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National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

The My Strengths Training for Life™ program: Rationale, logic model, and description of a strengths-based intervention for young people experiencing homelessness.

Cumming, J., Whiting, R., Parry, B.J., Clarke, F.J., J.G. Holland, M., Cooley, S. J., & Quinton, M.L.
Type new
Journal Article
Year published new
Journal Name

Evaluation and Program Planning

Volume new

Traditionally, UK housing services have focused on providing temporary accommodation, identifying risk factors, and preventing negative outcomes to young people experiencing homelessness. However, deficit approaches may lead young people to becoming dependent on services and face greater marginalization and stigmatization. Meeting long-standing calls to focus more on young people’s positive attributes and abilities, the My Strengths Training for Life™ (MST4Life™) program was developed as a community partnership with a large housing service. This paper describes the rationale, logic model, and content of the MST4Life™ program using the TIDieR (Template for Intervention Description and Replication) checklist. MST4Life™ is a strengths-based and experiential psychoeducation intervention for young people aged 16–24 years who are homeless or at risk. Grounded in positive youth development and basic psychological needs theory, its aim is to provide meaningful opportunities for participants to recognize, use, and further develop their mental skills and strengths. In turn, enhancing intentional self-regulation is expected to improve physical, mental, and social health and wellbeing, and support positive transitions to independent living. The potential long-term impacts include a reduction in the number of young people returning as homeless, lower rates of mental illness and mortality, and a cost saving to the public purse.