The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.”

Neglect erodes the child’s resilience. It makes a child or young person lack worth.

Are you worried that a Child’s Basic Needs are not being met?

  • Are they attending school on a regular basis?
  • Are they attending health appointments?
  • Do they appear to be hungry?
  • Are they dressed appropriately for the weather?
  • Are they protected from harm by their parent or carer?
  • Is the child scapegoated / ignored / dismissed?
  • Is the child deprived of food as a punishment?
  • Are they exposed to domestic violence?
  • Are they exposed to alcohol or drugs?
  • Does parent/carer have mental health issues?
  • These are just a few examples of issues and behaviours that may lead to a child becoming neglected.

Graded Care Profile 2

Graded Care Profile 2

The Graded Care Profile 2 is an evidence based assessment tool for evaluating levels of parental care.  It measures the quality of care delivered to an individual child over a short window of time and uses a graded scale to capture levels of physical and emotional care.  The tool identifies strengths as well as areas of care that need to be improved and it targets aspects of neglectful care.  The impact on the child can be measured effectively using this tool and it provides evidence that can inform care and intervention plans.

To be given access to the  the Graded Care Profile 2, you need to first of all complete the Graded Care Profile 2 training, as you have to be licenced to use the Tool. 

Register your interest

If you have previously completed the training, but haven’t used the Tool for a while. You can contact the Learning and Development advisor for safeguarding, who will need a copy of your completion certificate to provide you will the password to the most up to date information.


Neglect is the failure of any person who has responsibility for the charge, care or custody of an adult to provide the amount and type of care that a reasonable person would be expected to provide.

Behaviour that can lead to neglect includes including ignoring medical or physical needs, failing to allow access to appropriate health, social care and educational services, and withholding the necessities of life such as medication, adequate nutrition, hydration or heating.

Neglect can be intentional or unintentional. Intentional neglect such as withholding meals may constitute ‘wilful neglect’ and is a criminal act punishable under law (Mental Capacity Act 2005 Section 44).

Neglect includes ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating. Such acts of neglect can result in serious physical or emotional harm to adults – such as pressure sores, starvation, dehydration and serious illness or death.

  • Failure to provide or allow access to food, shelter, clothing, heating, stimulation and activity, personal or medical care
  • Providing care in a way that the person dislikes
  • Failure to administer medication as prescribed
  • Refusal of access to visitors
  • Not taking account of individuals’ cultural, religious or ethnic needs
  • Not taking account of educational, social and recreational needs
  • Ignoring or isolating the person
  • Preventing the person from making their own decisions
  • Preventing access to glasses, hearing aids, dentures, etc.
  • Failure to ensure privacy and dignity

What does Neglect look like?

Symptoms and signs can be, but are not limited to:

  • Poor environment – dirty or unhygienic
  • Poor physical condition and/or personal hygiene
  • Pressure sores or ulcers
  • Malnutrition or unexplained weight loss
  • Untreated injuries and medical problems
  • Inconsistent or reluctant contact with medical and social care organisations
  • Accumulation of untaken medication
  • Uncharacteristic failure to engage in social interaction
  • Inappropriate or inadequate clothing

Reporting a concern about a child

If you have concerns about a child please report your worries to the NELC Children’s Integrated Front Door using the online form , by calling 01472 326292 Option 2 or contacting the NSPCC helpline 0808 800 5000.

Reporting abuse on adults

Anyone that suspects another professional or adult of abuse or neglect has a duty to refer it to the relevant employer or safeguarding agency to be investigated.

If you need to raise a Safeguarding Adults concern, please call 01472 256 256. This number is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Related documents

SCP Neglect (PDF, 125KB) 

Practice Guidance and Protocol for Working with Neglect (PDF, 13KB)

Prevention and Early Help Strategy 2019-2021 (PDF, 758KB)

Neglect Strategy (PDF, 15MB)

Neglect Matters (PDF, 1MB)

Threshold of Need 2020 (PDF, 845KB)

Neglect Training Pathway & Accreditation (PDF, 134KB)

Working with Child Neglect during the COVID-19 Pandemic (PDF, 413KB)

Related agencies

Families First Information Service or Family Hubs – 01472 326293

Health Visiting and school Nursing Service – 01472 323660

NSPCC Grimsby Service Centre – 01472 803500