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What is neglect?

Working Together 2018 defines neglect as:

“The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

·   Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);

·   Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;

·   Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or

·   Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.”

Solihull have designed a neglect pathway and neglect toolkit to assist work in this area.

Neglect is the most common reason for a child to be on a child protection plan in England. Providing Early Help can prevent children suffering unnecessary harm and the NSPCC have produced 2 reports that give consideration to this:

Raising the potential: tackling child neglect in universal services

Thriving communities: a framework for preventing and intervening in child neglect. 

In the child’s time:professional responses to neglect is a OFSTED report that explores the effectiveness of arrangements to safeguard children who experience neglect, with a particular focus on children aged 10 years and under.

Growing up neglected: a multi-agency response to older children is a report for the third joint targeted area inspection programme, which began in May 2017.

In 2014 the Department for Education published Missed opportunities:indicators of neglect- what is ignored, why and what can be done? 

Practitioners briefing guide to child neglect