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.
- RSCP Child Neglect Toolkit – 2nd Edition, September 2023 (PDF 335KB)
- Child Neglect Toolkit Checklist [September 2023] (Word version)
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
- LSCB Quick Learning Guide to … Neglect (PDF 867KB)
- Action for Children: Child Neglect – Be Professional Curious – Guide for Investigators/Practitioners Guidance Note
- Missed opportunities: indicators of neglect – what is ignored, why, and what can be done? Research Report, DfE, November 2014
- Neglect Matters – What you need to know about neglect; a guide for parents, carers and professionals, NSPCC
Further Reading and Research
- Growing up neglect: a multi-agency response to older children, Joint Targeted Area Inspection (JTAI) Report from Ofsted, HMICRS, CQC, and HM Inspectorate of Probation, July 2018
- Neglect and Serious Case Reviews – University of East Anglia, 2013
- Child Abuse and Neglect in the UK Today, NSPCC, 2013
- NICE Guidance on Abuse and Neglect, 2017
- Thinking about adolescent neglect – a review of research – The Children’s Society & Luton SCB, April 2018 (PDF 1MB)
- Thinking about adolescent neglect – Briefing for Professionals – The Children’s Society & Luton SCB, April 2018 (PDF 311KB)