The ADHF has received a grant from the Queensland Government Victims Assist program to help support the Rebuilding Smiles program.
The Australian Dental Health Foundation (ADHF) has been successful in obtaining a funding grant from the Queensland Government’s Department of Justice and Attorney-General under its Victims Assist program. This funding has been provided by the Queensland Government to aid the development and expansion of delivery of dental care in Queensland under the Rebuilding Smiles program.
The importance of programs such as this is underlined by the fact that “One in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them and one in four children are exposed to domestic violence.” (Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013). Personal Safety Australia 2012)
The Victims Assist grant reflects an ongoing commitment by Australian state and territory governments to tackle this major national health and welfare issue.
HOW THE REBUILDING SMILES PROGRAM WORKS
This program aims to deliver pro bono dental treatment to victims of domestic violence and their families who may have immediate dental trauma or ongoing oral health problems related to either injury or lack of dental treatment over time.
It does this by receiving applications from registered agencies that support people experiencing domestic violence. The Foundation links the applicant to a volunteer who has agreed to provide pro bono care. The Foundation is able to offer financial assistance to volunteers for out of pocket costs associated with more complex treatments due to the support of corporate and individual donors to the program.
Recognising the need for support for the Rebuilding Smiles program, the Queensland Government has provided funding in the 2019/2020 year to enhance delivery of care under the program.
Under the terms of the Grant the ADHF is required to increase the number of volunteer dental practitioners in Qld during the year and establish relationships with agencies supporting individuals who have experienced family and domestic violence in the state, leading to more referrals to the program.
Dentists who have participated in the program report great professional and personal satisfaction in playing a role in changing the lives of the patients accepted into the program while many patients who felt they could not enter the workforce or continue to effectively parent a child, report a complete turnaround of fortunes after treatment.
“I never imagined such compassion and generosity until I had experienced it from you all. Not only have I regained my smile, but I have also regained a little faith in humanity. Both are priceless to me. ‘Thank you’ seems grossly inadequate but it’s all I can offer.“
Kylie, Rebuilding Smiles patient, September 2018
“The delivery of care to my Rebuilding Smiles patient was one of the most satisfying treatments of my 20 plus year career. To see the reaction of the patient at the conclusion of her treatment was amazing. I saw a timid and cautious patient transform to a much more confident member of our community. I would be happy to continue to be involved.”
Volunteer Dentist, May 2019.
For years, Colleen was so self-conscious about her damaged teeth that she would hide away but now you can’t wipe the smile off her face. Credit: Simon Schulter (The AGE)
CONTACT THE ADHF
If you are a dentist practising in Queensland and want to help victims of domestic violence achieve good oral health, then please get in touch and help make a difference in your community.
T: 02 8815 3300