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Multi-Systemic Therapy Program Works Wonders for Troubled Teenage Boy

Kent* was referred to the Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) program by his probation officer due to problematic behaviors at home and in the community. He had a history of substance use, aggression, defiance with authority figures, and sanctions from educational settings including an expulsion from school.

Obtaining an education for Kent for the next year seemed like an insurmountable goal.  The odds were definitely stacked against him due to the impact his actions had on his local community, which left school board members extremely hesitant to giveKentyet another chance. Nevertheless, the OHU MST therapist worked diligently with the family and numerous stakeholders including the probation officer, the local and regional superintendents, as well as the Illinois State Board of Education on getting him the education he deserved and desperately needed.

One Hope United’s MST Program is an evidenced-based comprehensive treatment approach to serving youth in their communities. MST helps youth with chronic delinquent behavior and school issues. MST also focuses on helping parents build sup­portive social networks and empowering them to more effectively address the needs of their children. The purpose of the program is to keep families together by reducing the risk of out-of-home placement. Services are offered in the youth’s own home, school and community.

While advocating for his enrollment in a school setting took over two months,Kentand his family finally received news that he would be given another chance for an education.  Since this time,Kenthas achieved notable success, both behaviorally and academically. Kent’s mother has increased her collaboration with school officials, a key component to any child’s educational achievements. During a school meeting scheduled by the mother, a teacher reported, “Kentis nothing but perfect.”  He has been observed removing himself from negative peers and situations, which he would have previously enjoyed navigating towards.

Kent’s behaviors at home have drastically improved as evidenced by his compliance with home rules, reduction in aggression, and his abstinence from drugs and alcohol. His family reports a significant reduction in stress due to these areas of improvement.Kent’s family expressed hope that their achievements can be sustained. Recently, Kent and his family were successfully discharged from the MST program.

*Name changed for confidentiality of client.