Sherry Albert

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Overcoming Challenges of Doing MST in the Inner City

Posted by Sherry Albert

Lessons learned from other MST teams and an experienced expert to meet the challenges of working in the inner city

Two years ago, CSI's (Community Solutions Inc.New Jersey Multisystemic Therapy (MST) teams were struggling. Retaining staff and achieving positive outcomes for families was proving to be very difficult. Everyone was invested—they were just unsure if MST could work in their neighborhoods. The communities were experiencing high levels of violence, and families were increasingly losing hope. The program manager of the New Jersey teams wasn’t sure if MST alone was a viable treatment option given everything that was happening in the area. The program leadership wondered whether therapists would be safe when they went to see families. Could they successfully engage people who had strong distrust of professionals? Could they help families rearrange their ecologies so that young people did not get rearrested during the course of MST? Could they work to get young people back to school?

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Michelle Robinson receiving her WIT award at the 2017 International Conference pictured alongside Scott Henggeler

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Topics: Troubled Youth