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The HSCB Neglect Strategy 2017-18

This year, the HSCB agreed a new strategy to work with Neglect in Haringey - read more about the Neglect Strategy 2017-18 here.

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What is Neglect?

Working Together to Safeguarding Children (2015) describes neglect as:

“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 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 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

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Examples of Neglect - failure to:

  • Provide adequate food, clothing, or shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment).
  • Protect from physical and emotional harm or danger.
  • Meet or respond to basic emotional needs.
  • Ensure adequate supervision including the use of adequate carers.
  • Ensure access to appropriate medical treatment.
  • Ensure that his or her educational needs are met.
  • Ensure that his/her opportunities for intellectual simulation are met.
  • Prevent the exposure of the child to harmful parental behaviour such as violence or a chaotic lifestyle, often secondary to substance misuse, alcoholism or unresolved mental health issues.
  • Ensure that the child has opportunities to mix with peers.

The above may play a cumulative part in isolating the child in society, eg at school because of body odour or head lice or because of violent behaviour.

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Indicators of Neglect

  • Frequent A& E attendances (eg for injuries). These are often associated with accidents through lack of supervision.
  • Poor uptake of immunisations.
  • Untreated medical conditions and not giving essential treatment regularly or consistently for serious illness and/or minor health problems.
  • Poor dental hygiene and care.
  • Inadequate / poor nutrition.
  • Physical care and presentation of the child outside acceptable norms for the population (eg inappropriate clothing for the winter).
  • Child's attendance at school is poor or the child is consistently late. Parent takes no interest in child's school-work.
  • Parent carer does not have the ability or motivation to recognise and ensure the needs of the child are met.
  • House is in a dirty, unkempt state with poor safety provision. Children's bedrooms may be worse than the communal areas.
  • Parental behaviour is overtly risky and of concern ie substance misuse, domestic abuse, denial of access to child, frequent home moves, homelessness etc.

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