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Action for Children survey on child neglect, 13/10/09 [W]

One in ten (11%) of professionals working with children in Wales have seen an increase in suspected cases of child neglect in the last 12 months, according to the results of a survey released by Action for Children.

The survey of primary school, pre-school, nursery and health professionals revealed that a number of signals have alerted professionals to neglected children, including:

  • A child who is unclean or smells (60%)
  • Concerns about a parent’s ability to look after the child (52%)
  • A child who is displaying worrying behaviour patterns (50%)
  • A child who is receiving inappropriate care in the home (48%)
  • A child who is being exposed to potentially unsafe situations such as drug and alcohol abuse (42%)
  • A child who is regularly late for school / nursery (38%)

Two-thirds of those surveyed in Wales (64%) said being able to report less serious suspicions earlier would be helpful when dealing with suspected child neglect, while 49% said advice on how to help struggling families would also make difference. Nearly a third (30%) of UK professionals felt under more pressure to intervene in suspected child neglect cases than five years ago, with more than two-thirds (68%) of these citing media attention on high-profile cases as one of the reasons why.

The full report and an executive summary are available to download from the Action for Children website.