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Child neglect is broadly understood as a form of maltreatment by omission, a failure of parents or carers to provide for the basic needs of a child. Usually, neglect has a chronic nature, and the resulting harm may be cumulative and not immediately evident. Whereas there is agreement on the broad understanding of neglect, the precise scope of such maltreatment is difficult to define. This entry defines child neglect, explores its prevalence (with a specific focus on the United Kingdom), and examines some of the medical, legal, and social issues raised by child neglect.

Defining Child Neglect

In England (an example of jurisdiction providing a definition of neglect), the Department of Health has issued statutory guidance to agencies and professionals working with children, which defines neglect as ...

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