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Indicators of Neglect

There may be physical indicators that a child is being neglected. Some examples of this are:

  • Inappropriate dress for the weather
  • Extremely dirty or unbathed
  • Inadequately supervised or left alone for unacceptable periods of time
  • Malnourished
  • May have severe nappy rash or other persistent skin disorders or rashes resulting from improper care or lack of hygiene

There may also be indicators in a child’s behaviour that could indicate neglect. Some examples of this are:

  • Demonstrates severe lack of attachment to other adults
  • Poor school attendance or school performance
  • Poor social skills
  • May steal food
  • Is very demanding of affection or attention
  • Has no understanding of basic hygiene

There may be indicators in adult behaviour that could indicate neglect. Some examples of this are:

  • Fails to provide for the child’s basic needs, such as housing, nutrition, medical and psychological care
  • Fails to enrol a child in school or permits truancy
  • Leaves the child home alone
  • Is overwhelmed with own problems and puts own needs ahead of the child’s needs

More details and examples of indicators of neglect are available in the book 'How Can I Tell?'.  You can view 'How Can I Tell?' online or you can order copies of 'How Can I Tell?' through our shop.