Neglect is a complex area of practice, presenting particular challenges. It requires skilful use of assessment, professional authority and direct work with the child and parents to effect change. Professionals need to be alert to the complexity of practice in this area.
Neglect has far reaching and long term effects on children and young people. Children who are exposed to chronic neglect may suffer from a wide range of difficulties leading to poor physical health, underachievement in education and social and emotional difficulties. The effects can extend into adult life and lead to poor functioning and impact on an individual’s own ability to parent. Neglect is often difficult to recognise as the impact is cumulative and the concerns may increase gradually over a long period of time.
The London Borough of Bexley’s Neglect Strategy and resources were initially developed in response to audit and quality assurance reviews of neglect cases within the authority area and to incorporate the findings and recommendations from the Ofsted Thematic Inspection Report ‘In the Child’s Time: Professional Responses to Neglect’ (2014). A revised version of the strategy and toolkit (including guidance when using the toolkit) were produced in June 2021 – the most recent versions are below:
Bexley’s Neglect Strategy and toolkit has been relaunched during 2021 via Bexley S.H.I.E.L.D. with the expectation that all agencies follow its approach. Further dissemination activities including multi-agency training are planned for 2022.
In August 2022, a 7-minute briefing was developed for practitioners to set out the purpose and intended usage of the Neglect Strategy and Toolkit:
In 2017 (and prior to it being replaced), Bexley Safeguarding Children’s Board completed a review of the multi-agency response to neglect in Bexley and produced a list of resources for professionals which can be found here: