Who is the Family Mediation service for?
Anyone aged from 16 to 25.
"They were there when I really needed them, when things got really bad. They didn't judge me or tell me what to do, they heped me to think through. They would have got me a bed if I did (leave home). But I have managed to stay and look after my mum and get my own life and career going."
St Basils Family Mediation is a service for young people aged 16 to 25 and provides a resource that supports all the accommodation projects across our networks. In addition our Family Mediation staff team works directly with young people referred to us by outside agencies, such as Childrens Services and youth agencies, seeking to prevent young people from becoming homeless. Increasingly we are working within schools and supporting some young people and children under the ages of 16 to resolve family conflict.
Some young people are referred to us for accommodation but when faced with the limited options available to them they may express a real desire to stay at home but need support to talk to their parents, this is where Family Mediation has a role to play.
Others may be in emergency or supported accommodation and through their key worker sessions at some point may have identified a need or desire to re-establish relations with family members. Family mediation staff work closely with all parties to engage them with each other so that the young people can grow their own support networks.
Discussion and negotiation.
The core of the work is about developing a relationship with the young person and enabling him or her to articulate the problems they have to deal with in their everyday lives. We keep a clear focus on the young persons long term needs and at the same time make sure that all parties understand that we will completely avoid taking sides . This is very different to other forms of mediation.
Once we have got a clear picture with the young person we can begin to open dialogue with parents and or other family members. Staff spend time with the young person and assess the best way forward. This could be arranging a family meeting to take place or engaging with other family members who can act in support of the young person.
Our aim is to ensure that the young person is heard and taken seriously by family members. This can be the first step towards them being able to hear what other people are saying, replacing shouting and destructive communication, resulting in discussion and negotiation.
Need for change
For Family Mediation to work, all parties involved have to want to change and do things differently. Parents and other family have to be at least willing to try family mediation for it to work.
Within the Family Mediation Team there are workers who are specifically funded to work in families where substance misuse is one of the causes of family breakdown.
To make a referral for the Family Mediation service, please download the Family Mediation Referral Form 2013