Tackling the 'normalisation of neglect': Messages from child protection reviews in England

Taylor, Julie, Dickens, Jonathan, Garstang, Joanna, Cook, Laura ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9882-2365, Hallett, Nutmeg and Malloy, Eleanor (2024) Tackling the 'normalisation of neglect': Messages from child protection reviews in England. Child Abuse Review, 33 (1). ISSN 0952-9136

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Despite a history of critique, concentrated discussion and improved assessment processes, neglect continues to be a major challenge for child protection services. This paper draws on findings from a government-commissioned analysis of ‘serious case reviews’ (SCRs) in England, arising from incidents of serious child abuse in 2017–2019. There were 235 cases, for which 166 final reports were available. Alongside a quantitative analysis of the whole cohort, we undertook an in-depth qualitative analysis of 12 cases involving neglect. A key challenge in responding to neglect in its different forms is that it can be so widespread amongst families that practitioners no longer notice its severity or chronicity – it becomes normalised. In this paper we explore two dimensions of the ‘paradox of neglect’ where it seems to be everywhere and nowhere simultaneously. The first is that neglect is so closely bound up with the prevalence of poverty that little action is taken to address it. The second is that the overwhelming nature of neglect can blind practitioners to other forms of maltreatment that may also be present within a family. Practitioners, now more than ever, need to recognise the dimensions of this paradox to protect children from neglect.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: The authors thank the Department for Education for funding this work.
Uncontrolled Keywords: child protection,cultural relativism,local child safeguarding practice reviews,neglect,poverty,serious case reviews,law,pediatrics, perinatology, and child health,sdg 16 - peace, justice and strong institutions,sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3308
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Social Work
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Centre for Research on Children and Families
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Child Protection & Family Support
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2023 10:43
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2024 01:33
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/92622
DOI: 10.1002/car.2841


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