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.”
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:
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?