NSPCC reports rise in child neglect calls
The NSPCC has reported that calls to its helpline reached record levels last year.
A report released today shows that the charity dealt with over 12,000 calls about child neglect from members of the public between April 2011 and March 2012: the highest number yet recorded.
Dr Ruth Gardner, head of the NSPCC's neglect programme, said: 'More people than ever are contacting the NSPCC about child neglect. Some of this will be down to the public being more willing to speak out - and this can only be a positive thing - but there is clearly a worrying trend, not just in our figures, but from a range of agencies and bodies. More research is needed on why this sharp increase has occurred.
'Professor Eileen Munro highlighted in her review of social work the importance of acting quickly to tackle neglect, before problems spiral out of control. But social workers tell us they need better tools and training to help them identify and tackle neglect earlier. And parents need access to support to help them to change their neglectful behaviour. If we are to tackle this growing problem, these two issues must be addressed.'
Despite the increasing number of cases being reported, child neglect remains difficult to identify. Jenni Whitehead offers a back-to-basics overview to help staff spot the signs.