A child can experience neglect when the adults who look after them fail to meet their needs. Neglect can takes many forms and can result in emotional as well as physical harm.

A neglected child may be left hungry or dirty, without adequate clothing, shelter, medical or health care. They can also be left alone in the house, or out on the streets for a long time without adequate supervision, and not receive any attention when they are distressed, or even when they’re excited or happy.

A child who’s neglected will be vulnerable to other abuse and exploitation. However, neglect in itself is dangerous and can cause serious, long-term damage and even death.

The NSPCC has useful information for parents on emotional abuse and neglect.

If you are worried about a child or young person who may be neglected, don’t wait until you’re certain, get in contact with someone who can help support and protect them.

If you are a parent beginning to struggle to care for your child, contact your health visitor or local children’s centre. If your child is at school talk to the headteacher or family support adviser (FSA). You can also talk to your GP or if the matter is more urgent contact Children’s Social Care.

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