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#NeglectMatters

What to do if you think a child is suffering from neglect

If you have concerns about a child in Surrey who could be suffering from neglect contact Surrey’s Children’s Single Point of Access on 0300 470 9100 or call 999 in an emergency.

To learn more about neglect, visit the NSPCC’s website today.

Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership are working together with the NSPCC to help identify neglect in Surrey.  This booklet aims to help parents, carers and professionals understand more: Neglect Matters Booklet

What is Neglect?

Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child’s basic needs and the most common form of child abuse2. A child might be left hungry or dirty, or without proper clothing, shelter, supervision or health care. This can put children and young people in danger. And it can also have long term effects on their physical and mental wellbeing.

How to spot neglect

The signs of neglect are often hard to spot, as neglect can present itself in many different ways. Take a look below to learn more about the types of neglect, how to spot the signs, and what to do if you suspect a child is being neglected

  1. Medical neglect

The child’s health needs are not met, or the child is not provided with appropriate medical treatment when needed as a result of illness or accident.

  1. Nutritional neglect

The child is given insufficient calories to meet their physical / developmental needs; this is sometimes associated with ‘failure to thrive’, though failure to thrive can occur for reasons other than neglect. The child may be given food of insufficient nutritional value (e.g. crisps, biscuits and sugary snacks in place of balanced meals); childhood obesity as a result of an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise has more recently been considered a form of neglect, given its serious long-term consequences.

  1. Emotional neglect

This involves a carer being unresponsive to a child’s basic emotional needs, including failing to interact or provide affection, and failing to develop a child’s self-esteem and sense of identity. Some authors distinguish it from emotional abuse by the intention of the parent.

  1. Educational neglect

The child does not receive appropriate learning experiences; they may be unstimulated, denied appropriate experiences to enhance their development and / or experience a lack of interest in their achievements. This may also include carers failing to comply with state requirements regarding school attendance and failing to respond to any special educational needs.

  1. Physical neglect

The child has inadequate or inappropriate clothing (e.g. for the weather conditions), they experience poor levels of hygiene and cleanliness in their living conditions, or experience poor physical care despite the availability of sufficient resources. The child may also be abandoned or excluded from home.

  1. Neglect through lack of supervision and guidance

The child may be exposed to hazards and risks, parents or caregivers are inattentive to avoidable dangers, the child is left with inappropriate caregivers, and/ or experiences a lack of appropriate supervision and guidance. It can include failing to provide appropriate boundaries for young people about behaviours such as under-age sex and alcohol use.

What to do if you think a child is suffering from neglect

If you have concerns about a child in Surrey who could be suffering from any type of neglect please call

Surrey Children’s Single Point of Access (C-SPA) on 0300 470 9100 or call 999 in an emergency.