Rising concerns around child neglect, but public unclear where to report them

More than a third of adults surveyed by charity Action for Children said they were concerned about the welfare of a child in their neighbourhood

There has been a surge in public concern on child neglect, yet adults and children need more information about where to take these concerns, Action for Children has found.

More than a third of the 2,500 UK adults surveyed by the charity said they were very or quite worried about the welfare or safety of a child in their neighbourhood, yet half (49%) needed more information about sources of assistance and advice about their concerns.

Expert guidance on neglect
Community Care Inform has recently launched a neglect knowledge and practice hub to help social workers with all the information and guidance you need to work with children experiencing neglect.

A third (33%) of the 2,500 children surveyed said they had worried about whether another child was being looked after properly at home, a 4% increase on those surveyed last year.

Among adults, concern has risen by 8% in the last year.

More information

Almost half of all respondents felt they needed more information on where to go with these concerns. The charity is now calling for a national strategy on child neglect, which would include a public awareness campaign containing clear, concise information about where children and adults can seek advice and report their fears.

Tony Hawkhead, chief executive of the charity, said it is a “scandal” that people don’t know how to raise the alarm about a child not being cared for properly.

“Neglect is our biggest problem, the number one reason for child protection referrals to social services, but there is no vision to tackle it. To protect more children, we need a national strategy to command political and public support for change: only this commitment from government will truly change children’s lives,” Hawkhead said.

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