Neglect One Minute Guide 

What is it?

  • 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 may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate caregivers); ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may
also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child's basic emotional needs."(HM Government, 2015)

Impact of Abuse and Neglect
The sustained abuse or neglect of children physically, emotionally, or sexually can have longterm effects on the child’s health, development and wellbeing. It can impact significantly on a child’s self esteem, self image and on their perception of self and of others. The effects can also extend into adult life and lead to difficulties in forming and sustaining positive and close relationships. In some situations it can affect parenting ability and lead to the perpetration of abuse on others.
The context in which the abuse takes place may also be significant. The interaction between a number of different factors can serve to minimise or increase the likelihood or level of Significant Harm. Relevant factors will include the individual child’s coping and adapting strategies, support from family or social network and the impact and quality of professional interventions. The child’s family environment and subsequent life events will also influence the outcome for the child.

for more information on Neglect please see the below resources and contacts:

Look Say Sing Play

The campaign aims to help parents have higher quality interactions with their baby, up to the age of two years, by giving them tips on incorporating Look, Say, Sing, Play into their daily routine. We want to help new parents build a stronger bond by giving them the tools and the confidence to do it well. This will be underpinned by the science of child development. As is increasingly recognised, good interactions build a bond between parent and child which is crucial to the child’s healthy development. From the NSPCC’s point of view, creating stronger bonds is preventive and helps reduce the risk of abuse. For parents, the campaign will build on their interest in the development of their child’s cognitive, social and emotional development which results for high quality interactions.


Go back