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Key Prevention

Family relationship breakdown is the main cause of youth homelessness. Key aims to keep families together wherever safely possible and offers a range of support to young people and their families.

Prevention & Intervention

Family breakups contribute to South Tyneside’s higher than average levels of homelessness.

Key has over 30 years’ experience in providing professional guidance to young people who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, and their families, focussing on prevention and early intervention.

We believe in supporting families to overcome conflict at an early stage to set things back on the right track to prevent young people having to move out of the family home.


Families kept together in 2021 by our Prevention & Intervention Service


We offer a free, professional mediation service to parents, or carers, and their children to try to prevent family breakups from happening in the first place. Sometimes mediation can be put in place while the young person is still at home, sometimes it is once they have presented as homeless

How does Mediation Work?

Mediation is an opportunity for family members in dispute with each other to resolve their differences and live in a more cohesive positive atmosphere

Key’s mediator meets separately with the young person and their mother, father, or carer, to find out what is causing the difficulty in family relationships. One meeting will be held with each person and lasts up to an hour.

Following this, if everyone agrees, a joint meeting will be held for everyone to discuss their differences. This will last up to two hours. With the help of the mediator the family will write a non-binding agreement, setting out how they would like things to be for the future.

Will mediation work?

Whilst there are no guarantees, Key has a fantastic record of keeping family together. In 2021 we worked with 174 families with 170 remaining together for at least twelve months. If mediation does not work or is not appropriate, then we provide accommodation advice and support.


Our Family Intervention Service takes a whole-family approach, enabling families to gain support as a unit as well as working with parents and children one to one, to tackle the complex issues involved likely affecting multiple people in the family unit. Support is put in place before relationships have reached breaking point and problems have become entrenched.

We offer support and guidance on a wide range of family issues such as:

  • Managing behaviour problems
  • Improving relationships
  • Accessing other support services
  • Budgeting
  • Filling out forms
  • Having someone to talk to who will listen
  • Meeting other people so families feel less isolated
  • Parenting skills
  • Wellbeing support
  • Educational support

We work in secondary schools throughout South Tyneside, alongside individual school teams, offering school based support to young people from families in crisis.

How does Family Intervention Work?

Family Intervention is an opportunity for family members in dispute with each other to resolve their differences and live more happily together.

We can offer family intervention in many ways such as:

  • 1:1 Appointments
  • Home and/or school visits
  • Advocacy and support at meetings with professionals
  • Referrals to other agencies

To get the most out of our service we encourage everyone to:

  • Ask questions and get involved
  • Be as open and honest as you can
  • Keep appointments or let us know if you need to cancel
  • Share with us if you don’t understand or are unsure about anything

“Amazing work provided by the team to the family ... such positive change has been achieved to the point the child has now returned home. The team has been a valued support for the family demonstrated in its commitment, trust and reliability ... and the team's valued practice is recognised."

Key partner agency

Are you a family experiencing relationship breakdown?

Call our Duty Team on 0191 496 9713
9-5 Mon to Thurs & 9-4.30 Fri

Email our Duty Team: