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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Specialist therapy service’s future uncertain pending funding decision

Service helps troubled families in city

The future of a specialist therapy service for troubled families remains undecided as the council awaits the outcome of a funding bid.

The council planned to axe its Multi-Systemic Therapy Child Abuse and Neglect (MST-CAN) team as part of multi-million pound budget cuts.

The service provides intensive therapy over six to nine months for families with child protection concerns, also addressing trauma and substance misuse issues.

Fears were raised that scrapping MST-CAN, a move which would save £330,000, would lead to more children ending up in the care system.

Leeds City Council said it worked with MST UK, which provides training for specialist therapy teams, to find alternative funding for the service.

A council spokesperson said: “In the context of the extreme financial pressures the council faces, we are having to consider a number of difficult decisions.

“However in the case of MST-CAN we have actively sought out a possible funding opportunity, working with MST UK.”

MST-CAN in Leeds had the equivalent of 5.2 full-time staff, who were still being consulted on the future of the service.

The spokesperson added: “MST UK, the national lead for multi systemic therapy programmes, have submitted a bid for money on behalf of a number of local authority programmes, Leeds being one of them.

“We are still awaiting the outcome of this bid, and are currently in a period of staff engagement that will help inform our decision on the future of the programme.”

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