In the child’s time: professional responses to neglect

Last week Ofsted released their report on the effectiveness of services to safeguard children from neglect. The paper summarises the findings of an inspection of 11 local authorities in England that explores the response of professionals when they identify neglect. Inspectors examined 124 cases, mostly focusing on children under 10 years of age.

There were a number of concerning findings – for example it was found that in a third of long-term cases there was evidence of drift and delay with patterns of repeated stopping and starting of interventions. Ofsted concluded that professional practice is too variable and urgent action should be taken to improve the quality of service.