Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST)

This is a treatment for youth who are involved with the juvenile justice system or at risk of becoming involved with the juvenile justice system. It focuses on things in the youth’s life that are causing his or her behaviors. The primary goals are to:
  • Help families to build a healthier environment by using existing child, family, and community resources
  • Decrease current behaviors and other clinical problems
  • Improve family relations, school performance, and other areas
  • Reduce placement outside of the home
Eligibility
Children between ages 11 and 18 can use MST. They must be involved in the juvenile justice system or at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system. They must have a primary mental health issue, such as conduct disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, or other related issues and behaviors.

Frequency
These services are usually provided for 3 to 6 months, and are provided in the home and community. Services usually last between 5 and 9 hours per week, depending on the needs of the child and family.

Provider Credentials
The individual therapy, family therapy, and crisis support components of MST are provided by professionals with master’s degrees. Providers must complete the required training program for MST services.