The NSPCC refers an average of 18 reports of child neglect every week to police and social services in the North East & Cumbria.
In 2016/17 the NSPCC Helpline dealt with 927 reports in this way following calls or emails from concerned adults - the highest number the charity has ever had to handle from the region - up 128% from 2011-12.
In addition there has been over the past five years a total of 507 contacts where advice was provided about a child possibly facing neglect in the North East & Cumbria.
UK-wide, the NSPCC Helpline made 16,882 referrals to children’s services or the police in 2016/17, equivalent to 46 a day.
Neglect happens when a child’s needs aren’t met and is down to several reasons; they range from parents not having the skills, support or funds, to having mental health issues.
Common signs and symptoms adults may notice in a child who is being neglected include:
- Poor appearance and hygiene, they may be smelly or have unwashed clothes
- Living in an unsuitable home environment for example dog mess being left or not having any heating
- Left alone for a long time
- Untreated injuries, medical and dental issues; they may have skin sores, rashes, flea bites, scabies or ringworm
- Poor language, communication or social skills
- Seem hungry or turn up to school without having breakfast or any lunch money