Neglect

Neglect can result when adults fail to meet the basic physical and /or emotional needs of the children they are responsible for.

All children and young people need food, clothing, warmth, love and attention, in order to grow and develop properly.

Neglect is when a parent or carer fails to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment), medical care, or protection from physical and emotional harm or danger.

It also includes failure to ensure access to education or to look after a child because the carer is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In pregnancy neglect may occur as a result of misusing alcohol or drugs.

Common examples of neglect are a failure to:

  • provide adequate food, clothing, or shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
  • protect from physical and emotional harm or danger;
  • meet or respond to basic emotional needs;
  • ensure adequate supervision, including the use of adequate carers;
  • ensure a child’s access to appropriate medical and dental treatment;
  • ensure a child’s educational needs are met;
  • ensure a child’s opportunities for intellectual simulation are met;
  • prevent the exposure of the child to harmful parental behaviour such as violence or a chaotic lifestyle, often secondary to substance misuse, alcoholism or unresolved mental health issues;
  • ensure that the child has opportunities to mix with peers.

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