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General overview

Stage of development: Complete

Policy sector: Child and family welfare

Start date of service provision: Apr 2013

Capital raised (minimum): GBP 3.13m (USD 4.89m)

Service users: 335 individuals


The intervention used Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) which involves an intensive evidence-based therapeutic treatment model that aims to promote positive social behaviours by breaking negative cycles and removing specific problems in the young person’s life. Young people in Essex demonstrating anti-social or offending behaviours were assigned a therapist who worked with them in their home, school, and community, and with family and peers. This therapist was available 24/7 and worked with the young person for an average of 4-5 months to change their social behaviours.

Target population

Adolescents aged 11–17 who display anti-social or offending behaviour or other conduct disorders that put them at risk of an out-of-home placement. Individuals referred to the MST service in Essex typically exhibit multiple high risk characteristics such as aggression, criminal behaviour, violence, and imminent risk of care entry.



  • United Kingdom

Service delivery locations

  • Essex, South East

Outcome metrics

  • Reduction in days spent in care. Aggregate number of care placement days saved against a baseline historical comparison group during a 30 month period after MST referral. This is measured in terms of total number of days adolescents from a treated cohort spent in residential care, measured over 30-day time periods.
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