Multidimensional treatment foster care (MTFC) for conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)

Insufficient evidence – there is a small amount of evidence for young people aged 11-17 with unclear conclusions.

Multidimensional treatment foster care was developed in the USA to treat children and young people who had conduct disorder and were being looked after by social care services. This is not recommended as a general treatment for conduct disorder.

MTFC involves a multi-disciplinary team offering support to a young person, who will try to support you to make positive changes to your behaviour through positive role models. You will live with a specially trained foster family for 9-12 months and be offered intensive support that is tailored to your needs. You may also be offered family therapy to help with your transition home.

Research in the UK has found that a small number of children and young people may benefit, but most children and young people could experience little benefit, while for some their problems could increase. Currently it is not usually offered to children and young people with a conduct disorder who are being looked after by social care services, but only offered to young people with severe antisocial behaviour. For other children and young people who have oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder, ordinary foster care with support will usually be suggested.

Treatments outlined on these webpages may not be available in every local area. It’s important that you discuss with your GP or mental health professional the treatment options available to you. You can also search for services near you on our Youth Wellbeing Directory and find out more about referral processes here.


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