Woman resting

After 21-year-old Mandy and her toddler son Jack became homeless they were accepted as clients of the Hope Street Crisis Accommodation Program, a part of the Youth Residential and Outreach Program, and they moved into the Hope Street Family Unit. Mandy’s case manager linked her in with the Youth Reconciliation Program (YRP) which provides one-on-one counselling support and family mediation to Hope Street clients. Mandy attended two one-on-one counselling sessions and then indicated that she would like family mediation with her mother, as she felt her mother did not understand her.

Mandy and her mother participated in Family Mediation with the YRP worker, which lead to a mutual agreement about how they would behave with each other in the future, including concrete actions they would take to improve their relationship. Mandy said she felt like a 'weight was lifted from her shoulders' after mediation, as she said she had not felt 'heard' before. Both Mandy and her mother felt that they had communicated more effectively than they had before mediation, and they both felt they had a better understanding of each other and that they would honour their agreement with each other. Mandy had subsequent one-on-one counselling sessions with the YRP worker, with a focus on developing self-management skills and coping strategies. Support was provided in the context of her being a parent, and providing early intervention and support to assist in the prevention of further homelessness.

The YRP worker is part of a multidisciplinary team, where workers across programs consult with each other in order to provide comprehensive support to the young person to achieve the best outcome. In this context the YRP worker provided secondary consultation for Mandy’s case manager, using a solution-focused, strengths-based approach. Together the workers examined which approaches were working and the YRP worker offered evidence-based suggestions and information to better support Mandy to achieve her goals. Informally and formally workers involved with Mandy and Jack maintained communication and ensured they were providing a consistent and consolidated approach in our provision of support to her.

Mandy and Jack secured long-term accommodation after leaving the Family Unit.

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