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Does Too Much Screen Time Lead To Antisocial Behavior in Youth?

Posted by MST Services

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Many of us have a love-hate relationship with technology. We have technology at the tip of our fingers; whether it is through a smartwatch, phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, or TV - screens are available everywhere. One survey explains that 95 percent of teens have access to a smartphone, and 45 percent are online almost constantly. While there are many advantages to tech, young brains are also subject to serious side effects.

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Topics: Troubled Youth

LGBTQ+ Teens and the Child Welfare System

Posted by MST Services

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The child welfare system is set up to protect and serve youth who are separated by their legal guardians due to the inability to provide safety, nurturement, or stability. Yet, some adolescents who identify as LGBTQ+ are rejected, neglected, or abused by their family members, forcing them to enter the system. Many of these young people will continue deeper into the system due to disrupted placements, ultimately increasing the risks of childhood trauma.

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Topics: Child Welfare

How Vaping Contributes to Youth Substance Abuse

Posted by MST Services

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Vaping, the new way to smoke, is becoming increasingly popular among teens. It may be hard to believe, but electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) were first introduced in 2007 and have since become a public health epidemic, contributing to youth substance abuse. The Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service, VADM Jerome Adams, stated that “The recent surge in e-cigarette use among youth, which has been fueled by new types of e-cigarettes that have recently entered the market, is a cause for great concern. We must take action now to protect the health of our nation’s young people.”

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Topics: Substance Abuse, Troubled Youth

Multisystemic Therapy: A Year in Review

Posted by MST Services

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Youth, families, and communities have overcome many challenges and achieved numerous victories since the beginning of this year and, during this time, the Child Protection, Juvenile Justice, and Mental Health systems have made strides in raising awareness of the needs of adolescents and their families. So, as we pause to look back on 2021, we would like to say thank you to the families, therapists, supervisors, agencies, and external stakeholders who made all of this possible. Join us as we highlight some of the work that the Multisystemic Therapy (MST) community has accomplished.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, MST Community

What Is the Family First Act?

Posted by MST Services

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From 2012 onwards, the number of American children entering foster care has been steadily climbing; in 2016, over 430,000 children were part of the child welfare system, yet over half of U.S. states have seen their foster care capacity decrease during this same time period. The federal government has typically responded to child welfare challenges by increasing funding for foster care, yet in February of 2018, policymakers took a different approach: instead of lending more resources to the system in the historical way, new legislation is focused on the use of evidence-based prevention services to alleviate the need for adolescents to enter out-of-home placements in the first place, and ensuring appropriate settings are used for kids who are in foster care when necessary.

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Topics: Child Welfare

Diving Deeper into Youth Crime Statistics

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_404112505In light of Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM), established in 2008 to draw attention to adolescents impacted by the criminal justice system, it is time to address America’s youth crime statistics.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform, Multisystemic Therapy

The Child Welfare System and Unstable Education

Posted by MST Services

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A Comfortless Reality

At just one year old, Noel Anaya was separated from his parents and removed from his house in California. Though he was too young to remember leaving his first home, he remembers all the ones that came after— Noel moved through foster placement after foster placement, put in four different families by the time he was eight. Soon, he was sent outside of California, first to Michigan and then to Idaho. “Some foster families were religious and encouraged me to participate in their traditions, which felt strange,” Noel remembers. “I moved around so much, I never felt like I fit in.” Noel’s experience of constant movement, adjustment, and loneliness isn’t merely his own— for many foster children across the country, impermanence is a comfortless reality. And what is one of the most critical, long-term effects of these constant new foster placements? A child’s ability to succeed in school.

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Topics: Child Welfare

Returning To In-Person Therapy Services Through the Eyes of MST Colleagues

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_252261124Change - the word one hears when thinking about the COVID-19 pandemic. By definition, it refers to a loss of identity or exchange of one thing for another. After the rapid evolution of virtual means and distancing tactics, many professionals had to adjust to new routines.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, MST Success Stories, MST Community, MST International, COVID-19

Using Evidence-Based Programming to Prevent Suicide

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_305642657In 2019, 130 people committed suicide in the United States each day - sadly contributing to the 703,000 suicide deaths around the globe. September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of the second leading cause of death worldwide for youth aged 15-24 years.

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Topics: Mental Health

Eliminating Child Abuse and Neglect Through Research

Posted by MST Services

Close up of parents looking at their son while lying on a bedIn 2019, there were more than 4.4 million reported incidents of child abuse and neglect in the United States, involving roughly 7.9 million children. These referrals can stem from a range of situations including exploitation, emotional abuse, sexual assault, and physical harm. With cases going unreported during the pandemic, there is certainly much to be done to prevent child abuse and neglect.

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Topics: Child Welfare