NEGLECT: is not meeting a child’s basic physical and psychological needs, It is a form of child abuse that can have serious and long-lasting impacts on a child’s life - it can cause serious harm and even death.
The four main types of neglect are:
physical neglect: not meeting a child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing or shelter; not supervising a child adequately or providing for their safety.
educational neglect: not making sure a child receives an education.
emotional neglect: not meeting a child’s needs for nurture and stimulation, for example by ignoring, humiliating, intimidating or isolating them.
medical neglect: not providing appropriate health care (including dental care), refusing care or ignoring medical recommendations.
Neglect can happen at any age, sometimes even before a child is born. If a mother has mental health problems or misuses substances during pregnancy, for example, she may neglect her own health and this can damage a baby’s development in the womb.
Impact of child neglect:
Children can experience neglect at any age – from birth to adolescence. Neglect can cause a range of short- and long-term effects which may vary depending on the age of the child affected.
If a baby is malnourished, neural cells can become weak or damaged and this can cause lowered brain function. If a child has little interaction with their caregiver, it can change how emotional and verbal pathways develop and impact their ability to learn. This may have consequences for brain functioning in later life.
Parents and carers need to help young children to develop gross motor skills. If they are being neglected, or if parents don’t know how to stimulate their child, this process may not happen effectively and the child’s development may be delayed.
If a child isn’t given enough food, they will immediately experience hunger and discomfort and may have trouble concentrating. But longer-term malnourishment will also affect their physical health and development.
Having an unhealthy diet can also lead to obesity-related health problems.
Not receiving appropriate medical care can result in poor health, dental decay and in some circumstances, death.
Children who have experienced neglect are more likely to experience mental health problems, including:
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
-Relationships and attachment:
Children who don’t get the love and care they need may develop problems with attachment – they may struggle to form a strong relationship or bond with their caregiver. This can lead to a child becoming isolated and affect their ability to maintain healthy relationships with others later in life (including their own children).
Young people who have experienced neglect may take more risks, such as:
running away from home
breaking the law
abusing drugs or alcohol
becoming involved in unhealthy and/or abusive relationships.
If children and young people aren’t being supervised appropriately by their parents and carers they may have accidents which can cause injury, illness, disfigurement, disability or even death.