Reports to the NSPCC’s helpline about child neglect have doubled over the past two years to reach record levels, the charity has revealed.
From April 2011 to March 2012, NSPCC counsellors dealt with over 12,000 calls and emails about neglect from the public. In 8,600 of these cases, the involvement of police or social services was required.
The NSPCC has warned that the sharp increase in reported neglect cases is placing additional pressure on already stretched children’s services.
Dr Ruth Gardner, head of the NSPCC’s neglect programme, said more research was needed on why the increase had occurred.
She added: “Eileen Munro highlighted in her review of social work the importance of acting quickly to tackle neglect, before problems spiral out of control. But social workers tell us they need better tools and training to help them identify and tackle neglect earlier.”
The NSPCC has produced a short survey, in partnership with Community Care, to find out what extra support and training professionals working with neglect cases need.