Multi-Systemic Therapy

MST is an evidenced based intensive family and treatment program that occurs within the home and community environments. It targets youth who are chronic and violent juvenile offenders, integrates mental health assessment, crisis response, behavioral health and treatment, family counseling and social services with the goal of either preventing the out-of­ home placement of a youth or facilitating a successful transition back home.
  • MST 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. Each system requires attention when effective change is needed to improve the quality of life for youth and their families.
  • MST works with tough offenders ages 12 through 17 who have a history of arrests.
Youth accepted into the MST program meet the following criteria:
The program focuses on:
  • Youth that are at-risk for out-of-home placement
  • Have returned  within the previous thirty days from an out-of-home placement or are transitioning back to their home within thirty days
  • Juvenile Court involvement
  • Require a high intensity of services and interventions to stabilize potential safety concerns and re-incarceration
  • Impairment that seriously disrupts family or interpersonal relationships
  • Significant behavioral impairment (School refusal, poor self-care, aggression, suicidal ideation, oppositional, Legal involvement)
  • If over 18 but under 21 - is still living at home and/or in the custody of a child welfare agency and/or under the jurisdiction of juvenile court and/or in the custody of the Ohio Department of Youth Services
MST incorporates the following components:
  • Utilizes a strength-based, trauma­ informed, client-centered approach to address the behavioral health concerns of children, adolescents and their families
  • Therapists work intensively with parents and caregivers to teach them the tools they need to control the home environment
  • Therapists works with caregivers to keep the adolescent focused on school, gaining social skills and introduces the youth to sports and recreational activities as an alternative to "hanging out"
  • MST clinicians go to where the child is and are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Program includes ongoing  weekly case consultation with MST staff
  • Each case is assessed for the level of treatment needed
  • Cases are tracked with measurable outcomes