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Thinking about adolescent neglect: A review of research on identification, assessment and intervention

Recent research detailed in this report commissioned by Luton Safeguarding Children Board shows that one in seven 14-15 year olds are living with parents who neglect them in one or more ways. This may include a lack of emotional care, warmth and encouragement, young people not being adequately supervised or not being given sufficient physical care to preserve their health, and having little or no interest shown in their education. Their experience of neglect casts a long shadow on their present and future well-being, includingtheir physical and mental health, involvement in risky behaviours and getting into trouble, educational achievement, and poor adult outcomes.

In this context it is very important that Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards are able to provide clear guidance to professionals working in different agencies on how they should respond to this highly vulnerable group of young people. This report, based on the latest research, provides a robust evidence base in two main respects: first, in defining ‘adolescent neglect’, including the related implications for its identification and assessment, and; second,in developing effective practice, including a three tiered framework for prevention, early intervention and responding to ongoing needs. The key points are highly relevant to all those working in different agencies who have a responsibility for safeguarding young people, including senior managers, team leaders and practitioners.