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Centre to try to keep families together

A NEW centre will help prevent young people running away from home by stepping into family conflicts, according to a charity.

Plans for the service, which is backed by nearly £500,000 in funding from the Scottish Government, will be announced today.

Edinburgh Cyrenians, which is behind the project, said 6,000 young people a year become homeless in Scotland because relationships with their family break down.

The Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution hopes to intervene before families reach crisis point. The charity said it was the first ever national mediation resource centre.

New research shows 61% of young people said arguments happen at home at least once a week, and 25% think about leaving home at least monthly.

But the survey of more than 1,100 Scottish young people, families and workers found many professionals did not know how to support struggling families.

Plans for the service will be unveiled at a conference — What's the point in talking? The Superglue of Family Life — in Glasgow today, and at an MSPs' reception in the Scottish Parliament tomorrow.

The SCCR has received support from Tam Baillie, Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People, and Karyn McCluskey, director of the Violence Reduction Unit.

Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell, said: "Early intervention is critical in helping keep families together, supporting young people and ultimately improving their life chances."

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