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Neglect is defined by the NSPCC as “the ongoing failure to meet a child’s basic needs and is the most common form of child abuse. A child might be left hungry or dirty, without proper clothing, shelter, supervision or health care. This can put children and young people in danger, and it can also have long term effects on their physical and mental wellbeing”. 

Neglect can encompass a lot of different things, but there are four main types of neglect, namely:

  • Physical: a child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, are not met or they are not properly supervised or kept safe;
  • Educational; a parent or guardian does not ensure that their child is given an education;
  • Emotional; a child does not get the nurture and stimulation that they need. This could be through ignoring, humiliating, intimidating or isolating them; and
  • Medical: a child is not given proper health care, including dental care and refusing and/or ignoring medical recommendations.

Why is this a priority?

The strategic aim in Telford and Wrekin is to ensure there is early recognition of neglect. From early support to statutory intervention there should be appropriate, consistent and timely responses across all agencies working together. In Telford and Wrekin, from 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2020, there were 874 new child protection plan registrations; of these, 356 were initially categorised as neglect, some 40% of the total. This therefore led the Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership to make Neglect one of their thematic priorities.

What are we doing to reduce the incidents of Neglect in Telford and Wrekin?

The Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership are committed to improving the identification, investigation and intervention of children subjected to Neglect. We intend to do this by continuing to implement the strategic priorities as laid out in the Telford & Wrekin Safeguarding Children Board Neglect Strategy 2017-2019, by fully embedding the child's daily lived experience model into the multi-agency child protection work and continuing to provide professional development with a focus on neglect for all practitioners. Likewise, the Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership is dedicated to improving the early recognition of Neglect through the effective use of early help assessment, intervention tools and systematic approach. 

The Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership will be publishing an updated Neglect Strategy for 2020-2023 in due course. 

What should I do if I am or someone you know is affected by Neglect?

If you suspect that a child(ren) is being neglected, there are a number of agencies that you can speak to. 

  • Children can speak to Childline if they are experiencing neglect or if they are worried about a friend or family member. Childline can be contacted 24 hours a day on 0800 1111
  • Family Connect is the front door service for all safeguarding concerns within Telford and Wrekin, and they can be contacted on 01952 385385 from 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. If there is a concern outside of these hours that cannot wait until the next working day, please contact the Emergency Duty Team on 01952 676500, who are available after 5pm from Monday to Friday and 24 hours at weekends
  • West Mercia Police can be contacted if you want to report an incident or any suspicions you may have, and this can be done by either ringing 101 which is the non-emergency number, or by going to your local police station to speak to someone in person.

If it is an emergency or there is an immediate danger, always ring 999.