Last Reviewed June 2021
One Minute Guide to Neglect & The Neglect Toolkit
What is Neglect?
'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' - Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2018
Neglect is the most common reason for a child to be on a child protection plan and features in 60% of serious case reviews / child safeguarding practice reviews.
Understanding the impact of Neglect:Show detailsNeglect has strong links with ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences). It occurs across childhood and adolescence but rarely produces a crisis response due to its cumulative nature. In childhood, neglect can seriously impede the brain, bodily functions, academic understanding and behavioural development, it can to lead to physical, emotional and health issues later in life.
Socio-emotional development can be impacted if a carer is emotionally disconnected with their child potentially leading to problems such as low self esteem and poor emotional regulation. As a result of these experiences poor social skills can develop which can lead to other compounding problems such as bullying.
Adolescent NeglectShow detailsNeglect is equally as damaging to an adolescent as it is to a young child.
Young people who experience neglect only during adolescence display a range of negative outcomes at least as strong as those of children who experience neglect only during early childhood.
The range of the risk factors facing teenagers include, alienation from their families; school difficulties; accommodation problems; abuse/exploitation including grooming; unemployment; drug and alcohol misuse; emotional and mental health difficulties; and domestic abuse in the home.
What can it look like?Show details- Disorganised or insecure attachment of a child/young person, they may find caring and supportive relationships frightening or confusing.
- Lack of parental response to a child’s health needs: e.g. untreated nappy rash, not registered with a dentist / doctor or missed routine appointments
- Lack of parental stimulation or interaction with child
- No parental concern over educational attainment / attendance at school
- Leaving children unsupervised or in an unsafe environment
Factors which can contribute to Neglect:Show details- Parental alcohol/drug misuse
- Postnatal, maternal and parental depression and other mental health issues
- Domestic abuse
- Lone parenting
- Blended families e.g. adolescents may struggle when a new partner is introduced
- Financial difficulties such as homelessness, poverty and unemployment
- Patterns of improvement in parental care, followed by deterioration
Impact of Cumulative Harm
Important to note!
You may not always be able to fill in the whole document without working in partnership with other agencies.
Any information recorded is essential and will enable a holistic approach to assessment.
The 9 areas to consider
The toolkit has 9 sections and includes suggested questions to support the identification of adolescent neglect through the voice of a child.
Practitioners findings can be recorded on the Neglect Toolkit Assessment Form, this can then be printed and shared with the family and other professionals.
The documents below set out the strategic aims and objectives for tackling Neglect in the Wakefield District. They contain key principles under which the work around neglect should be undertaken and identify priority areas of work in order to improve Wakefield’s multi-agency response to child neglect.
- Using the Wakefield Neglect Toolkit presentation (Please note this recording is now out of date as was based around the older 40 page document. This will be updated as soon as it is available)
- New Neglect for professionals page
- NEW Multi-agency online Neglect Toolkit
- Multi Agency Continuum of Need Updated Aug 2020
Where can I get help?
For Early Help advice at all levels of need, contact your community cluster.
Early Intervention is Key
If you are concerned a situation requires an immediate response from Children’s Social Care contact the Integrated Front Door on 0345 8 503 503 or dial 999 in an emergency.
- WSCP Wakefield Safeguarding Children's Partnership website for further information and guidance and latest documents
- WFT Wakefield Families Together for more information and signposting to local services / groups.
- NSPCC Resources:· Online introductory child protection course nspcc.org.uk/cpintro · weekly newsletter nspcc.org.uk/caspar Protecting children from neglect | NSPCC Learning