What is Neglect?

In terms of statutory responsibilities for safeguarding and child protection Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 defines neglect as:

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. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.

Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide adequate food, clothing or shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate caregivers); ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.’  (Glossary, p93)

Neglect strategy

Together with multi-agency partners the DSCP has developed a neglect strategy which establishes strategic aims, objectives and priorities for Doncaster’s approach to tackling neglect. The overarching aim of the strategy is to ensure the early recognition of neglect and improved responses to it by all agencies, so that life changes of children are promptly improved and the risk of harm is reduced.

Neglect toolkit

In addition to the strategy the DSCP and multi-agency partners have developed a tool to be used to help professions identify neglect and the appropriate support needed. This has been adapted from the 'graded care profile' designed by Dr Leon Polnay and Dr O. P. Srivastava, Bedfordshire and Luton Community NHS Trust. The neglect toolkit helps professionals measure the quality of care being given to a child and is an assessment tool to help spot anything that is putting children risk of harm.

Adult self-neglect and/or hoarding – policy and procedure

This Policy and procedure focuses on  adults considered to self-neglecting or hoarding – it may be that a self-neglecting or hoarding adult is a parent or a carer for children, or there may be children living or visiting the house.

This is a multi-agency policy and procedure, endorsed and produced by the Doncaster Safeguarding Adults Board (DSAB), Doncaster Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (DSCP) and Safer Stronger Doncaster Partnership (SSDP) within the context of the duties set out at paragraph 14.2 of the Care Act 2014 Care and Support Statutory Guidance and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.