Mediation may help if you’re a young person having problems living with your parents or other relatives.
What is mediation?
A mediator is an independent person who helps you and your family to sort out your problems by encouraging you to talk honestly with each other.
You and your parents or carers will usually be asked to attend meetings where your problems can be discussed.
You should have the choice of attending these sessions separately to your family if you need to. The mediator may also spend time with you before meeting your parents or carers.
Both you and your family will have to agree to participate in mediation before it can go ahead.
Mediation is not a suitable option if someone in your home has been violent or abusive towards you.
How to find a mediator
The social services department at your local council could help you to arrange mediation – find out how to get in touch with them on GOV.UK.
Some mediation services are free, but make sure you’re aware of any costs involved before deciding to take part.
Mediation if you’re facing homelessness
You can make a homelessness application to the council’s housing department if you’ve already left home and are homeless or if your family are asking you to leave in the next 8 weeks.
If you’re under 18, you’ll normally be referred to social services and encouraged to try mediation with your family.
As long as you’re not at risk of violence or abuse, your parents or carers may be asked to let you return home if you all agree to mediation.
The council may have to accommodate you while the mediation is taking place, especially if your parents or carers agree to mediation but won’t allow you to return home until afterwards.
What happens after mediation
It could take several sessions of mediation to come to an agreement about what action should be taken. Once the process has been completed, your next steps may be put in writing for both you and family.
You might be able to continue living at home or go back there if you have already moved out.
Alternatively, it might be agreed that you should return home temporarily to give you time to find somewhere else to live.
If you asked the council for help as homeless, they should give you a personal housing plan containing steps you can take to find a place.
You could have further mediation sessions if things don’t work out or if your circumstances change.
If the difficulties can’t be resolved, get more information about what you should consider before deciding to leave home.
You can also get help from a Shelter adviser by phone, online or face to face.
Last updated 31 Jul 2018 | © Shelter
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