Multi-Systemic Therapy

Multi-Systemic Therapy for Problem Sexual Behaviors

​PAX Good Behavior Game
Incredible Years Series Small Group Therapy
Aggression Replacement Training
​Healthy Families Dauphin County

Communities That Care (CTC)


MST is a comprehensive treatment program designed to serve multi-problem youth in their community. It’s a family focused and community based treatment program for youth with serious emotional problems, truancy and academic problems such as serious disrespect, violation of rules, aggression, criminal behavior, drug and alcohol problems, running away, and opposition and impulsive behaviors.

Who should receive MST? MST is effective in helping youth with chronic, violent, delinquent behavior and youth with serious emotional problems, including: truancy and academic problems, serious disrespect, disobedience and violation of rules, aggressive behavior (fighting and property destruction), criminal behavior, drug and alcohol problems, running away, oppositional and impulsive behaviors

Referrals for MST services: Priority indicators: Youth 12-17 years old, involved in multiple systems, history of ineffective treatment, history of drug use/abuse or mental health concerns, involvement in criminal or delinquent behavior, youth returning home from placement, youth at imminent risk of out-of-home placement due to physical or verbal aggression at home, school, or in the community, substance abuse in home or school contexts, oppostional and impulsive behaviors, ongoing non-compliance

What makes MST work? MST targets the known causes of problem youth behavior by focusing on family relationships, school performance, peer relationships, and the youth's neighborhood and community.  MST interventions focus on key aspects of these areas in each youth's life.  All interventions are designed in full collaboration with family members and key figures in each area of the child's life - parents or legal guardians, school teachers and principals, peers, and the community.
What does MST do? ​Complete functional assessment of youth in the context of their family, school, and community, seeks to understand the "fit" between the child's problems and the factors which contribute to them, develops treatment based on "fit" factors, focuses on helping parents learn skills to solve problems while building supportive social networks, empowers parents to address the needs of the youth more effectively, emphasizes long-term change that families can maintain after the program Awards: 2007 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services SAMHSA Service and Science Award, International Sustained Excellence Award for Therapist Adherence (3 time recipient), International Sustained Excellence Award for Team Adherence, International Outstanding Supervisor Team Adherence Award

Multi-Systemic Therapy for Problem Sexual Behaviors (MST-PSB)

Multisystemic Therapy for youth with Problem Sexual Behaviors (MST-PSB) is a clinical adaptation of traditional MST that has been specifically designed and developed to treat youth (and their families) for problematic sexual behavior. Building upon the research of standard MST, the MST-PSB model represents a state-of-the-art, evidence-based practice uniquely developed to address the multiple determinants underlying problematic juvenile sexual behavior.  MST-PSB is the only treatment for PSB included in the SAMHSA National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices.

What about Safety? Ensuring client, victim, and community safety is a paramount mission of the model. Extensive assessment and planning underlie the individualized safety plan of each youth and family.  Treatment commonly incorporates intensive family therapy, parent training, cognitive-behavioral therapy, skills building, school and other community system interventions, and clarification work.  
​Who is the target population? Youth between the ages of 11-17 who are involved with Juvenile Probation or Children and Youth

Referral behaviors can include but are not limited to: Aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, criminal sexual abuse, other sexual offenses (i.e. sexual exploitation), sexual offenses that were pled down to nonsexual offense. 

HBH ended MST-PSB effective 1/31/16.


The PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) Curriculum, a blueprint model, is a comprehensive program for promoting emotional and social competencies and reducing aggression and behavior problems in elementary school-aged children while simultaneously enhancing the educational process in the classroom. This innovative curriculum is designed to be used by educators and counselors in a multi-year, universal prevention model.  Although primarily focused on the school and classroom settings, information and activities are also included for use with parents.

Interventions are geared toward enhancing social and emotional competence in children. The specific intervention goals focus on increasing self-control, personal responsibility, and self-esteem.  PATHS also focuses on setting goals, increasing logical reasoning and problem solving, and getting along with others.

The PAX Good Behavior Game is a
scientifically proven classroom based prevention and intervention game. Numerous research studies have shown that this game decreases discipline problems, increases student learning, and reduces substance abuse, aggression, and other delinquent behaviors later in life.

The Incredible Years Series is an evidence-based approach to dealing with conduct problems that directly teaches children in social skills, problem solving, and anger management. An approach that address the complex interplay of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors at a strategic time to intervene directly with children who display early on-set conduct problems before negative behaviors become a li
fe-long pattern, can help children develop effective social repertoires.

