Neglect is when a child is not provided with adequate food or shelter, medical, treatment, care, nurture or supervision to a severe/persistent extent. The harm experienced by a child as a result of these behaviours is harmful and highly significant in the child’s wellbeing.

Neglect can also have damaging effects on the child’s social, psychological, educational or physical development and physical injury.

The refusal to fill a child’s basic needs will be considered within the context of physical, emotional and psychological abuse.

There is no single cause of child neglect. Children may be neglected for a number of reasons, these include:

  • Various addictions for example drugs, alcohol etc.
  • Parent not able to cope
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Anger management issues
  • Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
  • Mental illness

While physical signs (such as bruises) or changes in the child’s behaviour maybe a cause for concern, these indicators have also been seen in children who have not been subjected to neglect. If you have concerns for a child’s safety and well being contact the Department for Child Protection to discuss your concerns on 1800 622 258.


Taking the next step and contacting a family lawyer can be scary. Our lawyers will make you feel comfortable so you can talk about your situation. But first, ask yourself, Do I really need a lawyer?


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