Reintegration of Street-Connected Children in Kenya: Evaluation of Agape Children's Ministry's Family Strengthening Programme

Johanna K. P. Greeson, John R. Gyourko, Sarah Wasch, Christopher S. Page

In Kenya, the number of street-involved children continues to grow each decade, with most recent estimates as high as 250 000 to 300 000. Despite efforts by local government, nongovernmental organizations, and community-based organizations to address this problem, most children who receive services end up returning to the streets. Since 2021, Agape Children's Ministry has provided time-limited, crisis-oriented services to families recently reintegrated through its Family Strengthening Programme (FSP).

The authors conducted an exploratory programme evaluation of Agape's FSP to ascertain whether it is achieving the intended outcomes. Thirty families (n=30 children; n=38 care-givers) were enrolled in the FSP during the study window and participated in the evaluation. Family functioning and child well-being increased to a statistically significant and large extent from before to after the intervention. All but two children remained reintegrated at the end of the study period.

Results highlight the importance of using a holistic family-based programme that reunites children with their healthiest possible family environment with a plan specifically tailored to their individual needs and unique family situations. Results also bring to the fore the need for broad governmental attention to basic needs of families as an important part of improving family functioning.