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Neglect is:

The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and / or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy. 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 care-givers); or
  • ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

Responding to Neglect

If you think neglect is occurring in a family, household or for an individual child or young person you must consider your next course of action.

  • Good practice
  • Record concerns, conversations and interaction
  • Use a chronology
  • Assess and review
  • Discuss concerns with colleagues and partner agencies
  • Discuss concerns with the child, parent / carer and family members as appropriate
  • Think Family, Work Family

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