South African street children: a survey and recommendations for services
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This paper describes a sub-study of children within the HSRC 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.