Title page for ETD etd-09292010-175540

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Mthombeni, Hlazini Michael
Email michael.mthombeni@gauteng.gov.za
URN etd-09292010-175540
Document Title Factors in the family system causing children to live in the streets : a comparative study of parents’ and children’s perspectives
Degree MSW
Department Social Work and Criminology
Advisor Name Title
Dr C E Prinsloo Supervisor
  • family
  • factors
  • street children
Date 2010-09-03
Availability unrestricted

The goal of this research was to explore and compare the perspectives of both parents and street children regarding the factors in the family systems that contribute to children leaving home and living on the streets. The study was done within the qualitative research approach and was applied research. It was a comparative study, comparing the perspectives of children and their parents/guardians. A literature review was conducted and formed the basis for a semi-structured interview schedule.

A non-probability sampling method and a purposive technique were used in the selection of participants in this study. They met the following criteria.

  • They were boys and girls between ten and eighteen years of age.
  • They had been benefiting from the Leratong and Itumeleng shelter services for at least six months and more.
  • They had a family that consistsed of both parents, either single parent or at least a guardian who would be included as a respondent in the study.
  • Their families were located around Pretoria for accessibility.
  • They did not have constant contact with their families.

The phenomenological strategy was suitable for this study and aimed to explore and understand the factors contributing to children living and working on the streets, thus understanding and interpreting the meaning that children living and working in the streets, together with their families, give to their everyday lives.

The researcher found different family factors contributing to the street child phenomenon:

  • Poverty;
  • Unemployment;
  • Lack of effective communication between children and parents,
  • Mischievousness by children;
  • Step-family relationships;
  • Child abuse and ill-treatment by parents/guardians; and
  • The majority of the parents/ guardians were of the opinion that the government should provide intervention to solve the problem of street children.

© 2010, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Mthombeni, HM 2010, Factors in the family system causing children to live in the streets : a comparative study of parents’ and children’s perspectives, MSW dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-09292010-175540/ >

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