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Family Mediation and Homelessness Prevention. Sam Austin LLAMAU LTD. What is mediation?. Preventative service A way of resolving disputes Free and confidential service but we do pass on outcomes Impartial, non judgemental and independent

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Sam austin llamau ltd

Family Mediation





What is mediation
What is mediation?

  • Preventative service

  • A way of resolvingdisputes

  • Free and confidential service but we do pass on outcomes

  • Impartial, non judgemental and independent

  • Voluntary… but offered as only option in 1st instance

  • Promotion of service to parents and young people is key to success

  • Either party is free to stop the process at any time

How can mediation help homelessness prevention
How can Mediation help Homelessness Prevention?

  • Working with families as early as possible is essential i.e. ideally before they present in crisis

  • Mediation intervention has happen early on in the homelessness process

  • Mediation has to be the only option offered initially

Family mediation
Family Mediation

  • Developed in Wales as a response to lack of accommodation for 16/17 year olds and as a result of changes in priority need legislation

  • Primarily aimed at 16 & 17 year olds and their families

  • Now operating services to 14 & 15 year olds – makes big difference long term

  • One worker in Cardiff works specifically with over 18s

  • 7 Mediation workers – 6 LA areas in Wales

Family mediation services


  • to enable young person to return home

  • return home while planned move is facilitated

  • rebuild support links with family if cannot return home

Examples of when mediation can help
Examples of when mediation can help

  • Issues around parent’s new partner

  • Feels family has unrealistic expectations

  • ‘Problems’ at home because of young person’s behaviour e.g offending or substance misuse

  • Arguments about independence issues

  • Wants to leave home – educative role

  • Left home in crisis & wants to rebuild bridges

  • When a young person has been out of contact with their family e.g wants to see brothers, sisters, pets

The llamau mediation process
The Llamau Mediation Process

  • Family mediator sees all 16/17 year olds presenting as homeless

  • Estrangement is checked with all parents – phone / letter

  • Parents ‘encouraged’ to meet with mediator as soon as possible

  • Length of time varies per case

  • May trigger referrals to other agencies e.g child protection

How mediation works a reactive service
How Mediation works – a reactive service

  • Contact young person and arrange 1 to 1 meeting

  • Contact parent/s and arrange 1 to 1 meeting

  • Arrange joint session if both parties are in agreement

  • Further joint sessions if appropriate

  • An agreement is reached by both sides

  • Follow up calls to check on progress

  • Case closed if no further contact after 1 month.

  • This triggers survey to be sent out to all parties

  • NB Work flexibly, including out of hours or at weekends

Statistical information 05 06

Across all LA areas:

881 of new cases

54% average returned/remain at home rate

Torfaen: 69% Vale: 72% Caerphilly: 61%

Savings to B&B/TA budget …… ££££££

  • In 1 week – saved £68,220

  • In 4 weeks – saved £272,880

  • In 8 weeks – saved £545,760

  • In 12 weeks - £738,360

The key to success
The key to success…

  • Successful mediation services need to adapt to meet local need

  • Working protocols and operational procedures need to be in place and regularly reviewed

  • The voluntary sector aspect is important so that families will talk

  • As a voluntary organisation it is essential to build up trust with the local authority

  • Outcomes must be passed on to referring agency / homelessness