I work with Oracle Financials 11i, and run into difficult date situations frequently.
If your split-off date character field is named, e.g., "Txt_Date", then try using the character-to-date function:
The default return format for this function is "yyyymmdd", which is what you want. If you need another date format returned, you can use any of the following three (the " " are required):
If this doesn't work for you, please feel free to send me a private message, and we can hash this out in more detail, without using up bulletin board room.