Presentation - ECV2022-317
Background: Separation and divorce have become a common phenomenon across the world. There has been much research reporting the stress factors of parents/carers during the process of separation and divorce and the impact this has on children. However, there is little research that investigates the intersection between families experiencing separation and divorce and teachers, schools and early childhood services.
Aim: This aim of this research project was to explore parents’ aspirations for their family in the aftermath of separation and divorce and their experiences of communication and collaboration with their children’s teachers, schools and early childhood services in assisting them to realise these aspirations to improve the lives of their family.
Method: Data for this project came from an interview study with 12 parents who discussed their perceptions of their communication and collaboration with their children’s teachers, school and early childhood service during the process of their separation and divorce. Data were analysed using thematic analysis to identify themes to understand parents’ aspirations for their children and themselves, and to identify those practices that enabled and constrained them to improve their lives in the aftermath of separation and divorce
Results: Parents talked about thriving and surviving in the aftermath of divorce. While some parents described the communication and collaboration with their children’s teachers and schools as enabling their family to improve their lives, other parents shared stories where the practices of teachers and the school or early childhood service constrained their wellbeing and adjustment to their changed family circumstances. Parents provided suggestions of practices that teachers, schools and early childhood services could engage to support their children and family to promote wellbeing.
Conclusions: Parents, like teachers, were primarily focused on promoting wellbeing and learning of children. The findings from this research project have implications for teachers, schools and early childhood services to inform them of the communication and collaboration in the nexus between home and school or early childhood service and how teachers, schools and early childhood services can value add to children and families to improve their lives during the process of separation and divorce.
Implications for children and families: When educators know your aspirations and the needs of your family, they can work with you to achieve these aspirations.
Implications for practitioners: Listening to families and their needs and aspirations helps you to communicate and collaborate with children and families experiencing separation and divorce and help them to improve their lives during these times of change.
Key words: families voices, separation and divorce, young children, teachers, schools, communication, collaboration, wellbeing
This presentation relates to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: