What can I do about a child who refuses their family or would rather go to the streets?
Children deciding to go to the streets is a very real risk at this time and mandated reintegrations have led to this result for some children. Talk with the child to determine the reason why they have decided or would decide to go to the streets and see if there is a solution that you can provide to keep the child home.
The primary need for a child in this time is a safe placement. That should be your top priority in working with the child.
Guidelines for children remaining in residential care
LISTEN AND ASSESS
Address the child that is unwilling to enter family and determine if the child is at risk of abuse in the home and consider providing a different placement, if need be.
EVALUATE BEST INTEREST OPTIONS
Your organization should have a protocol that runs through a variety of family placements to best match that child in a family setting that they would enjoy and won’t flee from. Foster care may or may not be an official practice in your country, so discuss with the appropriate government office about your options.
Options for safe family settings include:
The child’s parents
The child’s extended family (grandparents, aunts/uncles, olders siblings, etc.) This level provides multiple family options for the child’s placement
A community member with a relationship to the child (a counselor, pastor, teacher, organization staff member, etc.) (foster care)
A trained, approved and acceptable foster parent