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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.


Further training about trauma informed practice for professionals can be found under Learning and Development.