Day-care centre as integrating social institutions for disabled children in Norway
Funksjonshemming og samfunn (Disability and Society) NTNU-samfunnsforskning (NTNU-Social Science Research) Norway,
Department of Social Work & Health Sciences Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) Norway,
In Norway, as in most European countries, integration of disabled children in school and day-care services have been the official politics for years. There has further been political agreement that day-care centres are particularly important for disabled children, and in Norway, most children with impairments are offered some sort of pre-school day-care services. The main organisation model has for a long time been integration into ordinary day-care services. Lately, there has been a growth in day-care services available for all children, and today, 94 % off all Norwegian children aged 3-5 received day-care services (Statistics Norway 2007). In a running study, we ask how present day day-care services ensure its mandate as an ?integrating institution? as regards disabled children. It seems to be a tendency towards an increase in some groups of disabled children being segregated in particular day-care services in order to gather special competence among the personal. In this project, we ask if we can trace a recession of the integrating processes and ideals in present day practises and organisation.
Concretely, parents of all children born in 2002, 2003 and 2004, with a broad selection of physical disabilities, learning disabilities and multiple disabilities, and registered as receivers of a cash benefit for people in need of special care or supervision, are invited to participate in a survey. Invitations will go out to parents of about 1300 children in late February 2009. One quantitative questionnaire will go to parents and another to personnel in the child?s day-care service. The aim of the study is to get information on physical integration (how the services are actually organised for these children today), cooperation and interaction (between parents and personnel, as well as with other services and societal institution), and inclusive thinking and practises (how the children?s everyday life within the institutions are organised and planned by the personnel in order to ensure actual integration).
Results from the study will be presented and discussed with particular focus on the question of if and how disabled children are considered as part of the plurality of most children in Norwegian day-care centres.