Almost one in 10 children in the UK have been neglected by their parents
Problems of neglect are severe, making up nearly half of all abuse cases in England. Yet incidences often get overlooked because they are rarely reported, compared to other types of harm.
How it happens
Neglect may occur during pregnancy when a mother abuses substances. Once a child is born, a parent or carer can cause neglect by failing to:
- provide adequate food, clothing and shelter
- protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
- provide adequate supervision
- ensure access to medical care or treatment when needed
- respond to a child's emotional needs.
What we know
In the UK:
- the number of neglected children has increased in some areas
- children who are neglected are likely to be left more than once
- current prevention and treatment programmes for neglect are not doing enough
- over half those children placed in care following neglect return back home to the same situation.
The damaging effects of severe neglect can lead to accidental injuries, poor health, disability, poor emotional and physical development, lack of self-esteem, mental health problems and even suicide.
Our services helping to prevent neglect
The NSPCC is running five new programmes to prevent child neglect. These include:
- Graded Care Profile - Trialling a national evaluation tool for assessing the care of children and identifying neglect.
- Improving parenting, improving practice - Testing new approaches to help support parents struggling to care for their children.
- SafeCare® - Helping parents give children under five the high level of care and attention they need.
- Making evidence-based decisions for neglected children - this aims to support professionals in making timely and robust decisions for children in the most complex neglect cases.
We want to do as much as we can to prevent the neglect of children.
Are you a child?
Do you need to talk? Call ChildLine on 0800 1111 or visit us online.
Worried about a child?
Don’t wait until you’re certain. Contact our trained helpline counsellors for 24/7 help, advice and support.
Neglect destroys lives
Neglect should be treated with the same urgency as sexual abuse.