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Neglect Strategy - message from HSCB Chair

Wednesday 30 August 2017

Haringey Safeguarding Children's Board has recently adopted and approved a new Neglect Strategy, which is now available to download: Haringey Neglect Strategy (PDF, 350KB)

Whilst we have known for a while that Neglect is the most common form of ill treatment of children across the UK (NSPCC 2014), despite lots of good intentions, do we have any real progress to report on? In 2014, nationally, of the 43000 children then on a Child Protection Plan, 43% were under the Neglect category. Some three years later we have to pose the question 'what have we done about this?'. How do we inject a greater urgency so that the HSCB can see much needed progress?

Launching this new strategy here in Haringey in 2017, we as a Board (made up of so many contributing agencies) must make sure that the focus of our work on Neglect is better linked together and, most importantly, make an impact.

The three main safeguarding agencies have been, nationally, identified as the Local Authority, Health Providers and the Metropolitan Police. However we all know the safety and wellbeing of children, adolescents and young people involves so many more people and agencies - eg schools, nurseries, playgroups, voluntary youth groups - as well as the local communities. Neglected children may be at much greater risk of going 'missing' or indeed being exploited by others. How we recognise these young people and then how we work with them demands new thinking around some familiar problems.

We all have a responsibility to both recognise and respond to Neglect. This strategy helps to underpin this, what works best, and how we must focus on learning together to both prevent and reduce Neglect in Haringey. We need to respond when concerns come in from friends, neighbours, and members of the public.

This is certainly a challenging area of work, and clearly results are not likely overnight. There is, however, no excuse for not tackling such a complex area. Whilst we are all operating within stretched resources this places an even greater impetus on all of us to work much smarter together. Partnerships in Haringey are strong and progress continues to be made across many other safeguarding issues such as child sexual exploitation and tackling violence amongst and between young people.

At the HSCB meetings in September and December we will be considering Neglect in more detail. So it would be helpful to know that all our contributing partners have downloaded the strategy, and made sure that all staff involved are familiar with what it says and the actions that are now needed.

The strategy will be kept under regular review. We need to learn from others and spread what we are becoming aware of. We will audit Neglect across Haringey and become much more familiar with local facts and figures.

As the Interim Chair of the Safeguarding Children's Board, I want to make sure we highlight this growing issue. We need to become more skilled and more knowledgeable about Neglect, we need to keep the child at the centre of our thinking. Children, adolescents and young people across Haringey can and do thrive every day of the week, we need to make sure these opportunities are widely available to all.

More at the meetings over the next few months.

Geraldine Gavin
Interim Chair HSCB

Thank you for your feedback.

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Haringey Local Safeguarding Children Board
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