Under the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 and as a contractor to the Ministry of Health, Downtown Dental adopts a Child Protection Policy. Under this legislation a “child” is defined as someone younger than 18 who is not married or in a civil union. This policy is to ensure applicable steps are taken to ensure children are protected while visiting the practice. If a child seems to be abused/harmed outside of the practice, then the correct steps are taken towards child protection.

Downtown Dental abides by the rules and regulations set out in the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989, Vulnerable Children Act 2014 and the Health Information Privacy Code 1994 when performing worker safety checks and when reporting suspected abuse to the appropriate organisations.

Dentists as health professionals have a range of responsibilities to their patients. Patient care includes the overall welfare of our patients, and this is particularly relevant to children and young people. If a dentist believes a child may be suffering a form of abuse, he/she should report the concerns. Worker safety checks are obtained which includes, but is not limited to, police vetting and appropriate steps are carried out to protect a child while they are visiting Downtown Dental.


• Children, Young Person and Their Families Act 1989

• Breaking The Cycle. An introductory guide to child abuse. Child Youth and Family Services 1998. • Breaking the Cycle: An interagency guide to child abuse. Wellington, NZ. Children, Young Persons and Their Families Service; 1998.

• Collins D B. Medical Law in New Zealand. Wellington, NZ. Brooker & Friend; 1992.

• Ministry of Health. Consent in Child and Youth Health – Information for practitioners. Wellington, NZ. Ministry of Health; 1998.

• The Royal NZ College of General Practitioners. WELLCHILD Coordinating child health. A General Practice response to the WellChild strategy (revised 4th edition). Wellington, NZ. RNZCGP; 2000.

• The Royal NZ College of General Practitioners. Health for Young People. Effective General Practice care for young people (revised). Wellington, NZ. RNZCGP; 2000.
• Appendices obtained from Child, Youth and Family – Recommended referral process for GPs. Suspected child abuse and/or neglect

• Healthy Practice for Dental Practices: https://www.healthypractice.co.nz/Dental+Practice/Legal+and+Risk/Vulnerable+Children+Act+2014/
• Ministry of Health: http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/health-workforce/childrens-action-plan-childrens-worker-safety-checking-and-child-protection-policies

• New Zealand Legislation http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2014/0040/latest/whole.html http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1989/0024/latest/DLM149467.html#DLM14946

• New Zealand Dental Association https://www.nzda.org.nz/pub/index.php?eID=txnawsecuredl&u=2665&g=1000&t=1454024373&hash=6fe90b59be754f169e15afb1f03fd 41460804a66&file=resources/gdln_pg_childProtection.pdf

Last updated 13 August 2019