March 22, 2002, Newsletter Issue #31: Definition of Neglect

Tip of the Week

Child neglect, which is 54% of all substantiated cases of child abuse, is the most common form of child maltreatment reported to child protective services. It is defined as a "type of maltreatment that refers to the failure to provide needed age-appropriate care," such as shelter, food, clothing, education, supervision, medical care and other basic necessities needed for development of physical, intellectual and emotional capacities. Unlike physical and sexual abuse, neglect is usually typified by an ongoing pattern of inadequate care and is readily observed by individuals in close contact with the child. Physicians, nurses, day care personnel, relatives and neighbors are frequently the ones to suspect and report neglected infants, toddlers and preschool children.

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