Background for the Bambi project

In many western countries, Norway included, divorce rates are high. In Norway most children aged 1 to 6, attend “barnehage” (Norwegian day care centres / preschool). This means that staff at Norwegian day care centres relatively often has contact with children whose parents are splitting up.

It is expected that one out of four of all marriages will end in divorce within the first 10 years of marriage. This indicates that many young children experience divorce. Also, increasing rates of cohabitation among parents of young children place the children at an even higher risk of experiencing parental separation, due to high dissolution rates among these couples.

It is well known from the international research that children of divorce are at an increased risk of both emotional and behavioural problems. Norwegian day care centres are obliged to conduct individually care for all children. In case of divorce or separation the day care centres may be challenged by various reactions and behavioural changes among children, and by potential conflict among adults.

The main aim of the Bambi project is to gain knowledge of how day care centres can organise their work and care in order to meet special needs among children and families that experience divorce or separation. Qualitative studies will be conducted among various groups of informants, including parents, children, staff, and professional family therapists. This R&D-project is accepted and supported by the Norwegian Research Council.