Referral guidelines

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Multisystemic Therapy (MST) program is a specialised program operated under registered licence conditions.

These conditions support this program being implemented and operated consistent with 30+ years of robust research evidence to better ensure positive outcomes for families. They describe the target population, required clinical training, and length and specifics of the MST intervention. It is useful to understand the target population (inclusion and diversion criteria), before recommending the MST program to a family or starting to fill the referral form.

Completing a referral form

Referral forms must be completed by a health professional in company of a caregiver. 

The referral form requests information about the: 

  • family
  • history and extent of young person’s behavioural and other problems
  • prior interventions
  • prescribed medications
  • diagnoses and more.

It is important to accurately describe the severity and frequency of behaviour problems in various settings. 

There are more referrals than what the program can service, so our referrals are selected for suitability according to the criteria of the program. Our comprehensive referral form allows for comparison of the severity of problems to fairly determine the priority.

Senior mental health professionals from various government departments make up the MST Referral Review Committee (RRC), a committee who meets monthly to select all referrals for team vacancies. Team managers try to suggest alternate services when a referral isn’t suitable or insufficiently severe, however the MST program has no capacity to monitor referrals until they are referred elsewhere.

All referrals are contacted about the outcome and likelihood of being selected for the program in the two months following RRC meeting.


Criteria for inclusion:

  • aged between 12 and 16 years old, however 10 and 11 years can be considered in high-risk situations
  • living with their parents or normal caregiver(s)
  • frequent problems with anger, violence and/or antisocial behaviour
  • use or abuse of alcohol and/or other drugs
  • frequent suspensions from school and risk of school diversion
  • risk of out of home placement due to behavioural difficulties
  • inter-personal problems with school or employment.

Criteria for diversion:

  • can’t identify a primary caregiver
  • self-harming, suicidal, psychotic or homicidal behaviours in recent months
  • exclusively commits sex offences
  • significant intellectual disability (<70)
  • a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder.

Completing the referral

Download the referral form (Interactive PDF 447kb). If you have trouble accessing this form, please contact MST.

Contact the relevant MST referral manager below to send your completed referral to. They will check your referral is suitable and complete, and then forward on to the MST office.

In the absence of a relevant agency manager, please send your referral directly to the MST team.

Designated agency referral managers

Department of Education (North)

Mark Adkins

Rebecca Bennett

Department of Education (South)

Elizabeth Pinkerton

Sharon Declerck

Department of Communities (North)

Martyn Churcher

Stephen Cohen 

Perth Children's Hospital

Justine Doust

Association of Independent Schools WA

Julie Townsend

Catholic Education WA

Gabriella Guagliardo

Department of Justice

Andrew MacDonald

State Aboriginal Mental Health Service

Michael Mitchell

MST team

MST Program Manager

Mark Porter


9431 3781


MST Clinical Manager (North)

Caryn Morais


9403 1222


MST Clinical Manager (South)

Katie Martin


9431 3308


Last Updated: 06/05/2022