Main Article Content
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.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
The authors retain copyright and permit the journal the copyright of first publication
Articles, once having passed the review process and accepted for publication in the CDMH Journal, are copyrighted under the CDMH Journal, Department of Mental Health, Ministry of Public Health. Please be aware distribution of CDMH Journal content for commercial purposes without permission is expressly prohibited. However, distribution with intent to educate, advocate, or spread awareness within the general public and research communities is permitted and encouraged with the understanding that the CDMH Journal Editorial Board do not hold jurisdiction or liability for any accompanying comments, text, or information from third parties, either in favor for or against the original article’s assertions, conclusions, methodology, or content.
Boyatzis, R. (1998). Transforming Qualitative Information: Thematic Analysis and Code Development. Sage, London.
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2019a). To saturate or not to saturate? Questioning data saturation as a useful concept for thematic analysis and sample-size rationales. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 1-16,
Braun, V., & Clarke, V., (2019b). Reflecting on reflexive thematic analysis. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 11(4), 589-597.
Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The Ecology of Human Development: Experiments by Nature and Design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Davison, J., Zamperoni, V., Stain, H. (2017). Vulnerable young people’s experiences of child and adolescent mental health services. Mental Health Review Journal, 22(2), 95-110.
Fallah, F., Karimi, A., Eslimi, G., Goudarzi, H., Malekan, M., Navidinia, M., & Moradi, A. (2008). The assessment of hepatitis B and C prevalence in street children of Tehran from Farvardin to Shahrivar 1386. Research in Medicine, 32(2), 147-151.
Francis, J., Johnston, M., Robertson, C., Glidewell, L., Entwistle, V., Eccles, M., & Grimshaw, J. (2010). What is adequate sample size? Operationalising data saturation for theory-based interview studies. Psychology and Health, 25(10), 1229-1245.
Frauenholtz, S., & Mendenhall, A. N. (2020). “They’ll Give You a Second Chance”: Perceptions of Youth and Caregivers Regarding Their Experiences in a Community-Based Mental Health System of Care. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 1-9.
Getanda, E., O’Reilly, M. & Vostanis, P. (2017). Exploring the challenges of meeting child mental health needs through community engagement in Kenya. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 22(4), 201-208.
Hadland, S., Kerr, T., Li, K., Montaner, J., & Wood, E. (2009). Access to drug and alcohol treatment among a cohort of street-involved youth. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 101(1-2), 1-7.
Hills, F., Meyer-Weitz, A., & Asante, K. (2016). The lived experiences of street children in Durban, South Africa: Violence, substance use and resilience. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being, 11(1), 30302.
Hossain, R., & Coren, E. (2015). Service engagement in interventions for street-connected children and young people: A summary of evidence supplementing a recent Cochrane-Campbell review. Child Youth Care Forum, 44(3), 451-470.
Kidd, S., & Shahar, S. (2008). Resilience in homeless youth: The key role of self-esteem. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 78(2), 163–172.
Levitt, H., Motulsky, S., Wertz, F., Morrow, S., & Ponterotto, J. (2017). Recommendations for designing and reviewing qualitative research in psychology: Promoting methodological integrity. Qualitative Psychology, 4(1), 2.
Lightfoot, M., Stein, J., Tevendale, H., & Preston, K. (2011). Protective factors associated with fewer multiple problem behaviours among homeless/runaway youth. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 40(6), 878-889.
Ministry of Women and Child Development (2018). Analysing Data of Mapping and Review Exercise of Child Care Institutions. Delhi: MWCD.
Mohan, M., Yadukul, S., & Satish, K. V. (2018). Socio-demographic profile of pattern of solvent abuse among street children in Bengaluru. Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, 12(2), 1-5.
Mutluri, A. (2015). Situational analysis of street children in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. Techno Learn, 5(1-2), 27-32.
Myburgh, C., Moolla, A., & Poggenpoel, M. (2015). The lived experiences of children living on the streets of Hillbrow. Curationis, 38(1), 1-8. doi:10.4102/curationis.v38i1.1274
OHCHR (2012). Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Children Working and/or Living on the Street. Geneva: United Nations.
Olley, B. O. (2006). Social and health behaviors in youth of the streets of Ibadan, Nigeria. Child Abuse and Neglect, 30(3), 271-282.
O’Reilly, M., & Dogra, N. (2016). Interviewing Children and Young People for Research. London: Sage.
O’Reilly, M., & Parker, N. (2013). Unsatisfactory Saturation’: A critical exploration of the notion of saturated sample sizes in qualitative research. Qualitative Research, 13( 2), 190-197.
Pandian, R. D., & Lakshmana, G. (2017). Risk and resilience factors for substance use among street adolescents: Assessment and development of an integrative model. Asian Social Work and Policy Review, 11(3), 216-233.
Patel, V., Saxena, S., Lund, C., Thornicroft, G., Baingana, F., Bolton, P., ... & Herrman, H. (2018). The Lancet Commission on global mental health and sustainable development. The Lancet, 392(10157), 1553-1598.
Reza, M., & Bromfield, N. F. (2019). Human rights violations against street children working in the informal economy in Bangladesh: Findings from a qualitative study. Journal of Human Rights and Social Work, 4(3), 201-212.
Sah, S., Neupane, N., Pradhan, A., Shah, S., & Sharma, A. (2019). Prevalence of glue‐sniffing among street children. Nursing Open, 7(1), 206-211.
Sayem, A., & Kidd, S. (2013). The levels and patterns of resilience among male street children in Dhaka City. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 25(1), 39-45.
Seth, R., Kotwal, A., & Ganguly, K. (2005). Street and working children of Delhi, India, misusing toluene. Substance Use and Misuse, 40(11), 1659–1679.
Vostanis, P. (2017). Global child mental health: Emerging challenges and opportunities. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 22(4), 177-178.
Vostanis, P., Haffejee, S., Yazici, H., Hussein, S., Tosun, C., & Maltby, J. (2020) Youth conceptualization of resilience strategies in four low- and middle-income countries. International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies, 11(1), 92-111.
Vostanis, P., Maltby, J., Duncan, C., & O’Reilly, M. (2018). Stakeholder perspectives on children’s psychosocial needs in six low- and middle-income countries. Children and Society, 32(6), 457-469.
Watters, C., & O’Callaghan, P. (2016). Mental health and psychosocial interventions for
children and adolescents in street situations in low-and middle-income countries: A systematic review. Child Abuse and Neglect, 60, 18-26.
World Health Organization (2016). Mental Health: Strengthening Response. Geneva: WHO.