Multisystemic therapy

Multisystemic Therapy is a community based, metropolitan service for families with young people between the ages of 11 to 16 years who are experiencing severe behavioural and mental health difficulties, including:

  • issues with anger or antisocial behaviour
  • use or abuse alcohol or other drugs
  • at high risk of being excluded from school
  • at risk of homelessness or out of home placement
  • problems at home, in school or employment

Our clinicians work intensively with parents, caregivers and their school to help families develop necessary skills to independently address their difficulties.

Although we mainly work with families, we also work with other people in a young person’s life, including friends, workplace trainers, local community groups, government agencies and other relevant support services.

What happens at Multisystemic Therapy

When the young person is admitted to the program, their assigned case manager will visit with the family up to three times a week. We work together primarily with the family to achieve their goals. 

The case manager or another clinician is available to speak to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Clinicians work with families for three to five months, utilising evidence-based, psychological interventions.

They will work to address issues such as:

  • problems with school or employment 
  • couple and family relationships 
  • negative peer pressure 
  • frequently missing school
  • family violence 
  • antisocial behaviour 
  • alcohol and other drug use 
  • parenting difficulties 
  • interpersonal aggression 
  • developing links with local services

How to be referred

Referral to the Multisystemic Therapy program is based on conditions related to target population, the required clinical training and the specifics of the intervention required. There are guidelines and criteria that must be met for a young person to be suitable for the program.

Referrals must be completed by a health professional usually in the company of the young person’s parent or caregiver. The referral requires detail about the family structure, the young person’s developmental history, and detailed understanding of the young person’s difficulties.

For health professionals

Referrals are accepted from:
  • School Psychologists
  • Community Mental Health clinics
  • Child Protection and Family Services
  • Juvenile Justice
  • GPs
  • private health
  • mental health practitioners 

Read the referral guidelines and criteria before completing the referral form available on for health professionals - mental health referrals.

Last Updated: 17/01/2023