Neglect is defined 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, and 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
  • provide suitable education

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
(Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2023)

Why neglect is a Priority

Neglect is identified as a prevalent form of abuse; both nationally and locally. The Hull Safeguarding Children Partnership (HSCP) will ensure that there is a clearly embedded multi-agency response to children and young people experiencing neglect. Practitioners across all agencies will be supported to identify neglect, understand the impact on children and young people and respond to this at the earliest opportunity. All relevant agencies should also understand the correlation between neglect and adult carer issues and how these impact on children and young people, including domestic abuse, parental mental health, and substance misuse.

HSCP operates through a subgroup model made up of partners who develop policy, procedures and practice guidance for any person working with children, young people, and their families. Membership includes -

  • police
  • Children’s Social Care
  • early help
  • health partners
  • education settings
  • representatives from the voluntary and community sector

and specialist services who provide support for children and young people such as -

  • housing services
  • drug and alcohol services

Along with many other agencies who provide support for children and young people impacted by neglect.

The neglect subgroup was established in 2023 and HSCP is responsible for ensuring that each organisations' approach to the identification and response to neglect is effective and partners are held accountable. The neglect subgroup meets regularly to drive forward the work and business across the multi-agency partnership.

Neglect tools

The development of the HSCP Neglect Toolkit has been designed for use by any member of the workforce across Hull who may come into contact with -

  • children
  • parents or carers

Where there are concerns that the quality of the care of a child or young person suggests that their needs are being neglected. The toolkit is to assist professionals to -

  • identify and assess neglect
  • inform planning

It can -

  • help inform an early help assessment
  • help inform a children’s social care assessment
  • support decision making in the step up or step-down process.
  • be used as a tool for supervision and reflective discussion

Alongside the HSCP neglect toolkit, there is practice guidance which aims to support all practitioners across Hull, who work with children, young people, and their families, to recognise, assess and respond when there is a concern in relation to neglect. The guidance gives an overview of -

  • what neglect is
  • the impact of neglect
  • understanding neglect through childhood to adolescence.
  • how to use the HSCP toolkit 
  • how to act on concerns
  • resources to capture to voice of the child

Neglect Conference

HSCP had the privilege to jointly host the Neglect Conference on the 6 December 2023, alongside The East Riding Safeguarding Children Partnership (ERSCP). The purpose of the conference was to reflect on our local approach to the early identification and response to neglect to improve outcomes for children, young people, and their families.

Neglect Training

We have training courses around neglect.

The HSCP and The Social Work Academy offer neglect workshops for colleagues who work across the partnership. Dates and booking information can be requested by email