What is MST?
Multi Systemic Therapy (MST) is a short-term, intensive way of working with families when the young person in the family is getting in trouble – at school, at home or with the law.
We know that these can be very difficult times for families, so MST works to support parents and other family members. Together we find ways to make the situation better, and improve the young person’s chances for a brighter future.
A lot of research has been done around the world about how effective MST really is, and the evidence that’s been collected is good. It shows that MST can make long-term improvements in young peoples’ and their families lives.
What will happen?
The MST therapist will visit you, as parents, or as a family, for an hour or more, several times a week. They might also phone you during the week.
MST is a community and home-based programme so the therapist may visit you at home or somewhere else where you feel comfortable.
The MST programme operates an out-of-hours service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is run by all the therapists in the team. If your therapist is not available you can easily speak to another member of the team.
How long will MST last?
The MST programme is designed to make a difference quickly, so the therapist will work with you for about three to five months, depending how much help your family needs.
What will I have to do?
As a parent or carer, your involvement and support is critical to the programme’s success. The MST therapist will work with you to decide what needs to be done to make the right change. They will need your skills and knowledge to help identify your son’s or daughter’s difficulties.
We will start by looking at all the important people in your son or daughter’s life, such as school, friends, family and community. This helps us to understand where difficulties happen and find the best way to solve them.
Together, you and the MST therapist will set goals, and look at various ways that work best for your son or daughter. You will need to be prepared to try different approaches and be open to new ideas.
Who is MST aimed at?
MST works with families where a young person living at home, and aged between 11 and 17, whose behaviour at home, school and/or in the community, concerns you or other people. This might include:
- aggressive behaviour
- getting into trouble with the law
- running away or not coming home
- using drugs and/or alcohol
- not going to school or having other problems at school
Confidentiality and record keeping
We realise that families may be concerned about what happens to the information they give to professionals. The information we hold about you is confidential. We will make written records and store information on a computer, but these can only be seen by authorised staff within the organisation.
If we are concerned about yours or your child’s safety we may need to tell other people what is happening, and we will talk to you if we are going to do this.
We may want to share information with other people, like the person who has referred you to us, so that they can do what is best for you, but we will ask your permission before doing this.
How can I request MST?
A number of different professionals can refer your family to us for help, including social care, youth offending services, child and adolescent mental health service, and schools. Please ask the person who gave you this leaflet if you would like them to approach the MST programme on your behalf.
Complaints, comments or suggestions
If you are concerned about the service you receive, please discuss this with your MST therapist or the MST programme manager and ask for a ‘comment, compliment or complaint’ leaflet. When you start MST you will regularly be asked for your feedback on the service so that we can make it as effective as possible.
Email: NEWMSTCYMRU@flintshire.gov.uk Phone: 01978 295540