Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is a family and community-based treatment model for juveniles with complex clinical, social, and educational problems. This therapy is offered to youth between the ages of 11 and 17 who are at high risk of commitment to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. A Master’s level therapist is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide therapy in homes, neighborhoods, schools, and communities where the young person resides. The MST model promotes behavioral change in a juvenile’s natural environment, while the therapist identifies problem behaviors throughout the family domain and targets those areas for change. MST has a proven ability to assist families and promote improved functioning in the family unit. Throughout Illinois, the model has reduced arrest rates by more than 25 percent and decreased instances of mental health and substance abuse in serious offenders.
The State of Illinois spends nearly $100,000 per year to serve a child in prison, but only $6,000 per year to serve a child in the community. MST keeps youth out of the Department of Juvenile Justice, which helps reduce the number of crime victims and creates safer communities across Illinois. These young offenders learn how to end their destructive behaviors and prevent a future of criminal behavior and incarceration.
Caritas Family Solutions currently provides MST to nine counties in Southern Illinois: Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, and Union. Funding is provided by Redeploy Illinois through a subcontract with Union County, contracts with other referral agencies, and some grant funding.
MST services are offered through our Regional Office in Carterville. If you have any questions, contact the Caritas MST Supervisor at (618) 985-2000 x2448. Further information about MST can be found here.