Oral Health Experiences of Social Workers Serving Children in the Foster Care System: Assessing the Feasibility of a Social Worker-Driven Oral Health Intervention
Negro, Kenneth Sawyer
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• Summary: The objectives of this study were to determine the oral health knowledge, attitudes, and practices of social workers working within the foster care system and to assess the preliminary feasibility of a social worker-driven intervention aimed at improving the oral health of children in foster care. This qualitative study conducted semi-structured key informant interviews with social workers that work with families of children in foster care in Washington State (N=20). The Extended Parallel Process Model was used to develop an interview script and to code the transcripts. • Findings: It is generally understood by social workers that children in foster care have increased dental disease and increase dental need that has gone untreated. Social workers would benefit from educational courses, either in person or online, on assessing dental health in order to deliver oral health intervention to foster parents during home visits. Foster parents would benefit from an oral health education course during their regular training or as a continuing education course provided by a social worker or an online education course. • Applications: Social workers could improve the oral health of children in foster care by delivering oral health education to foster parents during home visits and during foster parent training.
- Dentistry