What is Child Neglect?
Child neglect is regarded as the most prevalent form of child abuse or mistreatment in the United States of America. According to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, of the approximately 900,00 children in the United States who were victims of child abuse and neglect, 63 percent suffered from solely neglect—medical neglect is included in this statistics.
Child neglect takes place when the youth is impeded from receiving adequate care that is delivered as a basic human right to aid in the child’s development and growth. Any neglectful actions that impede a child’s well-being and prevents them from living a happy and healthy life is regarded as child neglect.
The National Child Abuse and Neglect Agency defines child neglect as a form of maltreatment that encompasses the overall failure of the caregiver to provide needed, age-based care that is regarded as adequate. Child neglect is typified by an ongoing pattern of ineffective or neglectful care that is easily observed by individuals who maintain close contact with the child. Teachers, nurses, day care personnel, relatives and neighbors are frequently the individuals who suspect and report the neglect of children.
Types of Child Neglect:
Professionals within the field of child care define child neglect through four basic categories:
Physical Neglect: This type of child neglect accounts for the majority of maltreatment cases; physical neglect is a form of abuse where the parent or caregiver does not provide the child with basic necessities, such as adequate clothing, shelter and food. A failure to provide these necessities ultimately endangers the child’s physical well-being, psychological growth and development. Physical child neglect also includes inadequate supervision, rejection of a child leading to expulsion from the home, impeding the child from receiving adequate safety, physical and emotional needs, as well as abandonment.
Educational Neglect: This type of child neglect occurs when the parent or caregiver fails to enroll a child of school age in an educational environment. This form of child neglect will ultimately impede the youth from acquiring basic life skills.
Emotional and Psychological Neglect: This type of child neglect includes all actions, which engage in chronic or extreme spousal abuse in the youth’s presence, such as allowing a child to use drugs or alcohol, refusing to provide psychological care, withholding affection, or constantly belittling the child.
Medical Neglect: This form of neglect is the failure to provide appropriate health care for a youth, thus placing the child at risk of being disabled, disfigured or dying.
What can you do?
If you suspect an instance of child neglect, you must report the individual to the local child protective services agency in your particular jurisdiction or state. These agencies are comprised of professionals who will necessitate treatment and action towards the aggressive party. Each professional within these agencies is required by law to report reasonable suspicion of child neglect; furthermore, 20 states require citizens who suspect instances of child neglect to report it to the respective agencies.