High-Risk Children


Street Kids Direct have developed a programme to target children and young people who are most "at-risk" of living on the streets.

From our personal experience together with research we are able to focus our attention on children who have a strong connection to the streets and four risk factors in their lives.  We know that if a high-risk child does not have a constant caring adult in their life then there is a likelihood of becoming more street-connected, which then leads quickly to a life on the streets.

Being street-connected means a child, for a whole host of reasons, spends a considerable amount of time on the streets.  It is here the child learns about life, makes friends and develops a unique set of skills in order to stay alive.  Sadly many children begin to succumb to abuse, neglect and drugs.

Drawing upon research conducted by the ACE study that identified 10 risk factors that lead to negative health outcomes in later life, the study showed the direct correlation between the numbers of risk factors in a child's life and their future health.  More specifically it demonstrated that if a child has four or more of the following risk factors in their life: 

  • Recurrent physical abuse
  • Recurrent emotional abuse
  • Contact sexual abuse
  • An alcohol and/or drug user in the household
  • An incarcerated member of the household
  • Someone who is chronically depressed, mentally ill, institutionalised or suicidal
  • Mother is treated violently
  • One or no parents
  • Emotional or physical neglect
  • Death of someone close to them

they would be

  • 260% more likely to contract a major disease
  • 250% more likely to contract a sexually transmitted infection
  • 460% more likely to suffer from depression
  • 1,220% more likely to attempt suicide and
  • 4,600% more likely to become a drug user

The score of 4 is used by our programme to define the children and young people as being at high-risk.  

© 2021 Street Kids Direct. Registered UK Charity No. 1102894