This systematic review from The Campbell Collaboration summarises the effectiveness of harm-reduction and reintegration-promotion interventions for “street-connected” children and young people (ie, who live or work in street environments) up to the age of 24.
Eleven studies evaluating 12 interventions from high-income countries were included in the analysis (the authors note that they did not find any sufficiently robust evaluations conducted in low- and middle-income countries). All of the studies used a comparison group study design and were randomised or quasi-randomised. Interventions were included if their goal was to have an impact on any of the following key outcomes: inclusion, reintegration, health, well-being, and/or educational and occupational achievement.
The results of the studies were mixed, but overall the authors found that there were favourable changes from baseline in outcomes for most participants in therapy-based interventions and also in “standard” services (youth drop-in centres and shelters). However, no study measured the primary outcome of reintegration or reported on adverse effects.
Source: Interventions for Promoting Reintegration and Reducing Harmful Behaviour and Lifestyles in Street-connected Children and Young People: A Systematic Review (2013), The Campbell Collaboration.