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It is not possible to provide a definitive linear history of children and young people’s experiences of lives lived out on the streets. This is partly because how we understand and treat children and young people with no fixed home, particularly where they are leading transitory lives, has been shaped by dominant attitudes toward family and a particular expectation of childhood experience. At various times children and young people who have found themselves without a permanent roof over their heads have been positioned as the innocent in need of rescuing, or conversely, as a threat to the status quo. In this way, a history of the street child is as much a history of acceptable and unacceptable forms of childhood experience as it is about ...

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