‘’Making Smile Squad services accessible and appropriate for students from refugee backgrounds.’’



Six months from July 2023


What are the project goals?

  • Improve plain language information about Smile Squad.
  • Recommend methods for improving access to Smile Squad services.


What was the methodology?

Community-based consultations and development of resources using a co-design approach.


Which communities did we work with?

This work was conducted in Richmond, Heidelberg West and Springvale with people from refugee backgrounds from the Somali, Sudanese, South Sudanese, Eritrean, Burmese and Rohingya communities. The purpose of consulting with members from specific refugee communities and testing with other refugee communities, across a range of locations, was to increase the likelihood that the findings and outcomes of this project are applicable to, and benefit, a broader range of people from refugee backgrounds across Victoria.


What is Smile Squad?

Smile Squad is a team of Victorian dental professionals who check children’s teeth and provide treatment if they require. They work from Smile Squad vans that go to primary and secondary schools across Victoria. Below is a photo of the Smile Squad van.

When did Smile Squad start?

The program started in 2019 and the program will be fully rolled out by December 2023.


Who is leading Smile Squad?

The Department of Health and Dental Health Services Victoria are leading the development of this initiative in partnership with the Department of Education and Training.


What is CEH’s Smile Squad project?

With funding from the Victorian Department of Health, from July to December 2023, CEH undertook a project to make Smile Squad services accessible and appropriate for students from refugee backgrounds by consulting families from refugee communities to seek their views on how to make accessing the Smile Squad program easierThe project involved focus groups, co-design workshops and testing workshops.

For more information contact us at enquiries@ceh.org.au