Dental care for Out of Home Care children

Learn more about dental care for Out of Home Care children.

About dental care for Out of Home Care children

Monash Health Dental Services (MHDS) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have been in an ongoing partnership to support the oral health of children and young people in the Out of Home Care program. The Out of Home Care program exists to support children and young people who can no longer safely live with their parents.

Good oral health is integral to general health and well-being. On entry to, and throughout their time in out-of-home care, children can and should access dental services. However, due to different factors, research has identified that many children and young people do not regularly access dental care and therefore more likely to have poor oral health (see references 1 – 4 below).

This webpage has information for dental professionals, carers, child protection staff and the general population to help support the oral health of children and young people in Out of Home Care.

Video: Providing Dental Care for Out of Home Care Children

Monash Health Dental Services (MHDS) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have been in an ongoing partnership to support the oral health of children and young people in the Out of Home Care program. The Out of Home Care program exists to support children and young people who can no longer safely live with their parents.

MHDS and DHHS have developed an animation video with the aim to increase the knowledge and confidence of dental professionals providing dental care to children and young people in the Out of Home Care program.

The animation video may also be useful for carers and the general population to gain a better understanding of how to support the child’s oral health needs.

Providing Dental Care for Out of Home Care Children

This video addresses the Out of Home Care program, access to public and private dental services, consent process, tips on building rapport and managing potential barriers, and more.

Public dental services in your state or territory

Victoria

In Victoria, children and young people aged up to 18 years, who are in the Out of Home Care program, have free and priority access to public dental services.

Eligibility

Access to Victoria’s public dental care services

Fees exemptions

Victoria’s public dental care fees

Find a dental clinic closest to you

Dental Health Services Victoria

Dental Health Services Victoria

DHSV is the leading public oral health agency in Victoria, providing dental care for the community, and resources for health professionals

Other states and territories

For more information on eligibility and local dental services, visit your state health department’s website:

Child Dental Benefits Schedule

Dental services may also be accessed through the Australian Government’s Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS). The CDBS provides up to $1,000 in dental benefits over two years for eligible children aged 2 – 17 years.

Dental resources

Dental Health Services Victoria

Oral health information and tips for people at different life stages, translated oral health information, helpful videos, and manuals and toolkits

Health Translations

Different translated health topics, including oral health, are collected in this website. These resources are linked to government departments, peak health bodies, hospitals, and community health and welfare organisations

Child protection resources

Child Protection Manual

Comprehensive information from the Department of Health and Human Services

Dental health services and children in Out of Home Care

General information regarding dental services for children and young people in out of home care program

Child protection orders

Child protection orders are based on what is needed for a child to remain safe.

Consent process

The type of Children’s Court Order will determine who can give consent for every day, routine and non-routine decisions. The carer will be aware of what kind of decisions they can make for the child. If non-routine medical care is needed, carers will obtain additional consent. For major procedures carers can, upon request, provide a copy of written consent documentation to the healthcare provider.

Sharing information

To carry out its responsibilities, Child Protection can request, receive and disclose information with service agencies

For health professionals: Training / capacity building

Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare

The peak body for community service organisations delivering child and family support and welfare services.

For health professionals: Oral health and children in Out of Home Care research

  1. Deutsch S, Fortin K. Physical Health Problems and Barriers to Optimal Health Care Among Children in Foster Care. Current Problems In Pediatric And Adolescent Health Care. 2015; 10: 286.
  2. Melbye M, Huebner C, Chi D, Hinderberger H, Milgrom P. A first look: determinants of dental care for children in foster care. Special Care Dentistry. 2013; 33(1): 13-19.
  3. Poyner M. The dental health of looked after children. Adoption & Fostering. 2004; 28(1): 86-88
  4. Keene E, Skelton R, Day P, Munyombwe T, Balmer R. The dental health of children subject to a child protection plan. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry. 2015; 25: 428-435
  5. Nathanson D, Tzioumi D. Health needs of Australian children living in out-of-home care. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 2007; 43: 695-699.
  6. Kaltner M, Rissel K. Health of Australian children in out-of-home care: Needs and carer recognition. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 2011; 47: 122-126.
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