Research both locally and nationally shows us that even though most practitioners report that they know what neglect is, they frequently fail to recognise the severity or possible consequences of neglect. Therefore, children are often left in neglectful situations for far longer than should be the case.
Professionals must respond to neglect with the same degree of seriousness and urgency as all other forms of child abuse. The earlier we intervene to prevent neglect the better the outcome for the child.
Together with its multi-agency partners the SSCB has developed a new Neglect Strategy for the city, setting out Sheffield’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 the life chances of children are promptly improved and the risk of harm reduced.
The strategy is supported by the:
- Neglect Training Pathway, which outlines the training available to support practitioners and improve the recognition, assessment and intervention for children and young people living in neglectful situations
- Single Agency Neglect Training Toolkit; a Power Point presentation, short slide pack for embedding in any existing safeguarding children presentation, exercises and comprehensive trainer notes designed to support agencies to address neglect training as part of their in-house safeguarding training programme
The Neglect Strategy, the Neglect Training Pathway, and the Neglect Training Toolkit are available to download below:
Neglect Training Toolkit (Single Agency)
Understanding the Lived Experience of the Neglected Child: Tools and Resources
In order to really understand neglect, and meet the needs of the neglected child, we need to know how it is impacting on the daily lived experience of the particular child. By considering a day in the life of a child, and using professional expertise to consider the impact, a much clearer account of the specific ways the neglect is affecting the child can be gained.
This makes planning interventions and agreeing on outcomes and indicators of progress much more precise and child-focused. Below are resources and exercises that aim to help practitioners understand what a day is like for the neglected child. The materials are suitable to be used individually or as part of a facilitated group exercise.
Chronologies: Practice Guide
Chronologies seek to provide a clear account of all significant events in a child’s life to date. They are an important element of the assessment process, providing early indications of emerging patterns of concern. As such they can be a useful practice tool in identifying signs of neglect and assessing risk.
This guide, Produced for the Scottish Social Work Inspection Agency ( SWIA), seeks to explore and explain what chronologies are, how they can be best used and provides good practice examples based on agency experiences.