These newly acquired skills allow formerly conduct disordered children to be effective, develop healthy peer relationships, and do well in school.

The parenting program is recommended by the American Psychological Association Task Force as meeting the stringent criteria for empirically supported mental health interventions for children with conduct problems. The Incredible Years series is an evidence-based intervention recognized through the Blueprints for Violence Prevention and SAMHSA model programs.

Programs for children ages 3-11:
- Emotional literacy
- Empathy Perspective talking
- Friendship and communication skills
- Anger management
- Interpersonal problem solving
- School rules
​- How to be successful at school

Programs for Parents:

- Positive nurturing parenting

- Reducing critical and ineffective discipline

- Problem solving

- Anger management and communication skills

- Family support and school involvement

- Collaboration with schools

- Increased involvement with academic related activities at home

Incredible Years series is a cost-effective, time-limited proven program for young children with early on-set conduct problems.

Aggression Replacement Training® (ART®) is a cognitive behavioral intervention program to help children and adolescents improve social skill competence and moral reasoning, better manage anger, and reduce aggressive behavior. The program specifically targets chronically aggressive children and adolescents.  ART® has been implemented in schools and juvenile delinquency programs across the United States and throughout the world.

The program consists of 10 weeks (30 sessions) of intervention training, and is divided into three components—social skills training, anger-control training, and training in moral reasoning.  Clients attend a one-hour session in each of these components each week. Incremental learning, reinforcement techniques, and guided group discussions enhance skill acquisition and reinforce the lessons in the curriculum.


Who is Eligible: First-time pregnant women living in the Harrisburg area are offered the opportunity to have their own bilingual, bicultural social worker with specialized training in prenatal and early childhood education.  Healthy Families Dauphin County is both free and voluntary.

What does the Home Visitor Do: Home Visitors assist a pregnant woman and her family with many issues that may include: 
-Providing the mother with information that will lead to a successful pregnancy and delivery. -Encouraging the mother to talk about her hopes, fears, stressors, and future plans. -Helping the mother find necessary resources. -Teaching the mother about the care, development, health and safety of infants and toddlers. -Teaching the mother to engage in activities that help her baby grow and develop. -Performing ongoing screenings that can let everyone know if there are matters that needs special attention or referrals.

First-time pregnant women living in the Harrisburg area are offered the opportunity to have their own bilingual, bicultural, social worker with specialized training in prenatal and early childhood education. Health Families Dauphin County is both free and voluntary.Home Visitors assist a pregnant woman and her family with many issues that may include:

How Do I Get a Woman Involved in This Program:If you know someone who would be interested, you can contact us directly by calling
717-221-8004 or by fax, 717-221-8006.  We will get a referral form to you to complete.  Please contact us as early as possible in the woman's pregnancy.  Once we receive a referral form, we will contact you to let you know if the woman you referred is eligible and if we have an opening in our program.  We will then contact the pregnant woman and discuss the program with her.  If she is interested, we will schedule the first home visit.

If I am Pregnant, How Can I Get Involved:

If you are a pregnant woman, you can contact us directly by calling us at 717-221-8004.

Communities That Care (CTC)

Communities That Care (CTC) is an "operating system" that takes communities through a well-defined and structured process to prevent adolescent problem behaviors and promote positive youth development. CTC communities form a broad-based coalition and then collect local data on risk and protective factors shown by research to be associated with delinquency, violence, substance use, and school failure and dropout. After collecting this data the communities identifies 3-5 specific risk and protective factors to focus on, and then seeks evidence-based programs and strategies to address those priorities. After 2-3 years of implementing these strategies, the community re-assesses their risk and protective factors to measure impact and identify new emerging priorities.

The PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) has supported CTC for over a decade, have trained over 100 communities in the model. There are currently more than 60 active CTC coalitions across the Commonwealth. Research studies both in Pennsylvania and nationally have demonstrated CTC is effectively creating population-level public health improvement, reducing delinquency and youth drug use, and improving academic achievement for youth in these communities.

CTC Development and History
The Communities That Care (CTC) model was originally developed by Drs. David Hawkins and Richard Catalano of the University of Washington. It was based on the aggregate review of decades of etiological research aimed at identifying specific factors that were associated with either promoting or preventing adolescent problem behaviors (delinquency, substance use, violence, school failure, and teen pregnancy and high-risk sexual behavior). Looking across many large studies, Hawkins and Catalano developed a matrix of risk factors and their associated problem behaviors. This was the beginning of the application of a risk-focused public health approach to prevention and positive youth development.

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