Concerned about a child or young person? Call 0345 603 7627



Neglect remains the most common form of child maltreatment in this country, and is the most common reason for a child being subject to child protection measures. Neglect is extremely damaging to children in the short and long term, affecting physical, cognitive and emotional development, behaviour and opportunities. Key to effective help for neglected children is that their plight is spotted early and that something is done to help them.


Chronic neglect impacts on a child’s development in the long term and can cause trauma reactions as children mature. NSPCC video ‘Brain Builders’ explains how adverse childhood experiences in the first years of a child’s life affects how their brains form. Toxic stress from abuse or neglect damages structures of a child’s developing brain and can put them at risk of health problems as well as developmental issues and addiction. It shows how nurturing ‘serve and return’ experiences will create positive development.


This video made by Nottingham Council Safeguarding Children Board together with NHS Nottingham City CCG, helps professionals to rethink the early signs of child neglect with the use of language when children are recorded as ‘Did Not Attend’.  It prompts us to think about patterns of neglect and reaching out and seeking help for children who are having their needs neglected.



How to get help


Anyone working with children who suspects that a child is being neglected must report their concerns immediately to the Children and Families Hub and seek their guidance on how to proceed in keeping the child safe and discussing the allegations further.  


Key Documents


ESCB Neglect Multi-Agency Practice Guidance, (2017) provides a comprehensive overview of indicators of neglect, resilience factors, the effects, learning and how to assess neglect and work with resistance.


SET procedures outlines definition of neglect and signs (page 21).