What is the Youth Mediation Service?
Focus Ireland has been operating a mediation service in Dublin on behalf of Tusla since 2017. It is a homeless prevention service aimed at young people under 18, whose relationships with their carers are in danger of breaking down. The service also works with young people who are already in care placements but where these placements are at risk due to relationship problems.
What does it provide?
Primarily, the service aims at preventing crisis situations developing or escalating. It aims to prevent situations where a young person is asked to leave the family home, or threatens to leave in response to an argument or, in the case of out-of-home placements, where such a placement is in jeopardy.
Professionally qualified mediators guide young people and their parents or carers through a process of reconciliation, which empowers and supports the participants to utilise their personal traits and skills in resolving conflict and agreeing solutions. It helps repair damaged relationships and supports young people and their carers to understand each other better and avoid conflicts arising in future. The same approach can also be used with young people and their alternative care-givers in the context of State care, where placements are at risk of breaking down.