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Re-unite Gloucestershire is a service that enables mothers to be reunited with their children after serving a prison sentence by providing a comprehensive package of housing and support.The project aims to re-unite mothers with their children who may have been placed in the care of a family member or the local authority because their mother was held on remand or serving a custodial sentence.
The project aims to re-unite mothers with their children who may have been placed in the care of a family member or the local authority because their mother was held on remand or serving a custodial sentence.
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.