Psychosocial Needs and Supports for Street Children in India: Stakeholder Perspectives Psychosocial supports for street children

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Murat Yildirim
Naved Iqbal
Mohammad Mazhar Khan
Michelle O'Reilly
Panos Vostanis


The research aimed to establish how psychosocial supports are experienced by children who lived on the streets, juxtaposed with caregivers’ views. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven children aged 12-16 years recruited from a shelter in Delhi who had lived on the streets, four parents, and five professionals. The data were analysed using thematic analysis. Three themes were identified: 1) children’s psychosocial needs, 2) risk factors, and 3) protective factors and supports. Inter-linked risk factors were deprivation of basic needs, exploitation, maltreatment, antisocial activities and substance abuse. Emotional and physical safety was a priority before instigating resilience-building strategies. These consisted of developing peer and staff relationships, education, sports and creative activities. Counselling was viewed as important, but integral to other supports.The multiple and complex psychosocial needs of street children require  a co-ordinated, interdisciplinary and scaled care approach. This should prioritize protection strategies, followed by integrated resilience-building interventions.


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Yildirim, M., Iqbal, N., Khan, M. M., O’Reilly, M., & Vostanis, P. (2020). Psychosocial Needs and Supports for Street Children in India: Stakeholder Perspectives: Psychosocial supports for street children. International Journal of Child Development and Mental Health, 8(2), 19-28. Retrieved from
Original Articles
Author Biography

Michelle O'Reilly, Associate Professor in Sociology

Dr O'Reilly is Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Leicester in the UK.


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