Psychosocial Problems of Street Children in Foster Homes

K. Ramu

Background: Street life is always a survival challenge not only for adults but also very difficult for children. They live within the city but are unable to take advantage of the comforts of urban life. Nurses have a major role in addressing this issue. This study focused primarily on access to health and education in street children from different age groups in Tumkur District, Karnataka, India.


Methods: A survey was conducted on 100 children (aged 4-17 yrs) residing in home-based foster care between Aug 2004 to Jan 2006 in Tumkur, Karnataka, India.


Statistics: Percentage was calculated to know the difference.


Results: The majority of the samples were rural with 68 (68%) participants and the remaining 32 (32%) were urban. Thirty (30 percent) were Hindus, sixty (60 percent) were Christians, ten (10 percent) were Muslims and from other religions. Among 100 street children, 12 (12 percent) were aged 6 and 8 years, 14 (14 percent) were aged 7 and 12 years, while 17 (17 percent) were aged 9 years, 22 (22 percent) were aged 10 years and 10 (10 percent) were aged 11. 60 (60 percent) were from nuclear families, 32 (32 percent) were from joint families and 8 (8 percent) were from extended families, based on their family system of 100 street children. Most of the samples were rarely absent from school with 15 (15 percent) participants, 12 (12 percent) were regularly absent from school, 8 (8 percent) were absent from school very often and the remaining 65 (65 percent) were daily in school. The other parameters considered were no kids in the family, the child's birth order, preschool learning, percentage marks, isolation problems.

Conclusion: As nurses have a major role in addressing this issue, they should be trained in planning and implementing all the basic need a street child needs and work in association with government and NGO’s.