New service to help curb youth homelessness

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Homelessness charity the Cyrenians is setting up a major new national service in a bid to reduce the number of young Scots that become homeless each year, currently around 6,000.

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3rd April 2014 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

The charity has been awarded £500,000 to set up the Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution (SCCR), which will employ five full-time people and promote mediation as a way to stop relationships spiralling out of control.

It comes as new research shows 61% of young people say arguments happen at home at least once and week and one in four think about leaving home at least monthly.

Diane Marr, development manager at Edinburgh Cyrenians, said: “If we can improve relationships, we can improve lives. Every year nearly 6,000 young people – the equivalent of four medium-sized high schools – end up being thrown out, or being asked to leave, or at worst, running away from home.

We know talking is the super glue of family life. Mediation has been a major part of keeping families together and stopping youngsters becoming homeless - Diane Marr

Diane Marr, development manager at Edinburgh Cyrenians, said: “If we can improve relationships, we can improve lives. Every year nearly 6,000 young people – the equivalent of four medium-sized high schools – end up being thrown out, or being asked to leave, or at worst, running away from home.

“We know talking is the superglue of family life. Mediation has been a major part of keeping families together and stopping youngsters becoming homeless but research showed that it’s often not available early enough; or that families don’t know where to turn for help.”

The service will kick off with a national awareness raising campaign. It will also run a series of conferences, seminars and training events across Scotland as well as develop an interactive website. 

Minister for children and young people Aileen Campbell said: “Early intervention is critical in helping keep families together, supporting young people and their loved ones and ultimately improving their life chances.

“The third sector has a significant role to play in realising our ambition to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up and the SCCR is a practical example of how that can happen.”