Street-connected children and young people (SCCYP) are vulnerable to a range of risks. Their exclusion from mainstream opportunities, such as education and employment, as well as settled relationships may impede their long-term life chances.
To understand what works in promoting reintegration and reducing harmful behaviour and lifestyles in SCCYP, 3ie funded a systematic review to examine the evidence on the effectiveness of interventions. Studies looked at interventions to promote access and reintegration into employment, education and training opportunities and interventions promoting more healthy and settled lifestyles. A follow-up thematic synthesis looked at evidence on the role of service-related process factors, particularly the means of engaging SCCYP with services in low- and middle-income countries(L&MICs).
- Therapeutic programmes did not have better outcomes than SCCYP receiving usual services such as rooms, free meals, clothes, health and counselling services.
- Family therapies are effective for certain outcomes related to substance use and delinquent behaviour.
- SCCYP are more receptive to services that proved challenging and were tailored to their needs and goals.
- There were shortcomings in the professional and material support available to service providers in L&MICs. Practitioners reported a lack of competence in reaching out to girls and young women.