Report reveals North East youngsters have seen signs of neglect in friends

More than two thirds of North East children know another who is suffering from neglect reveals a report by Action for Children

Not forming friendships, under-achieving at school or being withdrawn are signs youngsters are suffering
Not forming friendships, under-achieving at school or being withdrawn are signs youngsters are suffering

More than three-quarters of children in the North of England know another child who is suffering from neglect, according to charity Action for Children.

In a report published today, the charity says 76% in the region have seen peers suffer and claimed: “Neglect is a huge problem in the North East”.

And the organisation accused the Government of not having a strategy to deal with what could be a rising problem.

Ellen Watts, children’s services manager at Action for Children in Newcastle said: “Neglect is a huge problem in the North East.

“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dirty, or being tired or hungry are obvious signs, but not forming friendships, under achieving at school or being withdrawn can be just as telling.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 report’s other key findings for the North included 45% of children saying a safe adult to talk to would help a child they were worried about, 36% of children saying there should be more support for parents, and 44% of parents saying they want more information on where to go for help.

Almost half - 47% - of professionals in the region who were surveyed also said that public spending cuts will make it more difficult to intervene in neglect cases in the future.

Neglect affects more than 1.5 million – or one in ten – children across the UK. It is the most frequent reason for a child protection referral to social services and features in 60% of serious case reviews into the death or serious injury of a child.

Action for Children is calling for practical measures to be included in a Government strategy, including a web portal where people can report concerns about children and systems allowing accurate birth data to be collected.

The charity’s report, Child neglect: the scandal that never breaks, is published tomorrow and 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.

For more information about child neglect and to find out more about Action for Children’s work, go to www.actionforchildren.org.uk .

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