LOUISVILLE, KY – During Child Abuse Prevention Month, we are reminded that keeping kids safe is an adult responsibility. In partnership with Delta Dental of Kentucky, the Kosair Charities Face It Movement is launching a new online toolkit for health and oral health professionals with resources and information on recognizing, reporting, and preventing child abuse and neglect in their communities.
“Delta Dental of Kentucky is proud to partner with the Kosair Charities’ Face It Movement to equip the dental community, as well as other health professionals, across the commonwealth with the necessary tools to recognize and report child maltreatment,” said J. Jude Thompson, President & CEO of Delta Dental of Kentucky. “Keeping kids safe from abuse and neglect is up to all of us, and dental professionals can play a key role in helping build a safe Kentucky for all kids.”
It is estimated that over 50 percent of injuries from child abuse are on the head and neck. That means there are warning signs of abuse front and center for dentists, dental hygienists, and other oral health professionals who see patients twice annually. This sector of professionals has unique opportunities to ask important questions, provide key information, and observe both parents and children for warning signs of abuse and neglect.
“As dental professionals who see patients daily, this toolkit allows us to be more engaged and proactive in preventing child abuse and neglect. Through targeted resources, best practices, and identified action steps for practitioners, we can effectively intervene to keep kids safe in our community.” said Dr. Stephanie Poynter, Louisville-based dentist and chair of the Kentucky Oral Health Coalition.
The toolkit offers health and oral health professionals resources and information on educating parents and caregivers on appropriate developmental milestones and having a plan when things get difficult, empowering staff with information on building relationships with families and how to recognize signs of maltreatment, and what to do if see signs of abuse or neglect arise, including examples in practice and team intervention techniques.
“Pediatricians, dentists, and health professionals are trusted by parents and caregivers, and play a key role in offering supportive information, recognizing early warning signs of abuse or neglect, and intervening and reporting when necessary. Equipping these professionals with this toolkit advances Kosair Charities’ mission to ensure every child can reach their full potential,” said Keith Inman, President of Kosair Charities.
Everyone has a role in ensuring communities are safe places for children to grow and thrive, especially those in the health professions. With this new online and downloadable toolkit, health and oral health professionals across Kentucky will have the resources and information needed to better support families and keep kids safe. View the toolkit at faceitabuse.org/health-
Register to join the Face It Movement and Kentucky Oral Health Coalition on Friday, April 9th 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET for a free training on recognizing the signs of pediatric abusive head trauma and how to prevent child maltreatment. Free Continuing Education credits are available for dentists and dental hygienists. More trainings will be scheduled throughout 2021 as part of the project supported by Delta Dental of Kentucky.
About the Face It Movement:
The Face It Movement launched in 2013 as an initiative led by Kosair Charities in response to the number of child abuse deaths in the Commonwealth. Face It focuses on a three-pronged approach to addressing child abuse and neglect: promote best practices in child abuse prevention and intervention, build awareness and engage the community, and advocate for effective policies to improve the child welfare system. Learn more at faceitmovement.org.