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Street Outreach

Despite there being up to 170 million* street children in the world today, the nature of street life makes finding and supporting these children a significant challenge.

Life on the street is challenging and, for many, poses unspeakable hardships. In order to survive, street children find ways to remain hidden and unseen.

* Estimates range from 30 to 170 million

Street children are transient and move around a lot.

They are often frightened and want to avoid visibility.

Street children have a deep mistrust of authorities.

Many do not live on the street all the time, moving between the streets and family.

The definitions of ‘street children’ vary and counting methodologies can be unreliable.

Without a way to reach these children we cannot provide the much needed support they desperately need.

Research by Plan International found there are generally fewer street girls than boys, and they are less visible, but that they are most at risk of abuse, exploitation and sexual assault and the least able to protect themselves.

This is backed by research by Consortium for Street Children which found that up to 30% of street children are likely to be girls, depending on the country.

It is also possible that street girls are not counted because they are hidden from sight with some working in brothels and others disguising themselves as boys to protect themselves from sexual harassment and abuse by other street children, employers, welfare workers and the police.

Our street outreach work

Our street workers find and connect with street children, building lasting relationships that enable us to provide ongoing support.

Our partners’ outreach teams locate areas where young people are living and gathering. Through hard work, staff gradually build trusting and lasting relationships with the children and young people and offer routes out of street life and towards recovery.

Health and wellbeing

Street children will have improved access to basic health, psycho-social, mental health and legal services.

Birth registration

Street children are provided with their birth registration/ID which will give them access to education, healthcare etc.


Street-connected and at-risk children and young people develop the knowledge, skills and qualities to improve their opportunities for the future.


That local Child Protection Service networks are flexible and work with street children’s feedback.


Street and at-risk children and young people can access safe and inclusive services in their communities.

While the ethos underpinning our outreach work is consistent across all the countries in which we work, the actual services delivered are designed to meet the needs of local contexts.

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How our street outreach changed lives


Street Outreach • Nepal • 2024

“I felt so alone - I had no one to share my problems with”

Read Syan's story


Street Outreach • Kenya • 2023

“Before the project I didn’t know there was a problem with me. I had stayed for so long on the streets - that was the only life I knew. I believed that was my fate, I guess.”

Read Mabling's story


Street Outreach • Kenya • 2023

“I am 13 and live on the streets of Nairobi. I came onto the streets in 2015 when my parents’ fighting became too much.”

Read Tumo's story