two fish. I take my kids to gymnastics class, and I wait in the car-pool line. My life is not unusual. It’s just that I have an extraordinary job. 

For 14 years now, I have worked with kids who are on probation and parole. When I say the words “probation” or “parole,” I get lots of interesting reactions. Many people don’t seem to know that kids go to prison in America. Their kids haven’t been incarcerated, and so, it’s the furthest thing from their minds. The facts of youth incarceration in America are heart wrenching. While most people imagine young people to be behind bars for violent offenses, this is not the reality. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, the real truth is that 95 percent of kids held in detention centers are not there as a result of violent behavior. Perhaps more shocking is the fact that a large percentage are detained and sometimes even placed long term for status offenses.

 status offenses are counterintuitive

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How One City in Ohio Reduced Youth Imprisonment

Posted by Maureen Kishna

Apr 4, 2018 1:13:12 PM


After years of collaborating, two local leaders helped bring MST to Toledo, Ohio and saw reductions in youth incarceration

When you meet matriarchs, you just know it. You feel their power, and you recognize their force. That’s how I felt when I made the acquaintance of Deborah Hodges, administrator of the Lucas County (Ohio) Juvenile Court and her colleague, Karen Olnhausen of their Mental Health and Recovery Services Board. In 2010, I met them at the launch of Toledo’s Multisystemic Therapy (MST) program. These are the ladies whom I affectionately call the godmothers of MST in Toledo because they had worked for years to bring it to their community. Finally, their goal was achieved through funding from the Ohio Department of Youth Services Behavioral Health Juvenile Justice Initiative.

toledo, OH

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Powerful Video Testimony from an MST Mother

Posted by Josh Glade

Mar 30, 2018 9:46:00 AM


At MST Services, we’re on a mission to transform the lives of troubled youth and their families.  It’s why we come to work each day.  I’m incredibly proud to be united with such a talented and passionate community of colleagues, network partners, teams, families and stakeholders. 

I was in the audience when Sheila, an MST mother, told the story of her family’s journey with MST.  I was blown away by her courage and love for her child. 

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Topics: MST, Multisystemic Therapy, MST Services

A Letter to Families Beginning MST

Posted by An MST parent in the UK

Mar 27, 2018 1:10:00 PM


A mother counsels others on the benefits of MST

By the time a family enters Multisystemic Therapy (MST), the downhill journey into despair has been going on for a long time. They feel alone and without hope. A mother in the U.K. certainly felt like that.

Her son was violent and threatening. So much so that the mother was relieved when he wasn’t home, even though she didn’t know where he was, who he was with or what kind of trouble he was getting into. Her stomach churned when she heard his key in the door. This was not the way to live. And to top it off, she labelled herself a failure. “I had nothing left to give. I was often tearful and overwhelmed,” she recalled.

Then MST arrived. After completing the program, the mother wrote a letter for families who are embarking on the road in search of real, lasting help for their child through MST. 

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Topics: family stories,

MST Helped Keep Young Man in New Zealand in School

Posted by Arran Jameson, MST Therapist, Te Taiwhenua O Heretaunga

Mar 20, 2018 1:10:54 PM


Support of school instrumental in long-lasting success for young New Zealander

Jacob was only 13, but he had a history of arson, marijuana use, solvent abuse and shoplifting. He associated with anti-social peers, was medicated daily for ADHD and was only attending school for two hours each morning—during which he was frequently sent home due to disruptive behavior. He had been to the board of trustees twice already. A third serious incident of disruptive or unsafe behaviour would likely end in exclusion (expulsion). That’s when he was referred to Multisystemic Therapy (MST).

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Families Benefit When Pushing Beyond Their Comfort Zone

Posted by Katelyn Jakubovic, MST Therapist, Adelphoi Village

Mar 13, 2018 1:05:00 PM


MST therapists help families overcome their initial anxiety about treatment 

“You can come back now,” the doctor said. I apprehensively followed her into the room and watched the door close behind us. My heart raced. The doctor picked up on my anxiety. She assured me, “I make people nervous every day, but getting past that fear is what benefits them in the long run.”

This got me thinking. I imagine that families going into Multisystemic Therapy (MST) feel similar anxiety when they meet their therapist for the very first time.

Picture this. A stranger is about to come knocking at your door, asking all kinds of questions, making you tell your family’s life story, a story that you’ve told at least a dozen times before. This person is coming into your home—I cannot help but believe for some this must feel very intrusive. 

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New Evidence-Based Programs in New South Wales, Australia, Include MST-CAN

Posted by Timothy Suttie, Assistant Project Officer, NSW Department of Family and Community Services

Feb 27, 2018 1:10:00 PM


Multisystemic Therapy for Child Abuse and Neglect (MST-CAN) commenced in priority locations across New South Wales in August 2017

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Custodians of the land upon which we work. We also pay respect to Elders past, present and future, and recognise the strength, resilience and capacity of Aboriginal people from this land.

To support the rollout of this model, Their Futures Matter has developed a brochure for families who are referred to the service. The brochure, which explains what families can expect from the service, was designed in consultation with non-government organisations who are delivering the service, and the Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secretariat (AbSec – the peak organisation representing Aboriginal community organisations in NSW).

Most importantly, feedback was sought from Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal families in relation to the design and content of the brochure.

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From Hopeless to Hopeful with MST

Posted by Daniel Allshouse, MST Supervisor, Adelphoi Village

Feb 21, 2018 2:00:48 PM


Multisystemic therapists bring hope for change to struggling families

The concept of hope is one many of us take for granted. Some of us just think we deserve better or less depending on our life experiences. As a Multisystemic Therapy supervisor and therapist, I noticed a theme with families that create positive behavioral changes in their lives. This theme revolves around the family being hopeful for better things to come.

But it isn’t easy, as often when families begin MST, they are burnt out with little to no hope things can get better.

from hopeless to hopeful with mst.jpg

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Single Mother Finds Hope with Multisystemic Therapy

Posted by Joanna Sinnwell, Business Development and Marketing Director, North Range Behavioral Health

Feb 14, 2018 1:10:00 PM


Without hope and paralyzed with despair, single mother turns to Multisystemic Therapy

Jessica felt that she had failed her eldest daughter, and now she was losing her sons. Her daughter had overdosed, nearly died, and she was now living with her uncle. Her son, Emilio, 14, was damaging school property and not coming home after class. She worried about his dangerous behaviors. He and his younger brother, Josiah, 12, ignored her, and fought viciously and constantly. Having experienced aggression in the family throughout her life, Jessica felt powerless to stop the angry spiral of disrespect and hostility. Both boys refused to listen to her and constantly tested her empty threats. Jessica was anxious, isolated and afraid. 

A local agency in Greeley, Colo., Youth and Family Connections, suggested Multisystemic Therapy (MST) at North Range Behavioral Health, the local community mental health center. Carrie, an MST therapist, was assigned Jessica’s case. 

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Topics: success stories,

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