Shared learning database

Children and Young People's Service
Published date:
January 2011

This is a multi-agency project that uses MST to help young people 11- 17 who display anti-social behaviour. Young people have complex needs that place them at the risk of custody, social exclusion, school exclusion or reception into care. The project is also part of a national multi-centre research project.

Guidance the shared learning relates to:
Does the example relate to a general implementation of all NICE guidance?
Does the example relate to a specific implementation of a specific piece of NICE guidance?


Aims and objectives

To reduce the number of young people at risk of custody, reception into care or exclusion from school.

To reduce anti-social behaviour in at risk young people and to redirect them to prosocial activities.

Reasons for implementing your project

There is a national awareness of the difficulties that young people face who are displaying anti-social behaviour. The prognosis for such young people is poor with many going into custody, care or facing social exclusion. We applied to join this national research project in that we would have the financial backing to set up our own project. Now in our second year young people are benefiting and we are seeing a massive improvement in their behaviour and life chances that is maintained at 6 months follow- up. We also note the potential for large savings, less staff involved after the project with complex families, reduction in crime and children who would have otherwise gone into care staying at home.

How did you implement the project

The project is truly multi-agency with joint appointments of health, social care, education and YOS. Establishing the project has not been easy and there is a very active steering group. Interventions are all placed around MST and there is a clear model of supervision and governance, this means that for every family there are clear objectives and desired outcomes. MST is about helping parents to take responsibility for their children and about promoting families skills. One issue has been about enabling the system to manage the cultural change and about managing demand.

Key findings

The project is now part of a randomised control study and there are very specific pre, during and post measurements. The research is ongoing. Locally we have evaluated the outcomes of approximately 48 young people so far. We are looking at benefits to the young people in terms of improvements in behaviour, days in school and reduction in crime. We are also looking at increases in prosocial activity. We are also looking at the benefits to services in terms of cost saving, staff time and number of meetings staff have to attend.

Key learning points

This is not an easy thing to try. The support of the national team and other local services has been essential. Other projects are always happy to share materials and advice. Multi-agency projects seem to do better and buy in throughout the organization is essential. Initially the project looks expensive and the system needs to understand this in terms of the real costs in managing complex cases via services as usual. There is a massive learning curve of MST staff in the first year and we noticed a tendency for professionals to send all of the most difficult cases immediately- this needs to be avoided and may result in a more negative view of the project than is true.

Contact details

Deborah Thorp
Head of Clinical Psychology Trafford CAMHS
Children and Young People's Service

Is the example industry-sponsored in any way?