6 Jul 2018

Responding to a new inspection report, which found that neglect of older children is often missed, Sam Royston, Director of Policy and Research at The Children’s Society, said: “Our research found that, shockingly, tens of thousands of teenagers are suffering neglect at home, and it is really worrying that all too often these young people are not being identified.

“We see through our own services how neglect can result in children going missing from home, playing truant and starting to drink or take drugs.

“More training is needed to ensure professionals working with both children and adults, including those working in schools, can identify situations where there may be neglect and share information about any concerns they may have.

“Children suffering neglect need help from services to address underlying issues in their lives but too often they are wrongly dismissed as troublesome teenagers or resilient enough to cope.

“Support needs to be offered to the whole family so that parents who may be struggling with their own problems receive crucial advice and support to help them to keep their children safe and give them the care they need.

“Our own research as part of our Seriously Awkward campaign has found that neglect is a real issue even for the oldest children aged 16 and 17.

“That’s why The Children’s Society is urging Ofsted and other inspectorates to carry out an inspection with a focus on safeguarding responses to 16 and 17-year-olds who are recognised as being ‘in need’ by local authority children’s services, including because of neglect at home.”

The joint report, from inspectorates Ofsted, HMI Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and HMI Probation, finds that older neglected children are not always receiving the support and protection they need.   It examines the multi-agency response to older children living with neglect following inspections of six local authority areas.

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