Neglect and the damage to children from neglect has been a feature in both local and national serious case reviews has been identified as a feature in national and local SCRs, and locally in learning reviews and multi-agency audits.
LLR Neglect Toolkit
The LLR Neglect Toolkit was updated in July 2021 to include additional information regarding adolescent neglect, ICON safer sleeping (Infant crying is normal; Comforting methods can help; It’s Ok to walk away; Never, ever shake a baby), and Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI).
Identifying neglect earlier within families, supporting parents to enable change through partnership working, in order to reduce the impact of neglect on the emotional and physical wellbeing of children.
The 2019 Triennial review of serious case reviews has highlighted that there is insufficient understanding of adolescent neglect across the multi-agency network, including an understanding of the serious impact on the individual and its link with complex adolescent behaviour. This can result in a fragmented and reactive response to different aspects of behaviour and leave young people at risk of harm. It is important to take a child developmental approach to neglect and think about the implications for the child’s/young person’s age and stage of development. It is also important to remember that intra familiar neglect can lead to extra familiar risks for adolescents, where peer group, friendship network, environment and school can all play an important part in the understanding of neglect. These external contextual factors need to be part of our professionals’ analysis of a young person’s circumstances.
Working Together 2018 defines 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 caregivers);
- Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs”.
This definition has not always been applied to the needs and circumstances of adolescents and those in the transition to adulthood. It is important that adolescent neglect is defined as the “persistent and pervasive failure by a parent or parent figure to meet adolescents physical, emotional, educational, medical and safety needs; causing harm to their health and development and increasing their vulnerability to all forms of exploitation, increasing possible engagement with risky behaviours such as substance misuse, sexually harmful behaviours, anti-social behaviour, county lines activities, gang membership and crime; thus increasing the likelihood of poor mental health and wellbeing” (drawn from Troubled Teens, Children society, 2018).