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Interventions for reducing risks and promoting inclusion of street children and young people

Coren E, Hossain R, Pardo Pardo J, Veras MMS, Chakraborty K, Harris H, Martin AJ
Published Online: 
28 March 2013

There are millions of children and young people estimated to be living and working on the streets around the world. Many have become resilient but continue to be vulnerable to risks. To promote their best chances in life, services are needed to reduce risks and prevent marginalisation from mainstream society. Eleven studies evaluating 12 interventions have been rigorously conducted of services to support street-connected children and youth, all in the developed world. They compared therapy-based services with usual shelter and drop-in services. The results of these studies were mixed but overall we found that participants receiving therapy or usual services benefitted to a similar level. There is a need for research which considers the benefit of usual drop-in and shelter services, most particularly in low and middle income countries, and which includes participation of street-connected children and young people. None of the studies included participants that were comparable to some street children in low income countries, who may be on the street primarily to earn a living or as a result of war, migration or urbanisation.