What is Multisystemic Therapy?

Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is an intensive family- and community-based treatment program that focuses on addressing all environmental systems that impact chronic and violent juvenile offenders -- their homes and families, schools and teachers, neighborhoods and friends. MST recognizes that each system plays a critical role in a youth's world and each system requires attention when effective change is needed to improve the quality of life for youth and their families. MST works with the toughest offenders ages 12 through 17 who have a very long history of arrests. Learn more about MST.

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Scott W Henggeler
Evidence-Based 'Gold Standard': Coveted, Yet Controversial
Gary Gately of the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange looks at the origins of the gold standard evidence-based programs like MST and FFT. He reports that MST stands out as one of the best-known and most thoroughly researched programs that have been shown through research to prevent or reduce juvenile crime and help youths make better choices. The article also presents other approaches to treating juvenile offenders, including practices that are not "evidence-based", but claim to be effective with this population. Read more.

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MST Works for Juvenile Offenders and Their Siblings
Read about the results of a ground-breaking research study that demonstrates the very long-term impact of MST therapy on the siblings closest in age to serious and violent juvenile offenders who took part in either MST or individual therapy. Siblings had a 40% reduction in overall arrest rates and for every dollar spent on MST resulted in $5.04 in savings to tax payers and crime victims. Read more on our MST Blog.

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The changing landscape of children's mental health
The president and CEO of the Judge Baker Children's Center in Boston, Robert Franks, writes that evidence-based programs like Multisystemic Therapy should be used more widely in Massachusetts and Connecticut to provide children with the best chance for recovery and healthy development. Read the article.