Reconnect will use a young person-focused approach to improve communication, mutual understanding and respect between young people and their families, thereby strengthening relationships. When accessing Reconnect, young people and family members will receive support from an accredited Mediator.

They will offer a number of individual and joint sessions to explore issues from each party’s point of view, and bring families together to reach an agreement on how they want to move forward in their relationship. The ultimate aim will be to help young people stay in, or return to, the family home. When this is not appropriate or in the best interest of the young person, Depaul will help young people to rebuild the support networks that will be vital to successful independent living.

The project works with young people (11-25 years old) who are at risk of, or experiencing homelessness due to family problems. The service also works directly with the parents and carers of these young people.

David Batchelor, Depaul, UK’s Prevention Manager said: “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.”