Neglect is the constant failing to meet a child or young person’s basic needs resulting in serious effects on their health and development. Neglect can also occurring pregnancy through maternal substance abuse, for example.

Neglect is a common factor for a child to be on a child protection plan or on a child protection register. Sometimes the parent or carer will not meet a child’s basic needs because they may not have the support requires or the result of other problems such as domestic abuse, mental health issues, substance misuse or poverty.

When a child is born, the parent may fail to provide sufficient food, clothing and shelter, protect them from physical and emotional harm or danger, make sure there is appropriate supervision such has people looking after the child in the parent/carer’s absence and ensure the child receives and has access to the right medical treatment and care. Further it may involve a lack of response to a child’s emotional needs.

Recognising the signs of neglect:

  • The conditions of the home are squalid, unhygienic and/or dangerous and unsafe to live in;
  • Parents or carers that fail to meet the child’s health and development needs such as failing to get medical advice when the child is ill;
  • The child may be overweight or underweight, and they may appear hungry or wanting food;
  • Continually having a lack of energy and feeling tired;
  • Children that appear dirty and/or unkempt;
  • Frequent injuries occurring;
  • There is a delay in their development.


Kingston and Richmond Safeguarding Children Partnership (KRSCP) Why Neglect Matters Conference March 2019

Following the launch of the Kingston and Richmond Safeguarding Children Partnership (KRSCP) Neglect Strategy this summer our successful and thought provoking Neglect Conference on 13th November was attended by many professionals working across both boroughs. Keynote speakers Jenny Molloy, author of the Hackney Child, and Professor Ray Jones, author of the Story of Baby P, along with Suzanne Parrott, Head of AFC Virtual School shared powerful insights into the long term effects of Neglect. 
Please take time to view their powerpoints from the conference to further your understanding of Neglect. We are repeating this free conference on the 14th of March 2019. Apply here:

Jenny Molloy

Suzanne Parrott

Ray Jones

The Kingston and Richmond Safeguarding Children Partnership (KRSCP) have produced a Powtoon on Neglect for you to share widely. Please click here.

The Kingston and Richmond Safeguarding Children Partnership (KRSCP) Neglect Strategy and Toolkit can be found here.

Kingston and Richmond Safeguarding Children Partnership (KRSCP) Resources:

Kingston and Richmond Safeguarding Children Partnership's 7 minute briefing on Learning from Serious case reviews can be downloaded here.

Kingston & Richmond Safeguarding Children Partnership's Neglect Strategy for 2018-2021 can be downloaded here.

The child neglect toolkit has been developed to assist all practitioners to analyse and assess situations of possible neglect.  

Please be aware the Neglect Toolkit is a three part document

The In-Depth Toolkit can be accessed here.

A Compressed Version of the Toolkit can be accessed here..

Click here for the toolkit Overview Summary which can be used with the in-depth and compressed versions of the toolkit.

Please click here for the Neglect Action Plan.

Please click here for our Neglect film.

Neglect Newsletters

Our Spring 2020 Neglect Newsletter can be found here.

Our Autumn 2019 Neglect Newsletter can be found here.

Our Spring Neglect 2019 Newsletter can be found here.

Other helpful resources:

Hampshire LSCB have produced Key Indicators of Neglect - click here.

Goldsmiths has provided some research about working with affluent families where there are concerns for neglect. Please click here

Please download a handout on 'What does child neglect look like?' - Download

Read more here:

Videos - 

Nottingham LSCB Was Not Brought

Dorset Police - a real story about neglect

Triborough LSCB Michelle's Story re neglect

Working to combat neglect - 

As Kingston and Richmond Safeguarding Children Partnership (KRSCP) we have put together a neglect toolkit, and working from our local findings from our audit work, a huddle of tools and resources for practitioners:

Research in Practice has published guidance on the links between neglect and sexual harm here:

Neglect Mapping resource on interventions for children aged 7-15 years:

Graded Care Profile (and other resources)

NICE Guidance:

C4EO identifies interventions in complex cases.

Resources for schools:

School Nursing:

Coventry has a useful table here of social work methods and their usefulness.