Notts child neglect calls at their highest yet

Child neglect
Child neglect

A children’s charity has dealt with the highest number of calls relating to child neglect to date across the county in the past year.

The NSPCC refers more than five reports of child neglect every week to police and social services in the Nottinghamshire County Council area.

In 2016/17 the charity’s helpline dealt with 279 reports in this way following calls or emails from concerned adults – the highest number the NSPCC has ever had to handle for the county (excluding Nottingham) and almost double the 140 reports of neglect in 2011/12.

There were a further 25 contacts where advice was provided about a child possibly facing neglect in Nottinghamshire during 2016/17, up from 17 in the previous year.

UK-wide, the NSPCC Helpline made 16,882 referrals to children’s services or the police in 2016/17, equivalent to 46 a day.

Child neglect was mentioned in more than a quarter of all UK calls to the helpline in the last year.

Neglect happens when a child’s needs aren’t met and is down to several reasons ranging from parents not having the skills, support or funds, to having mental health issues.

A growing number of people contacting the NSPCC Helpline also described parents as having a problem with alcohol and drugs, with some of them regularly leaving their children unsupervised so they could go drinking with friends.

These latest figures on neglect cases have been revealed in the NSPCC’s state of the nation report, How Safe are our Children? , and comes as children’s social care in England face unprecedented pressures, with more young people being taken into care, and more families needing support. However, the NSPCC believes the full scale of the problem could be much greater and is urging the Government to commission a nationwide study that measures the extent of child neglect and abuse in the UK.

Sandra McNair, head of service for the NSPCC in the Midlands, said: “Neglect can have severe and long-lasting consequences for children, and can also be an indicator of other forms of abuse. This is why it is so important for anyone suspecting a child of being neglected to contact the NSPCC Helpline, so we can alert the authorities to quickly step in and help those in need.”

Adults can contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk