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South African street children: A survey and recommendations for services


  • Catherine Ward
  • John Seager


This paper describes a sub-study of children within the Human Sciences Research Council study of street people in South Africa. It used both quantitative and qualitative methods (a survey and census, and focus group discussions and in-depth interviews) to gather information from street children, their service providers, and five women who had grown up on the street but subsequently made a success of their lives. The paper reviews the origins of homelessness among children, the dynamics of life on the streets, and care requirements. It recommends a continuum of care for those already on the streets, but points also to the need for preventive services. It suggests that truancy from school could provide early warning of children at risk, and recommends a range of family support services that may be needed to prevent children from taking to the streets.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Ward & John Seager, 2010. "South African street children: A survey and recommendations for services," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(1), pages 85-100.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:27:y:2010:i:1:p:85-100
    DOI: 10.1080/03768350903519374

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    1. repec:spr:chinre:v:10:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s12187-016-9439-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Berckmans, Isabel & Velasco, Marcela Losantos & Tapia, Bismarck Pinto & Loots, Gerrit, 2012. "A systematic review: A quest for effective interventions for children and adolescents in street situation," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1259-1272.


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