110 Participants learned from speakers from Nursing, Education, Police and Medical Experts working directly with neglected Children as well as a range of specialists in Addiction Services, Domestic Violence and Mental Health in an action-packed event, facilitated by Lynne Peyton.
The key learning was:
Neglect is the most difficult aspect of Child Abuse to manage effectively. This is consistent with research evidence from across the UK, which indicates that three quarters of cases are not managed effectively. (Farmer & Lutman 2012)
The consequences of neglect are devastating as illustrated by many of the case examples presented by different Speakers.
Engagement with Parents is essential to effective work and professionals must be open and transparent about their concerns.
Staff must be creative about building trust with children and making opportunities to talk with them in safe environments.
Organisations like EPIC, empowering children in care, help provide insights into the experiences of neglected children and can inform service development.
Services are much more effective if professionals collaborate and in the current environment creating and maintaining professional relationships requires commitment and effort.
Neglected children need everyone to go the extra mile on their behalf.
All disciplines must use authority appropriately to bring about improvements in the life circumstances of neglected children and challenge appropriately when this doesn’t happen.
Case Chronologies provide a vital summary which helps identify patterns and trends.
As neglect is often intergenerational social histories for both parents help set the context.
Parents must demonstrate by their behaviour and actions, the motivation and commitment to provide better care for their children. Professionals must gather evidence.
Children cannot wait forever. Improvement must be timely.
Together we can be much more effective and there is massive potential for joint working.
Old relationships were strengthened, new relations were formed and everyone left feeling more empowered and more confident.