Empowering Communities: Navigating The Funding Landscape for Evidence-Based Programs

Posted by MST Services

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When organizations implement evidence-based programs, communities thrive, families receive support, and young people feel empowered to reach their full potential. But reaping these transformative rewards requires resources, commitment, money, and more. 

So, how do you secure funding for evidence-based programs? 

From Medicaid to FFPSA funding and beyond, there's a whole world of financial support for programs aimed at improving lives, especially for young people and their families.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare, evidence-based, Families, Agencies and Administrators, Funding

Family First Act: What Are Well-Supported Programs and Services?

Posted by MST Services

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The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) is historic legislation with a noble and critical goal. It prioritizes family preservation and the well-being of young people by decreasing the necessity for placing children in foster care. 

The FFPSA expands how states can spend certain Social Security funds by allowing states to allocate funds to evidence-based practices and programs offering various treatment and prevention services to children and families in the child welfare system. 

The FFPSA Clearinghouse categorizes these evidence-based programs across levels—the top rating being "well-supported." But what does this mean? Why does it matter? What are the benefits? And how can you select and implement a well-supported program? 

We'll answer these questions to understand not just the "what" but the “why" behind the importance of well-supported services that can transform the lives of children and families. 

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare, evidence-based, Agencies and Administrators

Transforming Juvenile Justice Through the Holistic Power of Multisystemic Therapy

Posted by MST Services

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Although significant strides have been made in improving the juvenile justice experience, there is still room for improvement. While its aim is to prevent youth from engaging in further criminal activities, there may be times when the desired outcomes are not achieved, as many children placed in juvenile detention facilities re-offend after being released.  

It's important to consider that youth who interact with the justice system tend to experience mental health difficulties, substance use, violence-related trauma, and poor academic performance - all factors that increase the risk of reoffending.  

To address these issues and reduce juvenile delinquency, a holistic approach is necessary to tackle the underlying challenges contributing to the problem. 

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare, Mental Health, evidence-based, Families

Building Bridges: Overcoming Therapist-Client Relationship Barriers

Posted by MST Services

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Therapy can be a positive tool for change in a person’s life. However, the relationship between a therapist and their client significantly impacts the effectiveness of the treatment.  Unfortunately, many barriers can threaten the therapist-client relationship, including communication breakdowns, power imbalances, and conflicting goals.  

Addressing these struggles early can prevent them from escalating and affecting treatment outcomes. In addition, when therapists approach these struggles with intentionality and self-awareness, it can ultimately improve the relationship and help the client reach their therapy goals. 

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare, Mental Health, evidence-based, Families

MST-BSF Now Approved and Supported by the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_306200586We are excited to announce that MST-BSF has been approved as supported by the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse! This is a significant achievement for MST Services, as being "supported" means that Multisystemic Therapy – Building Stronger Families (MST-BSF) has met the rigorous standards for evidence-based interventions set by the clearinghouse and highlights the effectiveness of the program in helping children and families.

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Topics: Child Welfare, evidence-based

Boosting Teen Mental Health: The Connection Between Self-Esteem, Social Media, and Body Image

Posted by MST Services

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How you view yourself, your qualities, and your capabilities — in other words, your self-esteem — plays a major role in your mental health. This is true for people of all ages, including teenagers. A healthy level of self-esteem can set a teenager up for success as it can empower them to set boundaries, bounce back from challenges, and make positive choices.   

Unfortunately, many teenagers struggle with low self-esteem. Adolescence can be challenging, and hormonal shifts, physical changes, and social challenges, coupled with new responsibilities and peer pressure, can affect a teenager's self-perception.  

May is National Teen Self-Esteem Month, which offers us the opportunity to reflect on the connection between self-esteem and mental health, as well as how to build self-esteem in teenagers.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare, Mental Health, evidence-based, Families

How the MST Model Engages and Motivates Clients in Family-Based Therapy

Posted by MST Services

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The outcome of any form of counseling depends on how well the therapist is able to engage the client and their caregivers in sessions.  The same can be said for family therapy interventions. If the therapist isn’t able to engage family members, it can impact how well interventions will be implemented that positively affect the entire family.  

When it comes to family-based counseling, therapists measure client engagement in the following ways: 

  • Attending the sessions regularly

  • Sharing openly during the sessions

  • Being willing to discuss difficult topics 

  • Participating in exercises and activities during the session 

  • Completing therapy homework between sessions 

  • Attempting to integrate insights into their day-to-day life 

 

When a therapist is able to engage clients, they are likely to achieve better outcomes more quickly, not only for the client but the entire family.  

Multisystemic Therapy (MST) works to address known barriers to client and caregiver engagement and utilize the strategies below, though this is not an exhaustive list.  

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare, Mental Health, evidence-based, Family, Caregivers, Families, Motivational Interviewing

Teen Mental Health: The Importance of Resilience in Teens

Posted by MST Services

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Resilience is a skill that can be learned at any age. Building resilience can help us cope in the aftermath of tragedy and trauma, and it can help us maintain mental health. With World Teen Mental Wellness Day in mind, let’s consider how we can help the teens in our lives develop resilience. 

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform, Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare, MST Success Stories

The Need for Juvenile Justice Reform + 5 States Who Are Paving the Way

Posted by MST Services

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The juvenile justice system exists to help young people take responsibility for their behavior and become productive members of society. A local or state judge determines which law, if any, was broken when a minor is brought before a juvenile court and then issues an appropriate response.

A young person processed through the juvenile justice system may be assigned probation, placement in foster care or with an extended family member, community service, or confinement in a juvenile correction facility. 

However, cases processed through the juvenile court system often have worse outcomes, including adult criminal behavior, than those assigned to diversion programs. As such, it is apparent that juvenile justice system reform efforts are needed to give youth the tools to make healthy choices, improve behavior, and work toward a successful future.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform, Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare, MST Success Stories

Does Inflation Impact the Child Welfare System?

Posted by MST Services

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In 2016, The United States Department of Health and Human Services defined affordable childcare costs as 7% of a household’s income. According to a 2020 survey by Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA), married couples in the median income bracket spent over 10% of their income on childcare while single parents with similar income spent 35%. 

More recent data from CCAoA found that childcare in the US now exceeds $13,000 per year for a single child. In most states, caring for two small children costs 28-100% more than annual housing costs. 

As inflation continues to rise in the US, it becomes increasingly important for parents to equip themselves with tools to handle financial hardship adequately and have the energy to manage their child’s behaviors that, left unaddressed, could lead to out-of-home child placement.  

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare