About the Program

Our Mission

The mission of MST-CAN is to keep families together, assure that children are safe, prevent abuse and neglect, reduce mental health difficulties experienced by adults and children, and increase natural social supports.

Recognized as an Evidence-Based Program

MST-CAN is recognized an evidence-based (i.e., research supported) by the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare and as a promising program by the Office of Justice Programs. MST-CAN is currently available in multiple countries around the globe.

How the Program Works

Multisystemic Therapy for Child Abuse and Neglect (MST-CAN) is an adaptation of Multisystemic Therapy (MST) that has been specifically designed to treat youth ages 6 to 17 and their families who have come to the attention of child protection due to physical abuse and/or neglect.

MST-CAN is administered to families in the home and at times convenient to the family. It is an intensive treatment involving a minimum of 3 sessions per week. All members of the family are involved in the treatment. Common treatment strategies include safety planning, Cognitive Behavioral Therapies for managing anger and addressing the impact of trauma, Reinforcement-Based Therapy for adult substance misuse, family therapy focused on communication and problem solving, and sessions to support the parent in taking responsibility for the events that brought the family to child protection.

MST-CAN is an intensive therapy, lasting six to nine months that addresses the specific problems that brought the family to child protective services plus important risk factors. The major goals of MST-CAN are to keep families together, assure that children are safe, prevent abuse and neglect, reduce mental health difficulties experienced by adults and children, and increase natural social supports.

  1. MST-CAN is evidence-based (randomized clinical trials)
  2. MST-CAN is delivered in home and community settings
  3. MST-CAN is addresses the multiple determinants of maltreatment
  4. MST-CAN is provides an individualized safety plan for each family
  5. MST-CAN provides professional training and support
  6. Quality Assurance and Fidelity Measures
  7. Licensed MST-CAN Provider Sites