Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child’s basic needs and is the most common form of child abuse. A child may be left hungry or dirty, without adequate clothing, shelter, supervision, medical or health care. A child may be put in danger or not protected from physical or emotional harm. They may not get the love, care and attention they need from their parents. A child who’s neglected will often suffer from other abuse as well. Neglect is dangerous and can cause serious, long-term damage – even death.
Neglect is defined as “the ongoing failure to meet a child’s basic physical and psychological needs” (Department for Education, 2018; Department of Health, 2017; Scottish Government, 2014; All Wales, Child Protection Review Group, 2008).
It is a form of child abuse that can have serious and long-lasting impacts on a child’s life – it can cause serious harm and even death.
The four main types of neglect are:
physical neglect: not meeting a child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing or shelter; not supervising a child adequately or providing for their safety
educational neglect: not making sure a child receives an education
emotional neglect: not meeting a child’s needs for nurture and stimulation, for example by ignoring, humiliating, intimidating or isolating them.
medical neglect: not providing appropriate health care (including dental care), refusing care or ignoring medical recommendations (Horwath, 2007)
Southampton LSCB Neglect toolkit has been designed to promote good practice and assist in the identification and assessment of neglect of children and young people. It should be used when there is a concern that the quality of care a child or young person is receiving is leading to their needs being neglected.
The 4LSCB Neglect policy guidance and procedure is a succinct safeguarding practice guide which captures the most significant points when working with neglect of children and young people suffering from neglect.