Keeping Families Together

Thanks to the latest round of CashBack for Communities funding, over the next three years we will continue to work alongside Scotland’s four secure care centres to support young people and their families.

Family breakdown is by far the most immediate trigger for youth homelessness in Scotland, with poverty playing a key underlying role. Disproportionately, those with experience of homelessness, including a high percentage of Scotland’s prison population, will have had prior experience of the care system.

At any one time in Scotland, up to 78 young people can be in secure accommodation. The aim of such secure care centres is ‘to provide intensive support and safe boundaries to help these highly vulnerable children re-engage and move forward positively in their communities’.

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.

Cyrenians Mediation Support - Keeping Families Together: Mediation (

Our ‘Keeping Families Together’ project, launched in 2020, supports young people aged 12+ in secure accommodation and their families at the point of admission, and those who are in the process of returning home. Building on our award-winning ‘Amber’ model of mediation and support, we are offering 1-to-1 support from skilled mediators, practical support for each family member, and conflict resolution workshops. Through this we will help build positive relationships, promote better communication, and reduce the potential for future conflict and its further consequences.

Cyrenians Mediation Support - Keeping Families Together: Whole Family Support (

Cyrenians Mediation Support - Keeping Families Together: Family feedback from Amanda and Dylan - YouTube

“I feel like I can be honest with my mum. Sometimes I used to just try and cover it up and act as if everything was alright when everything was absolutely not. I can actually sit there and be honest with my mum. I never used to really cry in front of my mum. I used to just get angry and not show any emotion – it came out in a different way – but now I can sit down and maybe have a cry with my mum if something is wrong. I feel that I can be vulnerable with my mum because she understands me better now.” Young Person

Even if you are unsure if Mediation and Support is right for your family and the particular circumstances you are facing (or a family you are supporting), please do not hesitate to contact us at We are happy to answer your questions and see if we're the right fit.

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