Thrown out by your parents?
What do you do if your parents are threatening to kick you out? The Mix explains mediation and how it can help you stay at home.
Sometimes living at home can be like living in a time bomb; restrictions and rules can be unbearable, so clashes are inevitable. By law, your parents aren’t responsible for you once you’ve passed the school leaving age, and can legally kick you out.
I don’t want to move out, what can I do?
If you’re finding it difficult to see eye-to-eye with your parents, getting someone impartial involved may be the best thing. This is called mediation, and involves someone who doesn’t know you or your parents, who won’t take sides and will help resolve your issues.
Although each service is different, mediators usually help if you’re aged between 15 and 18, sometimes older. The process goes something like this:
1. When you approach your council for help because you’ve left home, they will probably suggest mediation.
2. A mediator will make sure your parents agree to it too.
3. You and your parents sign an agreement so everyone understands what mediation is all about.
4. To get a better idea of what’s causing the problem, a mediator talks to everyone in separate meetings.
5. Then, together with the mediator, you’ll work out different ways you could reach a compromise or solution. You’ll then try some of those options out over the following weeks.
6. Mediation sessions take place for as long as is felt necessary, but often things are resolved over two or three sessions.
7. At the end of the process you’ll get a summary of what was agreed so you can refer back to it in the future.
There are a number of different mediation services you can go to. If you go to your local council for help because you have been kicked out, they will usually direct you. You can also contact Relate, National Family Mediation or ask your school or college.
I don’t think our issues can be solved by mediation
There are times when mediation is not appropriate, such as if you are leaving because there isn’t enough room or because of an abusive relationship. Also, both you and your parents must agree to mediation for it to take place.
If this is the case, when you approach your council for help, make sure you tell them about these circumstances.
If your parents agree to the mediation but they don’t want you to move home whilst it happens, the council will probably put you in emergency accommodation.
If the issues really can’t be solved then you could classify as homeless, read our advice on what help you can get.
Spike talks about family mediation:
- Our Crisis Messenger provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK. If you’re aged 25 or under, you can text THEMIX to 85258
- Shelter's advice website for young people offers help with housing problems and a free helpline 0808 800 4444. If you're in Scotland, use http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/ instead.
- Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
- Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.
Updated on 02-Dec-2015
Photo of girl and suitcase by Shutterstock.
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