Multidimensional family therapy


‘Multidimensional approach to behavioural problems of children and young people through the implementation of mdft programme’ project funded by 2014-2021 EEA financial mechanism ‘Health’ programme

On 24th February 2020, the Service and Public Institution Central Project Management Agency, together have signed a ‘Multidimensional Approach to Behavioural Problems of Children and Young People Through the Implementation of MDFT Programme’ project (hereinafter – the Project) implementation agreement, funded by 2014-2021 EEA financial mechanism programme ‘Health’ (code No: LT03-1-SADM-TF-001). 

What is MDFT?

Multidimensional family therapy programme (hereinafter – MDFT programme) is a comprehensive, family-oriented programme aimed at changing behaviour of children and youth, whose behaviour significantly deviates from customary cultural, ethical and age-appropriate norms, fails to be impacted by the general education environment, is socially unacceptable, delinquent, aggressive, provocative, linked to rapid swings in emotions, poor self-esteem.

Why is it important?

MDFT programme, created in USA and in the last decade rolled out in a few European countries, shall help establish and develop effective means of assistance to children and young people, who exhibit a complex deviant, delinquent, and unacceptable behaviour, which at this point in time may not have access to successful behaviour changing services, or services that are provided to them are insufficient to achieve positive results.

MDFT programme is known for:

1) positively changing socially unacceptable behaviour of a child or a young person, such as: regular running away from home, malevolent absenteeism from school, psychotropic substance abuse, criminal activities, and etc.;

2) it contributes towards improvement in child’s psychic health;

3) helps improve achievements at school and strengthens successful functioning of the entire family.

MDFT programme stands out because it works not only with a child or a young person concerned, but also with his or her immediate environment, which has a significant impact on child’s behaviour (parents and other members of the family, school, leisure, friends and peers, workplace and other external social network).

MDFT therapy aims to help 11-19 y.o. children and youth to completely change or at least reduce problematic behaviour, to solve related family and other problems that may encourage delinquency, to improve young person’s life in the family, in the neighbourhood, at school or at work, promote age-appropriate leisure activities and build healthy relationships with peers.

Briefly about the Project

Project goal – to test and adapt a Multidimensional Family Therapy programme in Lithuania.

Project tasks:

1. To introduce MDFT programme to local communities, including, local experts working in the area of child and family welfare;

2. To establish 3 MDFT teams (in Vilnius, Kaunas, and Klaipeda city municipalities) in Lithuania and prepare 21 specialists for work with children, youth, and their surrounding network;

3. To help no less than 63 children and (or) youth achieve successful significant changes in their behaviour;

4. To assist all 21 MDFT specialists, which have successfully participated in trainings, completed assignments, and passed exams, in obtaining personal MDFT therapist licences (levels I and II);

5. To learn about good practices of Norway, Estonia and the Netherlands in MDFT programme implementation, and apply this knowledge while implementing the programme in Lithuania.

Direct target groups of the Project:

1. Children and youth belonging to the 11-19 y.o. age group, which show socially unacceptable behaviour, may be inclined towards delinquency, have been diagnosed with behavioural and (or) emotional disorder, or are prone to other complicated behaviour;

2. Parents or other legal representatives of said children and (or) youth;

3. Specialists that shall take part in specialised MDFT trainings, study visits, conferences, and other events, which shall work with children, youth, their relatives and environment, under MDFT programme.

Project Partners:

Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania;

The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS).

Project duration – 2 years.

Project budget – 1 751 804,06 Eur

Financing source – 2014 -2021 EEA financial mechanism “Health” programme funds.

We believe that MDFT programme shall enable us to identify and prioritise other measures for achieving successful behaviour changes of children and young people, than punishment; to develop a flexible and specialised assistance to children and youth that suffer from serious behavioural issues; and achieve better results while working with these children and youngsters.

If You would like to find out more about MDFT programme and its origins, please, press here.

History of the family.

25th of March 2021 International online conference „Multidimensional family therapy programme implementation in Lithuania“. Video.

21st of April 2022 International online conference „Multidimensional family therapy programme implementation in Lithuania“. Video

16th of May 2023 online conference „Why is it so hard to love?“. Video.

Last updated: 30-08-2023