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“I have seen a massive change in all four of my children...now we’ve learnt, I want them to learn off us”
Mum, after she and her family completed MST-CAN®

Multisystemic Therapy for Child Abuse and Neglect (MST-CAN®) was developed at the Medical University of South Carolina to address underlying trauma that results in harm to children, young people and families.

It is a 24/7 home-based treatment model for families with substantiated cases of physical abuse and/or neglect of children and young people between six and 17 years. Services are provided to all family members. The model targets children where a report of physical abuse and/or neglect has been received within 180 days of the referral. Although referrals are received for children aged six years and over, all younger and older siblings in the referred child’s family also receive the service.

The intervention is provided to the family for a period of six to nine months depending on the needs of the family.

“They have changed everything about their life, things that were so ingrained in them…they…want their kids in their care and will do anything”
A family’s’ MST-CAN® therapist
The MST-CAN® model:
  • is a treatment for high-risk children and their families. It targets families where the children experience physical abuse and/or neglect
  • addresses the multiple factors known to be related to physical abuse and/or neglect across the key behavioural systems embedded within the family
  • seeks to promote behavioural change in the family’s natural environment, using the strengths of each aspect of their life (e.g. family, peers, school, neighbourhood, kinship, support networks) to facilitate change
  • trains staff and provides them with protocols and quality assurance of the service response. This includes working with the family to overcome risk factors leading to abuse and/or neglect of the child(ren)
  • uses and develops the family’s broader social and family network as part of the service approach.
Treatment strategies

All families receive:

  • ongoing Safety Assessment and Planning
  • Investment Check Up with FACS & NGO
  • clarification of the abuse and/or neglect

Tailored interventions:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Reinforcement Based Therapy for substance abuse
  • PTSD treatment
  • family therapy/ family communications skills and problem solving training
  • marital/partners therapy
  • anger management training
  • child behavioural management
  • school based interventions

For more information, visit the MST-CAN® website.

MST-CAN® is currently being delivered by non-government organisations in the following locations across NSW

CSC Location

FACS District

Provider

Charlestown

Hunter Central Coast

Wandiyali

Coffs Harbour

Mid North Coast

Uniting

Dubbo

Western NSW

Marathon Health

Edgeworth

Hunter Central Coast

Wandiyali

Gosford

Hunter Central Coast

Catholic Care Diocese of Broken Bay

Ingleburn

South Western Sydney

OzChild

Liverpool

South Western Sydney

OzChild

Macarthur

South Western Sydney

OzChild

Mayfield

Hunter Central Coast

Wandiyali

Tamworth

New England Mid North Coast and Northern

Life Without Barriers

Wyong

Hunter Central Coast

Catholic Care Diocese of Broken Bay

Referrals to MST-CAN

Caseworkers can refer families to participate in MST-CAN® by emailing CentralReferralUnitFFT&MST@facs.nsw.gov.au

“This is a family we thought would never leave the service system”
A family’s’ caseworker