Working with Children on the Streets of Brazil: Politics and Practice

1st Edition

Walter de Oliveira

Routledge
Published March 7, 2001
Reference - 264 Pages
ISBN 9780789011534 - CAT# HW12887

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Summary

Reaffirm your political and spiritual commitment to helping the poor and oppressed!

How can teachers and social workers reach the endangered kids who seldom come to school? By going to the streets, where the children live, work, fight, steal, get sick, sell their bodies, and all too often die. Working with Children on the Streets of Brazil is an in-depth study of Brazil's homeless children and the street youthworkers who offer them food, clothing, beds, hope, medical attention, education, and simple respect.

The street children of Brazil live in unimaginable poverty and squalor, stealing jewelry or selling their bodies to survive, wandering homeless and untaught, pursued by death squads who clean up the streets by washing them with blood. Yet the street youthworkers interviewed in this moving, powerful book--some inspired by the Catholic Church's Liberation Theology movement, some employed by the government or private agencies--continue their efforts to help and heal these children, often with remarkable success. Their work is widely respected, and their unique viewpoint on serving throwaway children can offer creative solutions for social service workers around the globe.

Many of the issues discussed in Working with Children on the Streets of Brazil will be painfully familiar to social service workers everywhere, including:
  • the problems of how to identify, classify, and count the children of the streets
  • the reasons children leave or lose their homes
  • the implications of policy decisions and socioeconomic forces on the children's lives
  • the clash between law-and-order advocates and social service professionals
  • the negative effects of deinstitutionalization and overcrowded youth homes
  • the tragic societal consequences of the widening gap between rich and poor
  • the problems of youth crime and violence
  • the difficulties in delivering education, health care, and basic services for homeless children

    This impressive book offers a detailed history of the development of street social education; a study of the aims, methods, and experiences of youthworkers; and solid advice on using the principles and practices of street social education to reach the at-risk youth of any country, including the United States. Working with Children on the Streets of Brazil is both a scholarly work on the phenomenon of homeless children and a rousing call to action that will remind you of the reasons you chose to work in social services.

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