Boys & Girls Village received a $435,000 annualized grant from the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) to support delivery of an intensive home-based services program entitled Multisystemic Therapy - Building Stronger Families (MST-BSF).
The program will treat families that are active cases within DCF where there is physical abuse and/or neglect of a child in the family plus substance misuse by at least one caregiver. A two-year pilot study of the program showed significant success, and a large-scale clinical trial of MST-BSF was completed earlier this year in upstate Connecticut.
“We are grateful to have the Department of Children and Families’ support as we bring this important new program to Fairfield County,” said Dr. Steven Kant, CEO of Boys & Girls Village. “The interventions provided by our experienced clinical team will comprehensively address the factors that contribute to child maltreatment as well as substance use, creating stronger, healthier families in our area.”
At Boys & Girls Village, the grant will support a team consisting of three full-time master’s level Clinicians, one full-time Case Manager, one full-time MST-BSF Clinical Supervisor and one part-time APRN. The team is expected to serve 21 families annually, each receiving intensive treatment services several times each week for an average of six to nine months.
In 2003, Connecticut DCF began work to increase services for families engaging in abuse or neglect of a child in the family plus parental substance misuse. DCF brought together faculty at the Medical University of South Carolina and Johns Hopkins University to develop the MST-BSF model.
Results from the two-year pilot study showed substantial improvements. Among families that received MST-BSF, parents showed significant decreases in substance use, depression, and psychological aggression towards the child, while youth showed significant decreases in anxiety. Twenty-four months post-referral, MST-BSF parents were three times less likely to have a substantiated new incident of abuse or neglect, and half as many youth required placement out of the home.