“With An Open Heart We Receive the Children”: Caregivers’ strategies for reaching and caring for street children in Kenya
2016 (English)In: Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1468-0173, E-ISSN 1741-296XArticle in journal (Refereed) Published
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.
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.
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
street children, caregiver strategies, (re) habilitation, reflexive ethnography, Kenya
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject Social Medicine; Caring Sciences in Social Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-178162OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-178162DiVA: diva2:542179