What is neglect?

As defined in HM Government Statutory Guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children, July 2018 (page 105):

‘Neglect is 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 misuse.  Once a child is born, neglect may involvea  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.’

How can I identify neglect?

The Redbridge Neglect Toolkit provides a framework designed to support the identification of children’s needs by practitioners in any agency working with children, young people and their families or carers in the Borough.  It is used when visiting families to help reflect on the child’s circumstances and put concerns into context, identifying strengths and resources.  It does not replace the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) nor the Child and Family Assessment, but should be used alongside these assessment processes.  The Toolkit focuses on give key areas of need (physical care; health; safety and supervision; love and care; and stimulation and education) and considers the extent to which children’s needs are being neglected and/or the needs or wants of their parents/carers are taking precedence, plus the parental motivation to change.

Identifying, Recording Concerns and Responding to Neglect for School Staff

The National Grid for Learning has pooled a number of resources together for those that work in schools.  These include podcasts, blogs, reports and posters.  Topics such as understanding neglect in adolescence and affluent neglect are explored.  See link below:

Resources and Guidance

Further Reading and Research