Between April 2011 and March 2012, over 12,000 calls were made reporting cases of child neglect, posing a 7.5% increase on the previous year.
8,600 of these cases resulted in either social service or police involvement.
The question is – can the increase in numbers be attributed to a rise in neglect cases, or a rise in cases being reported?
Dr Ruth Gardner, head of the NSPCC’s neglect programme, said: “There is clearly a worrying trend, not just in our figures, but from a range of agencies and bodies. More research is needed on why this sharp increase has occurred.”
Callers report harrowing cases of children being left outside in the cold for hours, children forced to beg for food from neighbours and children who had parents with drug and drink addictions.
Dr Gardener has expressed a need to provide social workers with further training, and parents with easier access to support designed to help them change their behaviour.
The NSPCC has recently revealed plans to test a new approach with local authorities to effectively identify, prevent and tackle neglect cases more efficiently.
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