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Child abuse

Neglect – information for professionals

Nationally neglect is the most common form of maltreatment in England, affecting boys and girls and occurs throughout childhood and adolescence. It causes great distress to children and leads to poor health, educational and social outcomes in the short and long-term. It is important to end any potential cycle of neglect where this is identified.

Neglect is a complex issue that is challenging for professionals as it is frequently passive and not always intentional. It is more likely to be a chronic condition than crisis led and this impacts on how agencies respond. It is often combined with other forms of maltreatment. Families often need long term support and professionals may not agree about the threshold for intervention in the absence of a clear cut agreement about what constitutes neglect.

The Neglect Strategy 2017-2020 sets out how the Devon Safeguarding Children Partnership will work to prevent, identify and respond to neglect.

Download the Neglect Toolkit.

Download the Multi-Agency Tabletop Audit on Adolescent Neglect.

Download the Neglect One-Minute Guide

In February 2020, the Devon SCP’s Quality Assurance Delivery group will be conducting a review into Neglect across Devon and the current use of the Strategy and Toolkit. Terms of reference for the review can be found here.

If you are worried about the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person in Devon,
please complete the request for support online form.


If you think that the child is at risk of significant harm,
contact our Front Door directly by calling 0345 155 1071.


In an emergency call 999.