Case Study – Family 2

(Names have been changed to ensure anonymity).

Kirsty is 17 and has a five week old baby. She has been asked to leave the family home by her mother Sarah following arguments between Kirsty and her younger sister Kate. The mediator held meetings with both Kirsty and Sarah separately to establish what the main issues and disagreements were on both sides. Both Kirsty and Sarah agreed to a face to face mediation with two mediators facilitating the meeting.

This is a summary of a face to face meeting held between Kirsty and her mother Sarah.

Kirsty has been told by her mother Sarah that she cannot return to the family home and that things would improve if she found alternative accommodation. The situation has arisen since Kirsty had her daughter 5 weeks ago. There are ongoing arguments between Kirsty and her younger sister Kate which are becoming more frequent. Sarah feels that she is being 'held over a barrel' being made to choose between her two daughters. There is always an atmosphere and the two girls are always sniping at each other.

The arguments start over a variety of things, some are petty, like Kirsty helping herself to things that Kate has bought.

There is a possibility that Kate has feelings of jealousy towards Kirsty and that she is under pressure from her peers at college.

Sarah feels torn, she doesn't want to fall out with Kirsty but she is in poor health and cannot cope with the situation as it is at the moment. She is experiencing blackouts which are under investigation by the hospital. Her condition makes it difficult for Sarah to have the baby in her sole care in case she suffered a blackout whilst holding the baby.

Sarah wants to maintain contact with her daughter and to build on the close relationship they have always enjoyed. She will be willing to give support to Kirsty and the baby as and when they move into their new home.

Kirsty accepts that her mom is in a very difficult situation and does not want to return to the family home whilst things are as they are. She wants to move into alternative accommodation with her baby. She is living with a friend at the present time and states that she is relieved to be living where there are no arguments.

She says that she has always had a close but volatile relationship with Kate, but feels that Kate needs to accept the baby and to realise that Kirsty will always put her daughter before her sister.

Kirsty wants to re-establish the relationship with her mother and would accept support and contact from her now and in the future.

Both agreed to continue to see each other and to spend time together both at the family home and away from it. Kirsty will also visit the family home when Kate is there, for short spells to begin with, then building up slowly.

Case Update

Kirsty stayed with her friend for a short while and was then offered a Council property which she accepted. Her family continue to support her in her new home.