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“With An Open Heart We Receive the Children”: Caregivers’ strategies for reaching and caring for street children in Kenya
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH). (Child Health)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH).
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH).
2016 (English)In: Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1468-0173, E-ISSN 1741-296XArticle in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Summary:

The aim of the study was to explore how caregivers reach out and care for street children and understand their strategies and implication for outreach to the children, removal from the streets, rehabilitation and reintegration into society..  Data was collected over a period of two years using a semi-structured topic guide from seventy caregivers in 35 organisations in Kenya, identified using the snowball sampling strategy. Information generated was discussed with street children to help modify the interview and observation guides. To record interactions between the children and their caregivers, direct observation, video recording and photography were used at the caregivers’ workplaces on the streets and at institutions of care.

Findings:

Two themes were developed from the data, namely, the dedicated caregiver confronting street realities; and making a difference despite the limitations. The way caregivers interacted with the children on the streets and in the institutions greatly influenced the children’s decision to leave the streets, to be initiated into residential care, and attend rehabilitation and reintegration programmes. Children were more positive to caregivers who took time to understand them and were soft in establishing rapport with them.

Application:

The results suggest that caregivers’ strategies are potential contributors to declining trends of the street children phenomenon as they influence the children’s decision to leave the streets and undergo rehabilitation at institutions of care. Thus, we recommend the development of educational efforts focusing on helping caregivers develop healthy relationships and positive interactions with the children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keyword [en]
street children, caregiver strategies, (re) habilitation, reflexive ethnography, Kenya
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Social Medicine; Caring Sciences in Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-178162OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-178162DiVA: diva2:542179
Available from: 2012-07-30 Created: 2012-07-30 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. From Children of the Garbage Bins to Citizens: A reflexive ethnographic study on the care of “street children”
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From Children of the Garbage Bins to Citizens: A reflexive ethnographic study on the care of “street children”
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the study on which this thesis is based was to gain an understanding of the life situation of street children in Kenya and to investigate how caring institutions care for these children.  A reflexive ethnographic approach was used to facilitate entry into the children’s sub-culture and the work contexts of the caregivers to better understand how the children live on the streets and how the caregivers work with the children. A fundamental aim of the research was to develop interventions to care; one of the reasons why we also used the interpretive description approach. Method and data source triangulation was used. Field notes, tape, video, and photography were used to record the data.  Participant observation, group discussions, individual interviews, home visits, key informant interviews, participatory workshops and clinical findings were used for data collection in Studies I and II.  In addition to observation, interviews were conducted with caregivers for study III, while written narratives from learners attending adult education developed and implemented during the research period provided data for study IV.  Study I indicated that food, shelter and education were the main concerns for the children and that they had strong social bonds and used support networks as a survival strategy.  Study II provided a deeper understanding of the street culture, revealing how the boys are organised, patterns of substance use, home spaces in the streets and networks of support. The boys indicated that they wanted to leave the streets but opposed being moved to existing institutions of care. A group home was therefore developed in collaboration with members of the category “begging boys”.  Study III indicated how the caregivers’ interactions with the children were crucial in children’s decisions to leave the streets, to be initiated into residential care, undergo rehabilitation and to be reintegrated into society.  Caregivers who attempted to use participatory approaches and took time to establish rapport were more successful with the children.  Study IV suggested that the composition of learners, course content grounded on research, caregivers’ reflections and discursive role of researchers and facilitators, all contributed to adult learning that transformed the learners’ perspectives and practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. 55 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 790
Keyword
Health care seeking behaviour; Child participation; Re(habilitation); Street children; Caregiver; Reflexive ethnography; Transformative learning; Kenya; Africa; Southeast Asia
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Health Sciences Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-178166 (URN)978-91-554-8410-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-09-14, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-08-24 Created: 2012-07-30 Last updated: 2013-01-24Bibliographically approved

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Kaime-Atterhög, WanjikuPersson, Lars-ÅkeAhlberg, Beth Maina

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