What are the target populations of FFT and MST?

Functional Family Therapy (FFT)

FFT has been studied with youth ages 10 to 18 years old. FFT research supports the utilization of the intervention across all levels of risk, low, moderate, and severe, for adolescent behavior problems and substance use/abuse. FFT includes youth with multiple serious offenses including felonies and youth returning home following incarceration. FFT serves youth from multiple referral sources including, juvenile justice, child welfare, mental Health, and schools. Research on these youths has demonstrated reductions in recidivism, earlier cessation of drug and alcohol use, as well as reductions in future criminogenic behaviors. Youth may demonstrate co-occurring internalizing symptoms, such as anxiety and depression; however, acting out behaviors, must be present to the degree that functioning is impaired. At least one adult caregiver must be available to provide support and willing to be involved in treatment.

There are several adaptions to the FFT model that can effectively treat additional target populations, including Functional Family Probation Services, which is delivered by probation workers/case managers, and FFT-Child Welfare®, an intervention that has been shown to be effective for youth and families in the child welfare system. Currently, these adaptations have not been implemented in the state of Pennsylvania. For information about FFT and adaptations please go to www.fftllc.com.

Multisystemic Therapy (MST)

Research has shown MST to be effective for youth with chronic or severe antisocial behavior, 
including youth with histories of violence or felonious behavior and youth with histories of incarceration.

For standard MST, inclusionary criteria include youth between the ages of 12-17 who are living with 
a caregiver, at risk of placement due to anti-social or delinquent behaviors, which may include 
problematic use of substances, youth involved in the child protective services, juvenile justice, 
and/or mental health systems, and youth who have committed sexual offenses in conjunction with 
other anti-social behavior.

Exclusionary criteria include youth living independently, sex offending behavior in the absence of 
other anti-social behavior, youth who are actively suicidal, homicidal, or psychotic, youth whose 
psychiatric problems are the primary reason leading to referral, or who have severe and serious 
psychiatric problems, and youth with moderate or severe difficulties with social communication, 
social interactions, and negative behaviors, which may be captured by a diagnosis of autism. 
Determination of whether these youths are appropriate for MST requires a thorough evaluation of the 
relevant factors by the MST team, often in collaboration with their MST expert.

In the state of Pennsylvania, an adaptation of Multisystemic Therapy for youth with Problem Sexual 
Behaviors (MST-PSB) is also available in some counties. MST-PSB is a clinical adaptation of MST 
that has been specifically designed and developed to treat youth (and their families) for 
problematic sexual behavior. Building upon the research and dissemination foundation of standard 
MST, the MST-PSB model represents a state-of-the-art, evidence-based practice uniquely developed to 
address the multiple determinants underlying problematic juvenile sexual behavior. MST-PSB is a 
Blueprints Model program.

There are several adaptions to the MST model that can effectively treat additional target 
populations. Currently only the MST-PSB adaptions is available in the state of Pennsylvania. For a 
full list of MSTadaptations and descriptions please go to www.mstservices.com.

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