OzChild is delivering a new program in Victoria which offers greater hope to young people with offending behaviours and their families.
Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is a family and homebased treatment which strives to change how young people function in their natural settings such as home, school and within the neighborhood – in ways that promote positive social behaviour while decreasing anti-social behaviour
MST is a research-based and internationally proven treatment model that was developed through 30 years of applied research. It is the only treatment approach to demonstrate long-term reductions in re-arrest and placement in custody through randomised clinical trials with this target population. The Multisystemic approach uses an ecological model which views young people as living in a network of interconnected systems that encompasses individual, family, peer, school and neighborhood.
MST interventions address those systems that are linked with offending behaviours on a case-by-case basis.
The primary goals of MST are to:
- Reduce youth offending and re-offending
- Reduce other types of anti-social behaviour such as drug abuse
- Achieve these outcomes at a cost savings by decreasing rates of placement in custody and out-of-home care placement.
How are services delivered?
- MST typically uses a home-based intensive model of service delivery, in which therapists have small caseloads (four-six families).
- The average length of treatment is up to 60 hours of contact provided during a four month period.
- MST therapists focus on collaborating with and empowering parents by using identified strengths to develop natural support systems and remove barriers to improve their capacity to function as effective parents.
Who are we treating with MST?
Supported by funding from the Department of Justice and Community Safety, OzChild is delivering MST to young people who are subject to court-ordered Youth Justice supervision.
If you are interested in a referral to this program, please contact your Youth Justice Case Manager.