Safeguarding Sussex Week: Neglect

This year’s Learning Together week runs from Monday 27 November -Friday 1 December 2017 and there will be a variety of events to spotlight and debate some of the most important issues in our city which affect individuals, their families and the wider community. This year the Safeguarding Week is being held in conjunction with our partners from East & West Sussex as well as Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Adults Board and the Safe in the City Partnership Board

You can view the Brighton & Hove programme here and the face to face events will provide a space for professionals to explore their responsibilities in their everyday work, and reflect on their contribution to keeping people safe and well. If you cannot attend one of our events you may wish to make some time to complete some eLearning to increase your safeguarding knowledge, or you may want to use one of our Practice Point Scenarios to start discussion in your team meetings, or reflect on the implications for your practice after reading our Briefing for Staff: W&X SCR. 

Throughout the week we will be circulating a series of bite-sized bulletins to give you an appetite for different safeguarding themes, and point you in the direction for further information. Look out for them in your inbox, and follow the week on social media #SafeguardingSussex


We are opening this year’s Safeguarding Sussex Week with a Pan Sussex LSCB Conference on Neglect, as tackling this abuse is a priority of all three LSCBs and our partner agencies. The impact of neglect on children and young people is enormous. Neglect causes great distress to children, leading to poor health, educational and social outcomes, and is potentially fatal. Child neglect is the most common and pervasive type of abuse in the UK today and requires a coordinated and rigorous professional response at all levels

Neglect is identified as the form of maltreatment most likely to be repeated and the impact of which can be cumulative. Neglect, increases vulnerability and exposes children to other forms of abuse, e.g. child sexual exploitation, radicalisation etc. The impact of neglect on a child’s development and emotional wellbeing is often cumulative, making it hard for professionals to agree to take action to protect a child. This can result in drift and delay to help and support being provided.


Working Together 2015 defines neglect as: The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development.

Neglect may occur during pregnancy, for example as a result of maternal substance abuse, but once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

  • provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
  • protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
  • ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or
  • ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs


Our strategic aims: 

  • Raise awareness and challenge neglect when we see it.
  • Do more to mitigate the impact of this form of abuse upon children and young people.
  • Identify neglect much earlier in children’s lives.
  • Reduce the number of children that suffer neglect and reduce the amount of time that they experience neglect for.
  • Give tackling child and adolescent neglect the priority it deserves.
  • Deliver a well trained workforce that works together confidently to tackle neglect and a community that recognises and reports neglect.

Read more about how we are working together to tackle neglect in our Neglect Strategy


Multi-agency training:  

The LSCB have worked with the Social Care Institute for Excellence to produce an interactive eLearning course to raise awareness of child neglect. If you are working with children and families and would like to take part, or would like further information, please email us at We also run a day long multi-agency training session on Child Neglect


Further reading: 

If you have concerns that a child is being neglected

please contact the Front Door for Families on 01273 290400