A first look: determinants of dental care for children in foster care

M. Melbye, C.E. Huebner, D.L. Chi, H. Hinderberger, P. Milgrom
2012 Special Care in Dentistry: managing special patients, settings, and situations  
Purpose-This hypothesis-generating study sought to identify potential determinants of dental care use and oral health among children living in foster care. Method-Using a grounded theory approach, fourteen key informant interviews were conducted among health and social services professionals experienced with children in foster care and families in western Washington State. Results-The identified potential determinants of oral health and dental use among children living in foster care included:
more » ... 1) linguistic and cultural barriers; (2) lack of dentists willing to accept children's Medicaid dental insurance; (3) lack of resources available to case workers (i.e. large caseload burden) (4) lack of federal funding for specialized dental care; (5) lack of systematic health record-keeping; (6) child transience, leading to the lack of a dental home; (8) foster parents' competing needs; (7) child behavior problems; and (9) lack of dental 'buy in' from adolescents. Conclusion-Additional studies are needed to determine whether children living in foster care achieve oral health, and the extent of their unmet dental need.
doi:10.1111/j.1754-4505.2012.00312.x pmid:23278144 pmcid:PMC4065575 fatcat:xsggzl4yfzbrldwwfqp3wwxdfa