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Neglect is 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 (Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018).

The  Neglect Strategy for Oxfordshire 2022-2024 sets out the partnership response to identify and tackle neglect.

Why Neglect

In Oxfordshire, neglect is the most common reason for children becoming subject to a child protection plan or repeat plan and is a common feature in the county’s recent serious case reviews. It is difficult to define and often coexists with other forms of abuse. Apart from being potentially fatal, neglect causes great distress to children and affects their well-being in the short and long term.

It can be difficult to both identify and work with neglect – These pages should help you to do both, enabling you to intervene early and support families to improve outcomes for children experiencing, or at risk of, neglect.

For more on why Oxfordshire is focusing on neglect see this document: Why neglect? Oxfordshire stats 2018

Neglect Practitioner Forums

Neglect practitioner forums establish a network of front-line staff and managers who will act as champions of the work to tackle neglect, for further information on the forum in your locality follow the link above.


Guidance: A starting point to help you understand what neglect means and the risks it poses to children, and to support you through the neglect pathway.

Tools: A range of tools to help you identify neglect, assess the impact, articulate risk, harm, safety and strengths, capture the views and voice of the child and develop plans to address identified concerns. This page also includes links, useful online resources and publications.

Child Protection: This section outlines what happens in a Child Protection Core Group and what everyone’s roles and responsibilities are.

Disabled Children and Neglect: Help you understand the needs of Disabled Children within a neglect context.

Named Professionals in Adults’ Services: Named professional in adult services who can help identify the best means of supporting adults/parents within a family, where are there are concerns about child neglect.

Videos and Resources: Videos about identifying and working with neglect and the harm it causes.