Neglect is one of the most common features of a child protection plan and is the most prevalent form of abuse in the UK, featuring in over 60% of child safeguarding practice reviews.
Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child's basic needs and can have a significant impact on the outcomes of a child, leading to serious impairment of health and developmental issues.
In Wakefield we are committed to help support those who work or volunteer with children and their families for Early Identification: Early Intervention
A multi-agency response is essential in keeping the child from any further harm.
Different types of neglect
It is more common for neglect to be cumulative rather than episodic. Typically neglect is defined as:
- Emotional – Inadequate care and attention to a child during development stages; not providing adequate social stimulation, including love and affection.
- Affluent – Occurs in wealthy famillies and more difficult to spot as it is often hidden. Affluent neglect experienced by children and young people is often emotional or controlling and can be equally devastating. Read more here.
- Physical – Failing to provide supervision such as abandonment and basic survival needs such as shelter, clothing, heat or nutritional needs and endangering a child’s life.
- Educational – Failing to support a child’s attendance and development within the school environment, failure to recognise the educational needs of a child. Read more here.
- Medical -Failing to seek treatment for illness or accident or deliberately causing harm to a child. Can oftern include missed health visits, lack of engagments for immunisations or the absense of dental or optical care when needed.
- Moral – Failing to teach social expectations in what is right or wrong or failure to recognise cultural and religious needs, privacy, dignity and the right to choice.
Neglect v’s Poverty
Neglect is a behaviour, it is not a lack of what a family have!
Protective Factors in Neglect
Prevention and early intervention in child neglect is essential. Protective factors moderate risk or adversity for children (which can lead to ACE's) and can keep a child from further harm. Some protective factors include:
- Parental Resilience and coping strategies
- Parental support to understand a child's development and their needs
- Building family / support systems
- Education and communication (particularly literacy)
A child can become more at risk when these building blocks are not in place and co-existing factors such as alcohol or drug misuse, domestic abuse, mental ill health can increase the risks dramatically.
Find out more about how we are are building protective factors through family interventions in Wakefield by visiting Wakefield Families Together
To understanding more about Adverse Childhood Expereince's (ACE's) visit our trauma page.
What to do if you are concerned about Neglect
There is plenty of support available to you in the Wakefield District if you are concerned a child is being abused.
If a child is in immediate danger, do not delay and call 999. Visit our worried about a child page for more information if your concern is urgent.
In early 2023, WSCP launched a Neglect Campaign to help tackle safeguarding concerns here in Wakefield.
We have a miriad of tools, training and resources below to help you keep children safe from neglect.
Useful tools for Neglect in Wakefield
Useful Guidance in tackling Neglect in Wakefield
Further Reading / Resources on Neglect
- Growing up neglected: a multi-agency response to older children - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Understanding Adolescent Neglect: Troubled Teens | The Children's Society (childrenssociety.org.uk)
- Child-Neglect-Be-Professionally-Curious.pdf (chscp.org.uk)