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What is neglect

Neglect is 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.

Cheshire West and Chester LSCB have more information about identifying neglect:

Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse or failure to participate in ante-natal care. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

  • Provide adequate food, shelter and clothing (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
  • Protect a child from physical harm or danger;
  • Respond to a child’s basic emotional needs;
  • Ensure adequate supervision (including inadequate substitute care-givers);
  • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

Signs which may suggest neglect:

  • Squalid, unhygienic or dangerous home conditions;
  • Parents fail to attend to their children's health or development needs;
  • Children appear persistently undersized or underweight;
  • Children continually appear tired or lacking in energy;
  • Children suffer frequent injuries due to lack of supervision;
  • The child is not attached or is anxiously attached to the parent;
  • The child is not regularly sent to school including preschool;
  • Developmental delay due to lack of stimulation;
  • The child has cold skin mottled with pink or purple;
  • The child has swollen limbs with pitted sores which are slow to heal;
  • The child’s skin condition is poor, especially in the nappy area;
  • The child has dry sparse hair;
  • The child stays frozen in one position for an unnaturally long time.

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