Neglect accounts for three out of four cases of child abuse and neglect. Broadly, neglect is the failure to provide for a child’s basic needs. Neglect may be:
- Physical (e.g., failure to provide necessary food or shelter, or lack of appropriate supervision)
- Medical (e.g., failure to provide necessary medical or mental health treatment)
- Educational (e.g., failure to educate a child or attend to special education needs)
- Emotional (e.g., inattention to a child’s emotional needs, failure to provide psychological care, or permitting the child to use alcohol or other drugs)
While poverty is often—but not always—associated with neglect, it is not the cause. Most poor families do not neglect their children. It is important to distinguish between when the neglect is a direct effect of family poverty that the family was powerless to overcome, and when it arises from lack of concern, insufficient knowledge of parenting, poor financial planning, mental incapacity, addiction, parental disabilities and medical conditions, homelessness, and many other factors.
To truly prevent neglect, we need to understand the complex factors in play which lead to child neglect, differentiate between neglect arising from a current or one-time crisis and chronic neglect, and better understand the types of interventions which can make an impact. Over the next year, CANTASD will develop practice tools, program and policy examples, and information and resources that can help individuals, businesses and organizations, and communities take concrete action to prevent child neglect.
Building Healthy Communities to Promote Child and Family Well-Being
August 11, 2016 | Digital Dialogue | Supporting Vulnerable Families
Watch the recording of this 30-minute digital dialogue with presenters from the National Alliance of Children's Trust and Prevention Funds and learn more about the intersection of poverty and child neglect. Learn to recognize common assumptions around neglect, hear key messaging to mobilize support, and identify actions we all can take to prevent neglect.