Dentists Needed to Treat Foster Children

July 26, 2012

Dentists Needed to Treat Foster Children
Volunteers will help children start a new school year with a bright smile!

Each month over the past year, an average of 48 Palm Beach County children have been removed from unsafe homes and have come into the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families and its lead foster care agency, Child and Family Connections, Inc. Many of the children have not received dental care due to years of parental neglect. Others need just routine care.

Of the 900 children currently in out-of-home care in Palm Beach County, only about half of them have received dental service in the last six months. Recognizing the connection between oral health and overall health, the Department of Children and Families, Child and Family Connections, Inc. and the Palm Beach Division of the Children’s Home Society of Florida hope local dentists will help them meet each child’s needs for a healthy and safe childhood.

The groups have partnered with FoundCare Health Center, which has offered its dental clinic to host monthly "dental fairs" in August, September and October, specifically for children in foster care. FoundCare, located at 2330 South Congress Avenue in West Palm Beach, is a nonprofit, full-service community health center for Palm Beach County residents with limited or no health insurance. The clinics will be available for children in foster care from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on three upcoming Saturdays: August 18, September 15 and October 20. Volunteer dentists are needed to provide services during the dental fairs.

Some dentists are generously opening their offices to provide pro bono service to some of the most vulnerable children in our community. Dr. Karen Glerum, a board member and officer of the South Palm Beach and Atlantic Coast Dental Associations, has offered to help 10 teens who need preventive and restorative care.

“No one wants to see children suffer,” Dr. Glerum said. “My colleagues have been generous in the past and, I have no doubt, will continue to support the children.”

To find out how you can support this effort, contact Steve Bardy at (561) 868-4330 or


*For media coverage on Aug. 18 at FoundCare, contact Daniela Mesquita at 561-797-0566 or