Mediation may take place between the young person and their parents, or anyone else who has been providing them with a home, or, more rarely, between the young person and the hostel or supported accommodation that has evicted them.
‘Mediation is a well-established process for resolving disagreements in which an impartial third party (the mediator) helps people in dispute to find a mutually acceptable resolution.’
If accessed early by a young homeless person it can minimise anxiety that may follow an estrangement from those that care for him or her. Sometimes the best than can be hoped for in the short term is that there is an agreement to keep communication open between the young person and parent or guardian. This can lead over time to building a different relationship that being apart has provided and then a foundation to begin building upon that relationship.
Homelessness for young people is complex area and each story is very individual . FMNI aims to maintain relationships by helping to reinstate a different mode of communication that may assist in greater understanding of how events unfolded and resulted in homelessness.
Mediation with young homeless people and their families should only be undertaken if the ‘Principles of Mediation’ can be adhered to, ( see About Us) and all parties involved understand the implications of carrying them through, and are committed.
Please contact the office and we will provide more information on this service.
The general main aims/outcomes of a successful mediation:
the young person and their family resolve their difficulties, leading to the young person either returning home or remaining at home
the young person and their family resolve their difficulties but decide that instead of the young person returning to the family home, they will live with other family or friends
the young person and their family resolve their difficulties, and the young person returns home with the aim of a planned move to alternative accommodation
Purpose of mediation
the young person and their family resolve their difficulties but decide that the young person cannot return home, even temporarily. The family agrees to support the young person in living independently
Mediation is not appropriate if:
the young person has stated that they are suffering from violence or abuse in the family home, or there is reason to suspect that this might be the case.
Screening for this is a normal part of the assessment undertaken before any referral for mediation is made