The Bail Supervision Scheme (BSS) offers courts an alternative option to detaining a young person who comes before them by offering them the possibility of granting bail with intensive supervision. 

By reducing the need for remand places, this also provides an opportunity to focus on developing successful community resources designed to prevent young people being detained in a youth justice facility and preventing them from entering further down the path of criminality.

Multisystemic Therapy (MST)

Central to the delivery of the BSS is the use of the Multisystemic Therapy (MST) model. First implemented by Extern in 2001, this evidence-based model of intervention is family-based, and seeks to change how young people function in their natural ecology (home, school and community), in ways that promote positive social behaviour, while at the same time reducing levels of anti-social behaviour.

The delivery of MST is typically home-based, and therapists have small caseloads of four to six families which enable them to work intensively with each family, typically over a three to five month period.

The therapists’ working hours are flexible, ensuring they are available to families when they need them, and families are able to access support 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the ‘on-call’ system.

Girl staring out at a road

The MST therapist consults with and coaches parents and carers on strategies that enable them to set and enforce appropriate rules and expectations, decrease the young person’s involvement with negative peers, promote association with positive peers and involvement with pro-social activities.

BSS staff liaise with agencies including An Garda Síochána, Oberstown Campus Detention Centre (OCDC), and Young Persons Probation (YPP), as well as through meetings with the judge and staff in the Dublin District Children’s Court in Smithfield (Court 55), Cork and Limerick,  as well as those involved in both defence and prosecution legal teams.

They also liaise with a wide number of agencies within the ecology of the young people on the programme, including:

  • educational establishments
  • youth groups
  • community groups
  • local sports groups

Of the 19 BSS cases which were closed during 2018, 16 were given the opportunity of completing MST treatment, each on average lasting four to five months.

Of the cases completing treatment in 2018, 58% of the young people had returned to school and had good attendance and behaviour, 68.75% showed evidence of minimal involvement with negative peers and 87.5% of parents reported improved family relations.

LOCATION: Dublin, Cork and Limerick

SUPPORTING: Young People & Families

HOW DO I ACCESS THIS SERVICE? Referrals can be made through the Courts Service of Ireland


Kevina Maddick,

Unit 6 and 10 Ballyboggan Business Centre
Dublin 11.

Tel: +353 (0)1 563 9402

Email: [email protected]


Janice Hickey

BSS Cork

3F North Point House

North Point Business Park

New Mallow Road


Email: [email protected]

Tel: 086 0756 456


Michelle Kennedy

BSS Limerick

The Old Creamery


Co. Limerick

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 086 386 0763