Neglect and serious case reviews Systematic analysis of neglect in serious case reviews in England
We asked the University of East Anglia to explore the circumstances in which neglect can be catastrophic and have a fatal or seriously harmful outcome for a child.
This report provides a systematic analysis of neglect in serious case reviews in England, between 2003 and 2011.
It looks at how risks of harm accumulate and combine and the points at which intervention might successfully have helped to contain these risks.
Author: Marian Brandon, Sue Bailey, Pippa Belderson and Birgit Larsson
- Neglect is much more prevalent in serious case reviews than had previously been understood (neglect was present in 60% of the 139 reviews from 2009-2011)
- Neglect can be life threatening and needs to be treated with as much urgency as other categories of maltreatment
- Neglect with the most serious outcomes is not confined to the youngest children, and occurs across all ages
- The possibility that in a very small minority of cases neglect will be fatal, or cause grave harm, should be part of a practitioner's mindset. Practitioners, managers, policy makers and decision makers should be discouraged from minimising or downgrading the harm that can come from neglect and discouraged from allowing neglect cases to drift
- The key aim for the practitioner working with neglect is to ensure a healthy living environment and healthy relationships for children.
Practitioners need to be supported by a system that allows them to make good relationships with children and parents and supports them in managing the risks of harm that stem from maltreatment. This includes the harm from neglect and the way that neglect can conceal other risks and dangers.
This study does not provide easy answers about the difficult judgements and decisions that may need to be made where neglect is present but shows how important it is to be open-minded and vigilant about where and how these risks manifest themselves.
|The context of neglect and serious case reviews||16|
|Neglect in the lives of children who become the subject of a serious case review – a statistical overview||20|
|A thematic analysis of neglect||40|
|Implications for policy and practice||79|
Other research and resources
Spotlight on preventing child neglect
Our research and resources on neglect
Read our service evaluations, research reports, briefings and leaflets about child neglect.
Learning from case reviews
Helpline highlight: more people contacting the NSPCC with concerns about neglected children
How safe are our children? 2016
How safe are our children? 2016 is the NSPCC's third annual report that compiles and analyses the most robust and up-to-date child protection data that exists across the four nations in the UK for 2016.
Child abuse and neglect in the UK today
Our Current Awareness Service for Practice, Policy And Research delivers free weekly email alerts to keep you up-to-date with all the latest safeguarding and child protection news.
Follow us on Twitter and keep up-to-date with all the latest news in child protection.
How safe are our children? conference 2017
How safe are our children? is the NSPCC’s annual flagship conference for everyone working in child protection.
We hold the UK's largest collection of child protection resources and the only UK database specialising in published material on child protection, child abuse and child neglect.
New in the Library
A free weekly email listing all of the new child protection publications added to our library collection.
Helping you keep children safe
Read our guide for professionals on what we do and the ways we can work with you to protect children and prevent abuse and neglect.
Impact and evidence hub
Find out how we evaluate and research the impact we’re making in protecting children, get tips and tools for researchers and access resources.
Get expert training and consultancy
Sharing knowledge to keep children safe
Read our guide to NSPCC Knowledge and Information Services to find out how we can help you with child protection queries, support your research, and help you learn and develop.