The inner-city street child: A profile of the dilemma and some guidelines

Smit G. ; Liebenberg L. (2000)


This study focuses on diagnosing problems experienced by inner city street children in order to aid the development of practical inner-city strategies. Such strategies would be linked to community-based programmes like home schools and other support programmes run by the community members themselves in the communities of origin. Furthermore, this study focuses on practical guidelines to accommodate these inner-city street children on a 24-hour basis temporarily and effectively, thereby assisting in crime prevention and the development of strategies to involve them in reintegrative programmes in their communities of origin as soon as possible. As such, communities of origin should be empowered to develop such 24-hour support systems for themselves by themselves. These programmes and strategies must be reality based and cost effective. Furthermore, not only would they begin to address the immediate symptoms or problems of these children, but at the same time would be linked to strategies that would prevent children from going to the city streets. Such strategies would be developmental and educational in nature, addressing the problem in a holistic manner. With this in mind, the study entailed an analysis of the specific needs of the inner-city street child and the dynamics of this problem, enabling the establishment of a profile of the inner-city street child. An attempt was made to understand the practical problems that businesses, the police, courts and the tourist industry experience with street children, with a view to forming a network with other role players in the city aimed at early identification and intervention. Finally, guidelines assisting management of the problem in a holistic and integrated manner, linked to support programmes in the communities of origin, were developed.

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