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The state of child neglect in the UK

An annual review by Action for Children in partnership with the University of Stirling

Over the last decade awareness of the extent of child neglect has grown and there is now a significant evidence base about the severe impact of neglect upon children’s well-being and development (Farmer and Lutman, 2012; Stevenson, 2007). There is emerging evidence about the factors associated with effective early intervention and the difference that therapeutic support for children and their families can make (Long et al. 2012).

However, child protection statistics, prevalence research and enquiry reports indicate that too many children are still experiencing chronic neglect throughout large parts of their childhood and are not getting the help they need when they need it (Radford et al. 2011).

The current challenge across the UK is to galvanise a more coherent, integrated and effective response to neglected children. Action for Children and the University of Stirling aim to contribute to the improvement of services for neglected children by influencing the direction of policy and practice towards positive change.