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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 the most common reason 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?

Children and young people are normally seen by lots of different adults every day, like neighbours, grandparents and teachers. Due to coronavirus, many are spending much more time at home and there are not as many opportunities for adults to spot the signs of neglect or abuse and help. Isolation can place children at a greater risk of neglect.

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  • Children being withdrawn or anxious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 

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.

The RBSCP is currently refreshing our approach and resources for child neglect.  If you would like more information, or if you would like to be involved in this work, please contact rbsb.admin@rochdale.gov.uk

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 

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