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 Programs

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 Programs, 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 Programs, 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

Keeping Children Out of Foster Care and at Home with Family

Posted by MST Services

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National Adoption Month is an annual observance in the United States that brings attention to the state of the foster care system, the need for loving families for youth in foster care, and the importance of helping teens prepare for a bright future.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, Child Welfare

Reforming the Juvenile Justice System with Education

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_431669533Literacy and incarceration are two words that you don't often hear in the same sentence. When you read those terms, you might feel that they have nothing in common or that they are opposites. But here's what is interesting, despite what you may think, they are closely related and there are many reasons why. The Department of Justice states, "The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure."

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform, Child Welfare

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

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