Family Mediation

Our Family Mediation service is highly effective in helping young people to mend relationships with immediate or extended family.

Often this support is enough to prevent homelessness and works to restore communication and understanding between family members, enabling the young person to return home (where possible).

You can watch a short film clip about our Family Mediation service here:

What is Mediation?

Mediation is an effective method of resolving disputes through the involvement of an independent third party, the mediator, who will work to help people to agree a solution. The mediator helps all those concerned to work out what their issues and options are, then use those options to reach a mutual agreement.

Why Mediation?

Families and those close to us are supposed to be caring and loving towards one another, however it can also be normal for families to not get along with each other sometimes. Every family has problems from time to time, even if they are usually happy and don't often argue. When these difficulties grow so severe that the young person or another family member feels unhappy or unable to stay at home, the consequences can be drastic.

Mediation can very often help to repair damaged relationships and assist in re-establishing the support young people so desperately need, whether they return to their original home or find a different one.

Did you know?

That relationship breakdown is the largest cause of youth homelessness and mediation addresses this cause directly.

At each of the three stages of prevention (early intervention, pre-crisis and prevention of reoccurring homelessness), mediation has been proven as an appropriate and effective intervention;

Both the structure of families, relationships and the nature of adolescence are changing in a way that is likely to increase conflict around accommodation. Mediation is a unique and highly effective way of working with families or friends in conflict.

Outcomes of this project per year are:

  • 156 Young people engaged over the year (based on training 13 step workers in family mediation)
  • 312 Family members engaged (based on an average of 2 family members per case)
  • 95% of case referrals to the programme in which homelessness is avoided
  • 85% of cases in which participants report improved relationships
  • 70% of young people in the programme continuing/accessing employment, training, volunteering or entrepreneurial opportunities

"If this service had not been available then my son may have found himself on the streets, homeless" ~ Parent

Mediation can also help to resolve disputes in any of the following situations...

  • Family breakdown
  • Sibling rivalry
  • Boundaries at home, e.g chores or curfews
  • School, college, employment or training
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Neighbours
  • Landlords
  • Cultural differences
  • Problems with drugs and alcohol
  • Domestic violence

How does it work?

Step By Step mediators are skilled at creating an environment which enables all those involved to express their views freely, whilst encouraging listening without interruption.

Initially, the mediator will hold separate sessions with the parties, to understand the points of conflict and explain the mediation process so that everyone knows what to expect. If both parties agree, joint sessions will be arranged with a focus on the individual's interest and change.

The responsibility for making any decisions always remains entirely with the people involved. The mediator will not take sides, judge or apportion blame.

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