We focus on mediation as a key area of prevention work because we know that relationship breakdown can result in people becoming homeless. Our mediation services can bring families, carers, couples and housemates back together, improve lines of communication and ultimately prevent homelessness.

Dave has been working as a Mediator for Depaul UK for more than ten years. He says: “There’s no typical family and no typical situation, but a common situation is that a young person is removing themselves from a conflict, either by staying out really late or by staying away from their parents’ house.

“In their head, if they’re not face to face with that conflict, it’s not a conflict, it’s not a problem. Whereas on the other side the parent doesn’t know where they are and is worried about them. Inevitably they come together at some point, things kick off and the young person leaves or is threatening to leave.”

Most of the mediation work that Depaul UK carries out is with young people in conflict with their parents.

Dave says: “I talk about family conflict like a coke bottle that’s been shaken up. The pressure builds, and eventually it can spill over and makes a mess. Instead of an explosion, the use of mediation allows some of the conflict to be poured away, releasing the pressure and enabling each party to understand themselves and each other better. Situations will still cause a fizz but one which is more manageable.”

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