THE EDUCATIONAL website Child protection and the dental team has been relaunched following an update and re-design, and now puts greater emphasis on early intervention in suspected abuse.
The updated website also addresses the impact of wider family issues on children (such as parental mental health issues and domestic violence) and the guidance on dental neglect has been revised. Dental teams are prompted to find out more about their own local arrangements for “low level” referrals, including use of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) and Multi-agency Support Teams (MAST) for children and families.
Jenny Harris, consultant in Community Paediatric Dentistry in Sheffield, who has led the Department of Health-funded project since its inception in 2005, said: "When this [resource] was first published we knew that dental teams had a bit of catching up to do, but it is admirable how our profession has risen to the challenge".
In 2011 the British Dental Journal published an evaluation of the resource in which a significant proportion of dentists acknowledged the website’s direct impact on improving their knowledge, confidence and readiness in respect to safeguarding children. Many dental practices have since made further improvements in preparation for CQC registration.