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Llamau Family Mediation Service

An established charity with projects across Wales, Llamau has been working for over 26 years, to offer support, help, accommodation and housing advice to homeless and vulnerable young people and women in Wales. 

Llamau's Family Mediation Service won the Homelessness Prevention category at the 2015 Promoting Independence Awards.

Llamau's Family Mediation Service works across a number of local authorities in Wales, providing mediation support to families where a young person has been asked, or is at risk of being asked, to leave the family home.

Mediation workers work with both the young person and their family to understand the root of the problem and to help young people and their families see things from each other's point of view. This opens up the opportunity for dialogue and begins to point to a way forward which will enable a young person to either remain at or return home. The aim is to resolve the issues creating conflict within the family and provide the family members with tools for future resolution. The mediator will also recognise other issues affecting the family and signpost them to appropriate services.

Young people are at the heart of the delivery of Llamau's mediation service. The focus on young people ensures that their views and needs are focussed on when advocating for a resolution to the family's problem.

The mediation services are built from an understanding that the best place for a young person, in most cases, is back home with their family. However, for some young people, home is simply not safe or appropriate. In this instance, mediators will support a safe, planned exit to appropriate supported accommodation, helping where possible to maintain family relationships.

The Family Mediation Service is customised in each local authority area to meet the particular needs of the local population. Furthermore the delivery of the service is tailored to the needs of each specific family. Mediators will work in to the evenings and at weekends where necessary, and there is no set number of sessions or time limit on a family's engagement with the service – the number of sessions and timescale is determined by the needs of each individual family.

In many local authorities across Wales, the service plays an invaluable role in housing and homelessness departments. As Llamau Family Mediation workers are embedded in local authority structures, the close working relationships they have developed with other professionals in homelessness teams allows for a seamless service for a young person, and gives them access to a range of options in order to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Last year, Llamau's family mediation service worked with 901 young people across Wales. Of those 901 people, 648 of them were able to return home, a success rate of 72%. Llamau estimates that this has directly saved the public purse over £8million.

Alison's story

When 17-year-old Alison's older brother took his own life while in prison, Alison and her family were understandably devastated, and struggled to come to terms with their sudden, tragic and very unexpected loss.

Alison found coping with the sudden death of her brother unbearable. Her mum was struggling too. They argued all the time and Alison was asked to leave. Alison's local homelessness department referred her to Llamau's Family Mediation Service to see if she and her mum could resolve their issues.

Over time, Llamau helped Alison and her mum understand each other's feelings and gave them the skills to communicate more positively. Although things at home got better, Alison continued to struggle with her feelings, drinking heavily and dropping out of her training placement. She hated being surrounded by memories of her brother in the home they'd once shared. Her mum got back in touch with Llamau and her Family Mediation worker helped gather evidence to support their application for new accommodation. They were successful and Alison was so relieved to be able to move somewhere new. Things aren't perfect but they're getting better and Alison is at last looking forward to her future.

Without Llamau's Family Mediation Service, Alison would almost certainly have been homeless, vulnerable and alone. Instead, she's at home with her family, making plans for her future.

 

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    © Cymorth Cymru 2019 | Company Registration No: 5093332 | Charity No: 1116774
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    © Cymorth Cymru 2019
    Company Registration No: 5093332
    Charity No: 1116774