Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child’s basic and essential needs. This can include not getting enough to eat or being left alone in dangerous situations.
Children need adequate food, water, shelter, warmth, protection and health care and they need their carers to be attentive, dependable and kind. If a child does not have a safe and stable home, this is neglect.
There are many signs that may indicate that a child is being neglected. If your common sense and instincts tell you that something is wrong then you should take action.
Children may be neglected because they come from disadvantaged backgrounds, although most children from such backgrounds are well cared for. A child’s circumstances may make them more vulnerable to neglect, such as children who are in care or seeking asylum.
A child who is neglected will often suffer from other forms of abuse as well, such as physical, sexual or emotional, although this isn’t always the case. Neglect is dangerous and can have a debilitating and long-term effect on a child’s physical wellbeing, and on their mental, emotional and behavioural development. In severe cases, the effects can cause permanent disabilities and even death.