Providing Multisystemic Therapy with Sparse Populations

Posted by Halldór Hauksson, Program Director, MST Iceland

MST's work in Iceland shows that it's possible to provide MST in remote areas

Approximately 500 families have completed Multisystemic Therapy (MST) in Iceland since the first team started in November 2008. MST was brought in as a part of a policy change by the Government Agency for Child Protection, which is a provider for speciailised services like Parent Management Training–Oregon Model (PMTO), MST and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) for sexually abused children (Barnahus—Children‘s House). Since 2010, two MST standard teams have worked in Iceland. MST, like all other social services in the country, is free of charge.

MST brought a significant improvement to the Icelandic Child Protection System (CPS) and made it possible to close many of the residential treatment homes.

residential treatments in iceland.jpg

Read More

Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, MST

What Makes MST so Effective?

Posted by Jamie Bunch-Sanfilippo

10-year MST veteran shares thoughts on what makes the evidence-based model work

Marta Lear has been a Multisystemic Therapy (MST) supervisor for 10 years. In that time, she witnessed up close the elements that contribute to MST being such a powerful tool in helping chronic juvenile offenders get on the right track to becoming successful, productive adults.

One extremely important factor Lear found was the high level of support and guidance provided to therapists and supervisors by MST, which included the quality of  booster trainings. In other programs, she says, therapists may get adequate training and even follow-up booster sessions. However, they often lack a focus on sustainability of the program, as well as fidelity to the model. MST requires both.MST Supervisor shares advice

Read More

Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, MST

Sweden Study Shows Implementation of MST Improves Over Time

Posted by Dr. Gregorio Melendez

How important is experience when it comes to Multisystemic Therapy?

Everyone agrees that experience matters. The more time and practice you put into something, the better your performance. But, what if it there was a situation where it was the experience of your colleagues and organization, rather than your own, that mattered more to your future performance? This was the unexpected finding in a recently published study out of Sweden, “The Swedish Implementation of Multisystemic Therapy for Adolescents: Does Treatment Experience Predict Treatment Adherence?” 

sweden-blog

Read More

Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, MST

Rand study finds juvenile offenders improve outcomes with MST

Posted by Jamie Bunch-Sanfilippo

Study Finds Hispanic Juvenile Offenders in LA County Show Marked Improvements with MST

With Hispanics and Latinos making up more than 48 percent of Los Angeles’ population, it is no surprise that those concerned with the local juvenile-justice system would turn to the Rand Corporation to evaluate how effective Multisystemic Therapy is with minority youth offenders. 

Rand’s study followed 757 juveniles who received Multisystemic Therapy and 380 offenders who did not participate in the program from 2003 to 2010 to compare the outcomes of both groups. Of the MST group, 77 percent were Hispanic as compared to 69 percent in the non-MST group.

The results show MST-treated youth having a lower recidivism rate and doing better in their dealings with the county's probation system. (See below.) MST youth had significantly lower incarceration rates than the other group (11.2 percent, compared with 20.3 percent) and significantly higher rates of completion of community service (8.5 percent versus 2.6 percent).rand_graphic

Read More

Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, MST

Racial Disparity in the Juvenile Justice System: MST's Response

Posted by Maureen Kishna

The unrest that started in Ferguson, Mo., after the shooting death in August of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white policeman continued to roil. It was exacerbated by the killing of another young black in St. Louis again at the hands of a white officer. Hundreds from across the country descended on the two cities to protest with shouts of “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot” and placards proclaiming “Black Lives Matter.” The incidents are reminders of the imbalance in many of our nation’s communities.

120312-national-arrest-handcuffs-police-school-to-prison.jpg.custom1200x675x20Black youths are two times as likely to be arrested as their white counterparts. ProPublica found that black are at 21 percent higher risk of being killed by police than young whites. Disparities exist at nearly every point of the juvenile justice system according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). They are less likely to be diverted, more likely to be sentenced to secure facilities, and even more likely to be transferred to the adult system. Many communities are working to identify what they can do to correct this inequality.

Read More

Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, MST

Australia's Multisystemic Therapy (MST) Program Wins Award

Posted by Lori Cohen, MST Services

Mental Health Services Conference awards MST a Gold Achievement 

Police in Western Australia described 2013’s 53-percent drop in serious juvenile crime as “extraordinary.” One explanation given for the decline is the expanded use of behavior-management programs. One hundred and sixty of the 297 offenders being handled by youth crime intervention officers were assigned to a program. These 160 youths accounted for 1,098 offenses costing taxpayers $2.5 million. Since being placed in interventions, the number of crimes committed by them dropped to 471.

"Besides the cost-benefit, addressing the underlying issues of these young people has now been shown to reduce reoffending,” said Western Australia acting police inspector Mark Fleskens said.

100__The_MHS_Conference.jpg

Read More

Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, MST