Family conflict is a key reason for children going missing and ending up at risk on the streets. Supporting families to recognise and resolve their underlying issues is therefore an effective way of reducing risk and keeping children safe.
In our new report ‘Shaping Stronger Families in England and Kenya’ we show how the same approach can be effective in completely different cultures, enabling children in Kenya to stay off the streets and children in England to stay out of the care system.
The model was developed in partnership with a number of internationally renowned NGOs working with street-connected children, and was heavily influenced by the work of JUCONI.
Developed by JUCONI Ecuador and reproduced with their permission
The model has three parts: creating and modelling the secure attachment that the person has never had; using appropriate tools and techniques to enable the person to process their painful experiences; and applying the learning from the first two stages to achieve lasting change. This is done with individuals and then with the family as a whole.
The report uses examples from our partners, Undugu Society of Kenya and SAFE@LAST in South Yorkshire, to illustrate the effectiveness of this approach.
Miriam’s children Peter (12) and David (13) were on the streets, begging and sometimes stealing, when Undugu started working with the family. Miriam often beat the boys and did not seem to care that they were not in school.
By the end of the work, there was no violence in the home, the family supported each other, and Peter and David were off the streets and back in school.
Find out how family workers supported them to achieve this by reading our summary report.
Carol’s daughter Sophie (15) was going missing for days at a time, staying with friends and older boyfriends, and was at high risk of sexual exploitation. There were frequent heated arguments and both Sophie and her mother were saying that she would be better off in care.
By the end of the work, relationships were much improved, Sophie was back in school and achieving well and there was no risk of her entering the care system.
Find out how family workers at SAFE@LAST supported them to achieve this by reading our summary report.
Our use of a common approach in England and Kenya has achieved change in families with high levels of conflict, whose children were going missing or on the streets. Many of the parents had suffered abuse themselves as children or adults, and addressing their trauma, as well as their children’s, was an essential part of the process.
We believe that this approach could have wider application, not just to families of children who are going missing, but to any family living with violence and conflict.
A summary of the report outlining our use of an international approach to deal with family trauma and conflict, enabling children to return home from the streets in Kenya and to stay out of the care system in England.
A report outlining our use of an international approach to deal with family trauma and conflict, enabling children to return home from the streets in Kenya and to stay out of the care system in England.