This study describes the reasons why street children in Jakarta, Indonesia choose to leave a life on the street and the steps that are taken to exit the street successfully. Also described are the street entry process, life on the street, street disengagement, life after the street, and the role of service providers. Nine key informants (six former street children and three workers who work with homeless children) participated in in-depth interviews that revealed that troubled family life is the most common cause of street entry, and while street life offers much freedom and excitement it is also the source of great danger to street children, and street disengagement often takes a number of attempts before a “successful” exit is fully negotiated. Forming trusting relationships with street- based outreach workers and attending NGOs that emphasize love and care were highly influential in aiding with street exit. Also key to a successful exit over time is the development of new skills and knowledge, as well as a positive sense of self and an identity that is not connected to street involvement.
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