topics Policy Research Multisystemic Therapy for Texas Youth

Multisystemic Therapy for Texas Youth

Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is a proven family- and community-based treatment for at-risk youth with intensive needs and their families. It has proven most effective for treating youth who have committed violent offenses, have serious mental health or substance abuse concerns, are at risk of out-of-home placement, or who have experienced abuse and neglect.

What is the Extent of the Need?

  • In Texas, there are an estimated 20,000 children and youth (ages 6–17) either currently or at very high risk for out-of-home or out-of-school placement because of their mental health needs. Using the statewide roll-out of MST in Louisiana and other states as benchmarks, we estimate that of these 20,000, approximately 7,000 Texas youth and their families who are eligible for Medicaid would benefit from MST services.
  • Given that MST services typically last between three to six months and MST teams should serve at least 50 youth per year, Texas would need approximately 140 teams to meet statewide need.
  • As of February 2020, Texas had three MST programs (Harris County, El Paso County, and Nueces County) with a total of four teams that operate primarily though juvenile justice dollars. The current teams are meeting less than 3% of the estimated need on an annual basis.

Read or download the full white paper Multisystemic Therapy for Texas Youth.