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Multidisciplinary Team Home Run Program

Ages 0-17

Rating: Level 3


Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) Home Run Program is a wraparound or case management program that is designed to holistically diagnose a juvenile’s problems and then provide intensive treatment to the juvenile and his or her family. The philosophical underpinning of the program is that information sharing and joint service planning among a coordinated team of professionals from social services, mental health, public health, probation, and the community would serve youths better than any of these agencies individually. The treatment planning process incorporates not only the specific client needs but also family, school, and other relevant aspects of the youth’s life. The treatment plan is developed by concentrating on specific problems, possible solutions, strengths of the juvenile and the family, and goals to be met during the treatment phase. The program targets first-time offenders 17 or younger who are at risk for becoming involved in serious crime, including gang activity.

The MDT Home Run Program consists of five teams located throughout San Bernardino County, Calif. Each team has a probation officer, a public health nurse, a licensed clinical therapist, a social services practitioner, volunteers, and others as dictated by client need. The teams implement a case management protocol in which high-risk juvenile probationers are diagnosed through the use of a risk assessment instrument that examines the juvenile’s social functioning, which includes factors such as crime at an early age, disrupted families, school failure, drug and alcohol abuse, and association with other delinquent youths. The team then provides direct service and service referrals relevant to each team member’s professional experience. Interventions include elements of restorative justice, such as victim restitution, community services, and traditional treatment modalities such as counseling and group therapy.


This research on MDT Home Run Program is based on a larger study that randomly designated juveniles into a treatment group or a control group. This study, however, concentrates only on those juveniles who participated in the program. The purpose of this study was to compare the outcomes of gang-affiliated juveniles and nongang juveniles who both participated in the MDT Home Run Program. The sample included 145 juveniles identified as gang members and 137 nongang members. The average age of the juveniles in each group was slightly more than 15 years old, and roughly 60 percent of both groups were male. More than 70 percent of the juveniles in the gang member group were Hispanic. Nearly half of the juveniles in the nongang group were white. The data was collected from various sources: interviews with the juvenile, interviews with family members, the San Bernardino County Probation Department, and school officials.


The results of the evaluation suggest that 6 months after participating in the MDT Home Run Program, regardless of involvement in or identification with gang activities, the participating juveniles had benefited from the program. Gang and nongang members both revealed significant improvements in such school factors as increased grade point average, lower number of classes missed, and reduced number of suspensions. Both groups also reported improvements in family functioning and decreases in alcohol and substance abuse (although juveniles in the gang group reported more problems than the nongang at both the pretest and posttest). Finally, there also were improvements for both gang and nongang members concerning subsequent delinquent activity.


Schram, Pamela J., and Larry K. Gaines. 2005. “Examining Delinquent Nongang Members and Delinquent Gang Members: A Comparison of Juvenile Probationers at Intake and Outcomes.” Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice 3(2):99–115.