A Social-Ecological View of the Factors Affecting the Effectiveness of Reintegration Interventions Targeting Children Out of Family-Based Care Situations: A Scoping Review

Bewunetu Zewude, Getnet Tadele, Kibur Engdawork, Samuel Assefa

Children outside of family-based care, as in the case of those living on the streets or in residential care, are in vulnerable situations. Because a protracted stay out of family-based care implies further susceptibility, reintegrating these children into the community through reunification with families or other exit strategies as early as possible is highly recommended.

Although most service providers working with vulnerable children do not target reintegration interventions, evidences indicate that only a few of the reintegration interventions become successful. Therefore, in addition to promoting the reintegration of vulnerable children, it is important to document the extent to which these interventions become effective and the situations affecting the outcome. Guided by the social-ecological framework, this scoping review aimed to identify the factors affecting the effectiveness of reintegration interventions targeting children outside family-based care.

Empirical researches on relevant topics were thoroughly reviewed and analyzed. Key elements of these studies, such as the authors and year of publication, study designs, objectives, data sources, and major findings, were recorded in a data extraction table. The analysis gave rise to the emergence of subthemes, including the characteristics of the children, experiences in childcare centers, street subcultures, family socioeconomic characteristics, and community-level factors affecting the effectiveness of the reintegration interventions. A detailed presentation of related key findings within the identified themes has been included along with implications for practice and suggestions for further studies.