What children and young people say about child neglect

Posted by Hannah Dobbin / Friday 28 March 2014 / Child neglect

Action for Children has focused on child neglect for over six years. We have spoken to over 4,600 children and young people across the UK to get their thoughts on what neglect is and what needs to be done about it. Here’s what they said:

‘Sometimes no-one believes you or no-one comes to your house to see what’s going on so no-one might know or can tell from the outside.’

‘If you see an unhappy kid you need to ask them what is wrong….’

‘Children need parents to take care of them, give them cuddles and enough food; I was always hungry – I never knew what a chocolate biscuit was until I went into foster care.’

‘Some children don’t know they are being neglected and not ever getting a hug is being neglected. If you’ve never had one, you just don’t know.

‘Maybe the mum has a boy-friend who wants all the attention and the mum might feel intimidated. He might ask her to go to the pub and she has to go and then the kids get left alone. He gets the priority. And the kids are frightened to tell anyone, that’s hard.’

‘I think it’s the adults who need to approach children if they think something’s not right, it’s not up to the children to approach them. It can be a big burden for a child to ask for help.’

 ‘I used to talk to my dog and it really helped me.’

‘You can have a safety net with one person.’

‘Schools and teachers are supposed to help and they can, but sometimes they are too stressed and busy.’

Our latest report – Child neglect: the scandal that never breaks – takes children and young people’s views and puts them to Government. Based on what they - as well as parents, public and professionals - have told us, we are calling on Government to lead the way and produce a national child neglect strategy.

‘The Government needs to listen. Sometimes even to angry people; as there could be really good reasons underneath about why people are angry.’ 
(Cameron, young person)

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