Top Tier Juvenile Offender Program: Multisystemic Therapy

Posted by Molly Brunk

Jan 5, 2016 11:00:00 AM

The MST model continues to show impressive outcomes

The numbers are in, and they are good for Multisystemic Therapy (MST), an intensive family- and community-based treatment that addresses the many causes of serious antisocial behavior in juveniles. At a recent conference for MST Network Partners, outcomes from across the MST world were shared. These statistics represent the work of teams in 34 states and 15 countries. With strong adherence to the MST model, practitioners across the world achieved great success with the families they served in 2014. 2015_Data_Report_Graphic.jpgDuring 2014, 11,958 families were referred to a standard MST program. They had at least one adolescent at risk of placement outside the home because of truancy, substance use, aggression toward family or community members, vandalism and other crimes. Analysis of data collected through the MST Institute at the time of discharge showed that 90 percent of the youths were still at home, 86 percent were in school or working and 86 percent had avoided re-arrest during treatment.

These strong MST outcomes continue to get better over time. Each of the above results represents an improvement over 2014 as well as a pattern of overall improvement over the last five years. For links to previous years’ data reports, click here.

Adherence to the MST model makes the difference

Some treatments for juveniles prove effective in research settings, but then outcomes in the real world fall short of community and family needs and expectations. The key to getting real-world results is in large part due to the focus on therapists’ adherence to the MST model. Research has established that adherence is associated with long-term positive outcomes for the youth. The MST Institute assesses whether the therapists are delivering treatment at the same level of adherence as was provided in the research studies. Therapist adherence is judged monthly by the families they serve with real-time results available to supervisors and consultants.

In addition, MST teams of therapists receive ongoing training and support from MST experts to ensure adherence. Adherence scores range from 0.00 to 1.00. The minimum score to predict positive long-term outcomes is 0.61. In 2014, MST teams across the world achieved an average score of .76. This average adherence score has been steadily increasing over time. These results show that MST’s processes for team training, support and evaluation are effective at maintaining high quality and ensures that communities implementing MST will be able to deliver a treatment that works for their troubled youth. The MST models helps families to keep their children at home, in school and out of trouble.

For the full 2015 data report, click here

This top tier juvenile offender program has a strong research history demonstrating its effectiveness in reducing crime, violence and substance use. Download a list of all published studies here.

To learn more about MST, download this white paper: What Makes MST Such an Effective Intervention.

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Topics: MST outcomes, MST Model

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