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Most Children in North Yorkshire Have Witnessed Neglect


9:15am 26th March 2014

More than three-quarters (76 per cent) of children in the North of England know another child who is suffering from neglect, according to a report published today by Action for Children.

Despite neglect affecting more than 1.5 million (one in ten) children and with fears the numbers are rising, the Government does not have a strategy to deal with the problem.

Julie Longworth, operational director of children’s services at Action for Children in Yorkshire said: “Neglect is a huge problem across the region:

“A child looking dirty, or being tired or hungry are obvious signs, but not forming friendships, under achieving at school or being withdrawn can be just as telling."

“We know that neglect is the most common form of abuse in the UK, but the fact that eight-year-olds can see signs all around them shows the extent of the problem. That is why we want the Government to do more.”

The Government now has a chance to take the lead by producing a comprehensive strategy for tackling child neglect. Action for Children is suggesting practical measures to be included in a strategy, including a web portal where people can report concerns about children and systems allowing accurate birth data to be collected.

Minster FM spoke to Carol Iddon from Action for Children in Yorkshire, she describes some of the signs to look out for:


Other key findings from the research in the North of England include:

  • Children said good, consistent relationships with skilled professionals are key, with 45 per cent of children saying a safe adult to talk to would help a child they were worried about.
  • 36 per cent of children thought that there should be more support for parents
  • Around four in ten (44%) of parents want more information on where to go for help
  • 47 per cent of professionals said that public spending cuts will make it more difficult to intervene in neglect cases in the future.

The ground-breaking report, ‘Child neglect: the scandal that never breaks’, shows the extent of neglect through the eyes of children. This is the fifth year Action for Children has published research about neglect, based on conversations with more than 18,000 people, including 4,000 children.

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