About the book

Anyone working with street children on a daily basis knows that the work can be worthwhile and at times rewarding; but also finds it frustrating and painful that any child should have experienced what most street children have.

This book's aspiration is to help improve the lives of street children in any part of the world. While acknowledging different views, it is based on the belief that there is sufficient common ground between different cultures and contexts for practitioners in all parts of the world to learn from each other. By providing an analysis of how one approach was tried, tested, improved and expanded through careful and constant attention to reflective analysis and review, it shows how principles can be drawn out which transcend both culture and the practical application of those principles in any one context.

Although not an academic book, it relates theory and insight to pioneering practice, entailing: action-centred learning; starting from commitments to contextual relevance; preparation and sensitivity to cross-cultural work; and a determination to resist the 'ah-but-it'll-never-work-here syndrome'.

It aims to: empower street children through rebuilding lives, restoring dignity and releasing potential; equip and encourage people who work or may work amongst street and homeless children; and inform those in positions of influence.

It does this by highlighting five inter-related aspects or features of an approach that has proved effective. The approach is:

  • holistic
  • relational
  • transitional
  • child-centred
  • professional
  • and built around a conviction that the approach is untenable or weakened if any of these elements is missing or ignored.

Incorporating stories, anecdotes, and accounts of how lessons were learnt from both disappointments and achievements, this book can help:
  • strengthen, equip and encourage anyone working with street children
  • inspire and prepare people to start working with street, homeless or abandoned children
  • offer realistic insights to those considering working with street children
  • inform and guide those in management, leadership and governance of organisations working with street children and other categories of children in difficult circumstances
  • urge anyone to act and advocate on behalf of children whose voices are unheard or ignored
  • challenge those in positions of authority and influence to bring about positive change in the lives of street children and the communities to which they belong.

Paperback. About 160 pages. 9781905541805. Due Sept 2011. £14.95.

  • Any practitioner with responsibility for the care, welfare, guidance and empowerment of individual street children and young people including homeless and abandoned children and young people. In different places this might include: social workers, youth workers, counsellors, relational workers, key workers. All can read this book for guidance and reference and to encourage reflective practice
  • Executive staff with responsibility for the development or management of such practitioners
  • Policy-makers, researchers, lecturers, students and libraries that serve them in youth work, social work, counselling
Supporters of work amongst street children, homeless, and abandoned children; or children facing difficult circumstances.