Child neglect is a form of child abuse, and is a deficit in meeting a child’s basic needs, including the failure to provide adequate health care, supervision, clothing, nutrition, housing as well as their physical, emotional, social, educational and safety needs. Parental failure to provide for a child, when options are available, is different from failure to provide when options are not available. Child neglect is the most frequent form of child abuse, with children born to the initial upbringing of the child mothers at a substantial risk for neglect.
3 million reports of children being abused or neglected. Children permanently removed from their parental home because of substantiated child abuse, are also at an increased risk of a first presentation to the emergency department for suicide related behavior. Neglected children are at risk of developing lifelong social, emotional and health problems, particularly if neglected before the age of two years. Neglect is difficult to define, since there are no clear, cross-cultural standards for desirable or minimally adequate child-rearing practices. Research shows that neglect often coexists with other forms of abuse and adversity.
Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Acts of omission: failure to provide for a child’s basic physical, emotional, or educational needs or to protect a child from harm or potential harm. The failure to supervise inadequate supervision, exposure to violent environments. The definition of child neglect is broad.
In general, child neglect is considered the failure of parents or caregivers to meet the needs that are necessary for the mental, physical, and emotional development of a child. Child neglect is one of the most common forms of child maltreatment, and it continues to be a serious problem for many children. There are various types of child neglect. Physical neglect refers to the failure to provide a child with basic necessities of life such as food and clothing. Medical neglect is a failure of caregivers to meet a child’s basic health care needs. Example: not brushing teeth on a daily basis, bathing a child and or taking children to doctor visits when needed.
Emotional neglect is failing to provide emotional support such as emotional security and encouragement. Depending on the laws and child protective policies in your area, leaving a young child unsupervised may be considered neglect, especially if doing so places the child in danger. Child neglect can also be described by degrees of severity and the responses considered warranted by communities and government agencies. Mild neglect is the least likely to be perceived as neglect by the child, but raises the possibility of harm in ways that need intervention by the community. An example might be a parent who does not use a proper car safety seat.
Moderate neglect occurs when some harm to the child has occurred. In cases of moderate harm, governmental agencies might be called in to assist parents. Severe neglect occurs over time and results in significant harm to the child. An example might be a child with asthma being denied treatment. Children may be left at home alone, which can result in negative consequences. Being left at home alone can leave young people feeling scared, vulnerable and not knowing when their parents are going to return. The frequency and duration of being left at home alone may range from every evening, to several days or even weeks at a time.
Also, young children may not be provided with a suitable amount of decent food to eat, which is another form of neglect. Children have reported being provided with moldy food, or not having any food in the house, or they were given an insufficient amount of food. At the intra-personal level, the discussion around neglectful parents’ characteristics often focuses on mothers, reflecting traditional notions of women as primary caregivers for children. Unstable and abusive relationships have also been mentioned as increasing the risk of child neglect. A study of the maltreatment of children by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children supports the association between neglect and lower socio-economic class. The patterns of repetitive behavior point out that a cycle of violence repeats. Children of abusive and neglectful parents commit violence in the future.