Often mothers are caught in a ‘catch-22’ when they are released: they have no suitable home to share with their children, but they have no priority for housing because their children are not currently with them. Re-unite Gloucestershire aims to overcome this problem by:
- working alongside mothers whilst they are in prison in the lead-up to their release
- assessing what needs to be in place for a successful and lasting reunion
- communicating with the child’s care giver and any professionals who may be involved to ensure that a reunion will be in the child’s best interests
- working with local private landlords, housing associations and other housing providers to secure suitable accommodation
- planning and providing a range of practical ‘through-the-gate’ support from the date of release, through to re-housing, resettlement and reunion
- offering specialist counselling or family therapy to help overcome emotional and other difficulties caused by separation
- maintaining long-term support for the family until they are settled and safe
Re-unite Gloucestershire will work with all the county’s statutory agencies (for example, Social Services, Probation, housing authorities and schools) to make sure that the safety and well-being of the family are always paramount.
Re-Unite Gloucestershire is part of a national network of Re-Unite services designed, piloted and established by Commonweal Housing and Housing For Women. Commonweal provided generous financial support to get us started in Gloucestershire and we are now supported by a two year grant from the J Paul Getty Junior Charitable Trust.