Cashback funding helps charity support vulnerable youngsters

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Cyrenians will work with Scotland’s five secure units in a bid to reduce youth homelessness. 

22nd January 2020 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

Homelessness charity Cyrenians will support more vulnerable young people in Scotland thanks to latest round of Cashback for Communities funding.

The charity will work with staff at Scotland’s five secure units to provide advice and support to youngsters aged 12 and over through its Keeping Families Together project.

This will include one-to-one support from skilled mediators, practical support for each family member and conflict resolution workshops.

At any one time in Scotland, 84 young people can be in secure accommodation, but until now there has been no national approach to offering the same level of support to young people and their families upon entering and leaving care across the five units.

Without support, the issues affecting families and young people – whether the impact of earlier ACEs (adverse childhood experiences), low income and related stresses – can be left unchecked, Cyrenians said. This can lead to devastating consequences for the young person, their families and the wider community.

Kerry Watson, service manager at Cyrenians, said: “Strong, positive relationships are essential to a person’s health and wellbeing, and that could not be truer for young people.

“At what can only be an enormously stressful and difficult period in a young person’s life, it is only right that both the young person and the rest of the family receive the support they need to maintain and rebuild those relationships, and for the young person, where possible, to return home to a positive environment.”

Ewan Aitken, the charity’s CEO, added: “A compassionate society ensures that everyone, no matter their background, has the opportunity to lead a valued and fulfilling life.

“It is a profound injustice that those who have had experience of institutional care are then more likely to have lower educational attainment, reduced employment prospects, and be more likely to find themselves without a home – whether that’s in the justice system, sofa-surfing, temporary accommodation, or sleeping rough.

“This is a shared responsibility for the whole of society. Our whole-systems approach promotes ways we can work with others to ensure we intervene early on, before costly, crisis-driven, remedial responses are needed down the line.”