Maureen Kishna, LISW-S, MST Expert and Program Developer with the Center for Innovative Practices (CIP) with the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education, has written a white paper for MST Services entitled, “Combating Racial Disparity in the Juvenile-Justice System with MST.”
Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is an intensive family and community-based treatment program that 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 and each system requires attention when effective change is needed to improve the quality of life for youth and their families. MST works with the toughest offenders ages 12 through 17 who have a very long history of arrests.
“MST therapists have the advantage of becoming deeply aware of the home, neighborhood, school and peer systems that the child resides in with all of their unique strengths and struggles that need to be taken into account as treatment proceeds,” the report states. “Families often view their MST therapist as a person who understands their situation well and is in a position to best assist them. It is in this role of trusted advocate that MST therapists can have a vastly different experience with families than the courts or law enforcement with the exact same youth and family.”