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Grant Initiates Investment in Multisystemic Therapies for Families in Baltimore City

The Department of Juvenile Services, through partnership with the University of Maryland School of Social Work’s Institute for Innovation and Implementation was awarded more than $130,000 in grant funds to reduce existing community-based service gaps for youthful offenders in Baltimore City. Administered by the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services, this grant provides startup resources for the Institute to facilitate selection and initial training of a provider for Multisystemic Therapy (MST) and Multisystemic Therapy for Emerging Adults (MSTEA) in Baltimore City.

Together, MST and MST-EA will serve youth and young adults ages 12 to 20 years old, who are experiencing a wide range of needs. These community-based programs can be used as diversion programs at the front end of the juvenile justice system (e.g., at DJS Intake), as alternatives to commitment, and to support youth and families during the reentry process. Their multi-systemic approaches to behavior change addresses mental health (during therapy and through service linkages post-treatment), family engagement, workforce and educational needs, among other needs. Further, the MST framework offers a trauma-responsive approach to therapy, helping the young person and family to identify and address maladaptive behaviors related to traumatic experiences.

“We are thrilled to support the implementation of high-quality, community-based programs that meet the needs of youth and families in Baltimore City,” said Michelle Zabel, Director of UMSSW’s Institute for Innovation and Implementation. “Through partnership with DJS, these proven interventions lay the groundwork for long-term success of youth and families. As with all our work, it is important that these efforts address systematic inequalities and racial disparities in our city.”



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