The effectiveness of guidance and counselling services for street children: a case study of centres in Dar es Salaam

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University of Dar es Salaam
The purpose of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of guidance and counselling services provided to street children in their centres. The study was based on the following research questions. 1. Are the counsellors at the street children centres competent in terms of educational and professional levels, as well as experience to perform their duties effectively? 2. Are the guidance and counselling services being offered valid and relevant? 3. Are the administrative staff at the centres understanding and supportive of the guidance and counselling efforts of counsellors at the centres? 4. Are the available counselling facilities conducive to effective counselling efforts? 5. Are the guidance and counselling services to these street children viewed as useful in overcoming learning, lack of vocational skills and psychological problems by the beneficiaries? 6. Are there any governmental Institutions and NGOs concerned with street children guidance and counselling services? The study was basically on academic, socio-economic, vocational and psychological problems of street children. The study concentrated on 9 centres of street children situated in Kinondoni, llala and Temeke Districts, in Dar es Salaam region, which consist of 290 children and 61 staff members. The case study approach was used in this study. There were 240 respondents in total. Out of these, 170 were street children, 51 staff members from the centres, and 19 officials from the Ministries of Education and Culture, Labour and Youth Development and Social Welfare Development, Women and Children. Information was collected by using questionnaires, interviews, focus group discussions and documentary review. The findings of the study show that most counsellors/teachers in street children centres are social welfare trained officers, with experience in dealing with problematic children, but without some training in guidance and counselling. However, they have been attending short seminars on guidance and counselling organised by some NGOs interested in street children. The results have indicated that counselling can effect change of behaviour among the street children. The Ministries that were involved in the study are aware of the street children's needs. But they showed less concern about the plight of the children. However, the Ministry of Education and Culture has realized its responsibility over these children. It has, therefore, already set a programme which may lead to the training the counsellors/teachers of street children. On the basis of the findings, it is recommended that the Ministry of Education and Culture should work in collaboration with the other two Ministries, that is, Labour and Youth Development and Social Welfare Development, Women and Children, as well as the NGOs interested in street children problems. It is also recommended that traditional guidance and counselling within families, clans and communities should be revived. This would facilitate guidance and counselling services to begin at home. Such practice would reduce the number of children going into the streets. Besides, it would as well make the services in the centres more effective, as it would be a continuation of the work started earlier. For further research, it is suggested that similar studies be carried out in other urban centres so that better ideas of providing effective guidance and counselling services are generated. It is also suggested that, a study to investigate the cause for communities' negative attitude towards the street children's problems be mounted as a matter of urgency.
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Street children, Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, Counselling, Counselling
Kimwaga, M. D. A. K. (2000) The effectiveness of guidance and counselling services for street children: a case study of centres in Dar es Salaam, Masters’ dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (