An investigation in the challenges of rescuing, rehabilitating and reintegrating street children: a case study of rehabilitation centres within Nairobi county
The purpose of the study was to investigate challenges which exist in the process of rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of street children back to the society. The objectives were to identify different stressful situations experienced by street children, establish the challenges which exist in rescuing the children from the street, reexamine the rehabilitation program and investigate the level of home preparedness in readiness for reintegration process and lastly assess the methodology used by rehabilitation centres to make follow ups for the reintegrated children. The study was guided by crime and child development theories, which focused the role of the society in shaping a child personality. The study adopted an exploratory ex-post-facto research design. Hundred children formed the population for interview, sixty from various rehabilitation institutions and forty children who had been reintegrated. Ten key informants involved in rehabilitation of street children in various organizations within Nairobi County and ten parents of the reintegrated children were also sampled to supplement information got from the children. The sample was selected using purposeful sampling procedure. Questionnaires and interview guides were used to collect relevant data on the challenges which exist in the process of rescuing, rehabilitating and reintegrating children back to the society. The data collected were coded and then analyzed. Data presentation was done using tables, pie charts and graphs. This was done in line with Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) program. The study was of great significance to policy makers, social workers, counselors, managers, donor world, and rehabilitation organizations. It was evident that challenges exist in all the levels of rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration and if these challenges are not well addressed in each level the whole process becomes a vicious cycle. Recommendations were made on what has to be done to overcome these challenges which require a paradigm shift from the government structures and rehabilitation institution themselves in addressing the menace of constant increase of children in the streets of Kenya.