Neglect is the failure of a parent, guardian or other caregiver to provide for a child’s basic needs. Neglect may be:

  • Physical (failure to provide necessary food or shelter, or lack of appropriate supervision)
  • Medical (failure to provide necessary medical or mental health treatment)
  • Educational (failure to educate a child or attend to special education needs)
  • Emotional (inattention to a child’s emotional needs, failure to provide psychological care, or permitting the child to use alcohol or other drugs)
  • Abandonment (when the parent’s identity or whereabouts are unknown, the child has been left alone in circumstances where the child suffers serious harm, or the parent has failed to maintain contact with or provide reasonable support for the child)                 

Signs of neglect may include:

  • Bad hygiene, body odour, dirty and unkempt hair, etc.
  • Dirty or ill-fitting clothes
  • Frequently unsupervised or left alone at home or in unsafe environments or situations
  • Frequently late for or absent from school
  • Chronic hunger or other signs of malnutrition
  • Craves attention
  • Untreated illnesses or injuries
  • Indicators of prolonged exposure to the elements
  • Height and weight significantly below age level