Multisystemic Therapy (MST)

Location: National Service with base at Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience in Denmark Hill, London.
Mode: Training and consultation in evidence based interventions

Key areas: Conduct disorder, challenging behaviours, complex needs, emotional difficulties, substance abuse, young people, offending, edge of care, children in care and return home, child abuse and neglect, family interventions


MST-UK provides training and consultancy services in the Multisystemic Therapy (MST) model to teams in local authorities, health trusts and voluntary organisations providing MST to children and families, where children are at risk of entering care or custody or to support young people to return home safely from care (

We hold the licence for the United Kingdom Network Partnership agreement with MST Services in the USA and under this agreement can provide services across all countries of the UK and in the Republic of Ireland.

We also offer support to local commissioners to review levels of need and existing provision and recommend which interventions may be the most suitable for their community, this can include information about a wider range of evidence based programmes supported by the National Implementation Service (, and this includes support and training for foster carers and adoptive parents. Following this needs analysis work we also work in partnership with local commissioners and provider organisations on all aspects of setting up a licensed MST service.

What is Multisystemic Therapy?

MST was originally developed by Professor Scott Henggeler and colleagues at the Medical University of South Carolina (USA) over 40 years ago. It has been successfully implemented within the UK for over 15 years. MST was developed to work with young people with complex behavioural and emotional difficulties and their families, with a focus on young people at risk of out of home placement in care or custody due to offending or other anti-social/ high risk behaviours.

MST is provided by clinical teams of a supervisor and three or four therapists, who offer intensive family interventions in the community, for 3 -5 months, including an on-call service for families. MST is a systemic family intervention, with therapists using a range of evidence based interventions, including structural and strategic family therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Behavioural Interventions.

Multisystemic Therapy for Child Abuse and Neglect (MST-CAN) is an adaptation of MST focused on families where children are on a child protection plan due to physical abuse and/or neglect and are at risk of entering care as a result. It is based on the same principles as MST but the intervention is for 6-9 months and includes evidence based approaches to work with adult substance abuse and also trauma in young people and adults.

MST UK are now able to provide UK based training and consultation in both these models.

Who do MST-UK Provide a Service for?

MST-UK do not provide a direct service to children and families but we provide training, consultation and organisational support to the following range of organisations:

  • Local authority Children’s Social Care departments and partner agencies.
  • Clinical Commissioning groups and NHS Trusts
  • Children’s Trusts
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Health Boards (N Ireland)

Our outcomes include:

  • Successful partnership work with over 30 local authorities, voluntary organisations and health providers since 2008
  • Provision of high quality training and consultation in the UK
  • Promoting stability for children and young people with over 90% of children able to remain safely at home.
  • Improved parenting skills and mental health for parents
  • Reduced offending and at risk behaviours by young people

Reductions in incidents of abuse and neglect (MST-CAN)

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