The prevalent characteristics of street children are self-harm, criminality and substance abuse problems leading to stigmatization of street children in the society. This study aims to be a first step in Turkey to develop a systemic and attachment-based intervention model in a group setting focusing on the emotion regulation difficulties of street children. Since this is a highly sensitive and novel issue in Turkey, qualitative research design was thought to be more appropriate. 12 boys with street experience who were living in a residential care facility participated the study. Lacking emotional awareness and expression, the boys regularly used immature defence mechanisms such as projective identification and repression for emotion regulation. The study aimed at developing an attachment-based emotion regulation intervention manual for mental health professionals working with street children. (C) 2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd.