The "kids" in THE COMMITMENTS may be older than you are
interested in, but the conflicts of a band have a basis in
If you want "real" life, see PIXOTE, directed by Hector Babenco,
which has to do with street children in Brazil.
SALAAM BOMBAY, directed by Maira Nair, is about street children
In both films, the children actors were street children.  The
child in PIXOTE died from a knife wound several years after the
film was made.
Maira Nair relates that her production company attempted to help
the children who appeared in her film, e. g., setting up savings
accounts for them.
The lead in her film had been either sold or apprenticed by the
family before becoming a street child.  After the film was made,
the child returned home to tell of his film experience, but was
beaten, according to the story, for lying.
What about Luis Bunuel's LOS OLVIDADOS.
Kurosawa's last film (the title escapes me) focuses on modern childrens'
perspectives of the effects of the atomic bomb.
Doyle Burke
Mesa Community College (AZ)