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Neglect can affect children of any age. Government statutory guidance explains that neglect is:

The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic needs, to the extent that it has a serious effect on the child’s health or development. This can be either the child’s physical or psychological needs’

(see Working Together 2018 (see page 108 at Appendix A).

Signs that a child’s basic needs are not being met may include them:

  • Being hungry, undernourished or underweight
  • Having poor hygiene or unclean clothing
  • Not being supervised properly. This can include a child being left in the care of someone who is not suitable to care for them
  • Being ignored and not being given the stimulation they need
  • Not being taken to the doctor or dentist.

Understanding neglect and getting help and support

Neglect and child protection

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