6,000 young people become homeless in Scotland each year through conflict with their parents. 9,000 more young people under 16 run away from home. Family conflict is the biggest cause of youth homelessness and so this is where we focus our efforts.
Amber has been preventing homelessness through mediation and support since 2006. We are the longest established, dedicated homeless prevention mediation service in Scotland: Amber pioneered the integrated support model that is now being replicated across the country. The project was cited as best practice in the Scottish Government 2009 Prevention of Homelessness Guidance. We are also regularly referred to in research by organisations such as Shelter and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
The service works in partnership with local authorities and funders to deliver positive outcomes for young people. Amber not only impacts a young person's accommodation situation but can also help with engagement in education and employability. For example, we deliver the Personal Effectiveness Award (City and Guilds). In addition, the targeted work we do with families includes conflict resolution, communication and anger management skills. All of these facets of our service contribute to homeless prevention through mediation and support.
80% conversion rate from referrals to cases
75% of our cases result in a young person remaining at or returning home
100% service users would recommend Amber
Support at Amber is provided by your own Personal Adviser. The Personal Adviser is your first point of contact with Amber and is there to make sure we are giving you the best help we can. Personal Advisers are there to help you work on things that are putting pressure on your family relationships and to think about ways forward. All our Personal Advisers are trained to help parents and teenagers find solutions and provide support in even the most difficult and confusing family situations.
Once you've got in contact, your Personal Adviser will meet with you for a confidential first meeting. This meeting gives you the chance to tell your story, be listened to and accepted. We find that the experience of being listened to is in itself hugely positive and supportive for people when there is conflict in the family. The first meeting also gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you have about us. At the end of the first meeting you decide if you want to meet up again.
Amber Personal Advisers can meet up with you as regularly as you like - once every one or two weeks is normal. Or you can call for a chat on the phone. They will always listen to you and ask questions that enable you to think clearly about what is going on. Your Personal Adviser can also assist you to sort out appointments and forms, or sometimes help in practical ways. We offer specific sessions on communication, conflict resolution and parenting.
If we can't help, we know someone who can…
If there is an area of your life you would like support in, but we can't do, we'll help you find what you need. Personal Advisers are well informed about what else is out there. It is their job to signpost you to the service that can give the most relevant and specialised support, for example bereavement counselling or benefits advice.
If anger is a particular issue for you we offer the support of a specialist anger management worker. If you'd like to understand your anger more and find less destructive ways of expressing it, he can offer up to 10 sessions focussing on anger management.
Suitable for ages 14 - 24 years.