Children at emergency crisis centers are struggling at school

Children play at schoolChildren play at school.Photo: Berit Roald / SCANPIX

Some of the children who must leave their homes and live in crisis centers do not get offered schooling while living at a shelter, shows a doctoral dissertation from UiB.


Researcher Sabreen Selvik at the Norwegian Knowledge Center on violence and traumatic stress has interviewed 20 children with several and long stays at a crisis center in their dissertation at the University of Bergen.

Among the findings is that children who have had several stays at shelters in a crisis center are struggling with school, writes Vårt Land. They have concentration difficulties triggered by secrecy, security, future fears, and flashbacks of the violence they have experienced. The fact that they have grown up with usually a violent father or a step father, leads to breakdowns in education, lack of social contact with friends, fellow students and teachers and knowledge holes in education, something Selvik believes is very unfortunate.

“Teachers who know that one of the children in the class lives in a shelter, should talk to the child about this,” said the researcher, who always recommends that a teacher should know that a student lives in a crisis center, and should talk with the student about it.

Selvik says it’s important that the children experience that the teacher knows their situation.

Around 1,500 children lived last year at a shelter in Norway. There are 47 centers distributed throughout the country. A quarter of the children have already had one or more stays at a crisis center earlier.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today