The Cochrane Public Health review examing interventions for promoting reintegration and reducting harmful behaviour and lifestyles in street-connected children and young people has been updated.
Thirteen studies which rigorously evaluated 19 interventions such as services to support street-connected children and youth - all in high-income countries were included in the review. Most compared therapy-based services versus usual shelter and drop-in services, or versus other therapeutic/health interventions. The review found mixed results among these studies but overall findings suggested that participants receiving therapy and those provided usual services benefitted to a similar level.
The authors suggest that future research should consider the benefits of usual drop-in and shelter services, most particularly in low- and middle-income countries, and should focus on street-connected children and young people. None of the studies included participants comparable with street children in low-income countries, who may be on the street primarily to earn a living, or as a result of war, migration or urbanisation. Overall, the quality of the evidence included in this review was assessed as low/moderate.