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Neglect (Children)

Neglect is a pattern of failing to provide for a child or young person’s basic needs, whether it be adequate food, clothing, health, hygiene, supervision, shelter, emotional support or learning. 

Neglect can have very serious consequences, physically, developmentally and emotionally. In the worst cases children have died as a result of neglect. 

Neglect is one of the main reasons for a child being on a Child Protection Plan in the borough.

For the Public +

How can I tell if a child is being neglected?

Some of the signs you may spot include:

  • Children crying for long periods of time
  • Young children left alone or are outdoors by themselves 
  • Children looking dirty or not changing their clothes
  • Aggressive or repeated shouting
  • Hearing hitting or things being broken
  • Children are hungry or asking for other people’s food
  • Children are living in dangerous conditions, i.e. in a house that is in a dangerous state of disrepair; around drugs, alcohol or violence
  • Children being withdrawn or anxious
  • Their parents don't seek medical treatment when they are ill or are injured 

Public resources:

Educational neglect leaflet

Emotional neglect leaflet

Medical neglect leaflet

Physical neglect leaflet

Safeguarding and how to report concerns

Video - Child neglect: know the signs – physical neglect

Video - Child neglect: know the signs – educational neglect

Video - What is child neglect?

Video - The role and purpose of the Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Partnership

Video - What is safeguarding and what to do if you have a concern about a child?

Young people's resources:

what is neglect and how to tell someone

Worried about a child?

If you suspect that a child is experiencing neglect, reporting the concern may not be something you want to consider. 

Your initial reaction may be to dismiss it and just hope it's not true. But it's vital that you report your concerns if you feel a child may be suffering. If you don't report your concerns it could mean that the neglect will continue.

Whether you're the child's parent, relative, family friend, neighbour or a professional, don't let anything stop you from protecting a child.

How do I report a concern?

If you suspect that a child or young person is being neglected or is at risk of being neglected then you should report it immediately.

You will need to contact Rochdale Children's Social Care contact details or the Police 999.

Call 999 and speak to the police if you suspect a child or young person is at immediate risk of harm. 

For Professionals +

Tackling neglect is a priority for Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Partnership. Our Neglect Strategy provides the framework for our response to neglect.

Essential information:

Further reading

If you think a child might be experiencing neglect please report your concerns 

  • Children’s social care on 0300 303 0440 
  • Greater Manchester Police on 101 
  • If you believe a child is in immediate danger, call 999. 
  • NSPCC helpline on: 0808 800 5000 

Index of all pages: