guardian.co.uk 25 February 2009
Child neglect is being allowed to persist across Britain because adults are afraid to report concerns about what is going on in their neighbourhood, a poll for the charity Action for Children revealed today. It found one in four adults said they had been worried about a child who they feared might be the victim of neglect. But 38% of those expressing concern said they did not tell anyone.
Among the concerned respondents:
• 16% remained silent about their worries because they were frightened of repercussions if they alerted the authorities.
• 15% said they did not tell anyone because it was not any of their business.
• 11% would tell a neighbour, relative or friend about their suspicions before alerting social services or the police.
• 15% said lack of proof prevented them from doing anything.
• 23% said they did not have enough information about who to ask for help.
The charity said: “Child neglect is becoming an ever-growing safeguarding concern. In 2008, in England alone, neglect was the reason why 45% of children were on the child protection register, compared to 15% for physical abuse, 7% for sexual abuse and 25% for emotional abuse.”