The initiative, which is receiving £250,000 funding from the Department for Education (DfE), aims to shatter the cycle some young people find themselves in of crime and anti-social behaviour, by keeping them in school or at home and away from trouble.
The service will focus on 11 – 17 year olds who have serious issues with criminal or aggressive behaviour, alcohol or drug problems, absconding from home, truancy from school and other concerning behaviours such as self-harm.
Trained therapists will be available for families to contact 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They will each handle a small number of cases, but will be able to provide intensive support around the clock.
This pioneering therapy technique has been found to help reduce the number of young people having to go into care by up to 64 per cent and has assisted in bringing arrest rates down by as much as 70 per cent.
Councillor Rhoda Bailey, a cabinet support member for children and families at Cheshire East Council is extremely positive about the scheme, saying, “The number of young people who will benefit from this service will be relatively small. The greater significance of multi-systematic therapy is the change of approach from providing emergency intervention when people hit crisis point to community-based intervention and supervision. It will provide a useful model for agencies in Cheshire who will be able to learn from the approach and incorporate it into the way they work.”
View the original Middlewich Guardian article here.