St Basils has had a Family Mediation service in the Borough of Sandwell for the last 5 years. Statistics have shown that Family Conflict is the biggest cause of youth homelessness. This service aims to work with young people aged 16 – 25 and their families to restore effective communication between young people and their parents or carers, to intervene in any conflict, calm the situation and try to find a mutually agreed resolution, in order to prevent young people leaving the family home in an unplanned way.
This month, in partnership with Sandwell Homes, St Basils is launching a pilot to take the Family Mediation service into Secondary schools in Sandwell, to engage with the slightly younger age group of 14 and 15 year olds.
St Basils staff will raise awareness of the service through participating in school assemblies. Young people and parents will be able to access the Family Mediation service through monthly surgeries held at the schools. Subject to funding it is hoped that in time the service can be expanded to cover all Secondary schools within Sandwell.
The scheme has been welcomed by Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy. Deniece Gabriel (Second from right) who is Extended Learning and Community Services Director at OSCA said the Academy was ‘delighted’ to be working with the partnership and commented; “The catchment area for our pupils includes areas of high deprivation and we know that issues at home all too easily impact on pupils at school.”
Debbie Taylor, Co-ordinator for St Basils Sandwell Prevention services, (far left) said; “What we have seen in our work to prevent youth homelessness is that early intervention is essential, so this scheme which reaches out to a younger age group and raises awareness of our services from an early age will really help to ensure we can support young people and their families before they reach a crisis point”.
Added November 2011