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The Neglect of Adolescent Neglect

The Neglect of Adolescent Neglect. Mike Stein Research Professor. Context: why is it important?. Child maltreatment, including neglect, not just something that happens to young children 10,800 young people aged 10-17 the subject of a child protection plan

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The Neglect of Adolescent Neglect

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  1. The Neglect of Adolescent Neglect Mike Stein Research Professor

  2. Context: why is it important? • Child maltreatment, including neglect, not just something that happens to young children • 10,800 young people aged 10-17 the subject of a child protection plan • Neglect most common category for teenagers; the most prevalent form of maltreatment within the family (13% for all 11-17 year olds, NSPCC 2011) • New registrations of neglected teenagers greater than registrations for other forms of abuse in younger age categories • Teenagers can suffer greatly – quarter of serious case reviews; 21% on 14+ (2007-11); Ofsted ‘Ages of Concern’

  3. The Neglect of Adolescent Neglect • Partnership between the University of York, The Children’s Society and the NSPCC (second study on safeguarding maltreated teenagers) • An international research review - Neglected Adolescents: A review of the research • Focus groups with young people: Neglect Matters - a guide for young people about neglect, and; • Meetings with multi-agency staff (recruited through 2 LSCB’s): Neglect Matters - a guide for multi-agency professionals working together on behalf of teenagers

  4. The Neglect of Adolescent Neglect The Research Review and Guides explored similar questions: • What is adolescent neglect? • What are the causes? • What are the consequences? • What can I do about neglect - what interventions work with young people?

  5. What is adolescent neglect, officially? ‘Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect … may involve a parent or carer failing to: • Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment) • Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger • Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers) • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment • It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.’ (HM Government, Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2010)

  6. What is adolescent neglect? ‘Neglect is when parents ignore you … or leave you and you get hurt … and you have no one to turn to … when you don’t get fed properly … I was underweight, my skin was dead pale’ (Young people’s views) ‘All of my work with teenagers is about trying to rectify neglect of some sort’ (Professional view)

  7. What is adolescent neglect? Themes from the Research Review • Neglect an act of omission or commission? • Can be seen by young people as an act of commission – context • Neglect being culturally specific • Vary according to culture, but caution is needed and attention to healthy development • Neglect and being a teenager • Developmental issues, Core Assessment Records

  8. What is adolescent neglect? Themes from Research Review • Defined by acts of carers, or experiences of young people? • Take into account different perspectives, young people under-estimate neglect • Neglect seen as persistent state • Patterns over time important, impact of acute and chronic neglect • Neglect, emotional abuse, overlap with maltreatment • Impact and consequences for young person

  9. What are the causes of adolescent neglect? ‘Young people think its their fault, so they go along with it.’ Assessment Framework Child Neglect Research Family History and functioning Domestic violence, drug abuse Mental health problems Lone, unsupported parents Wider family Low support Employment, housing Social deprivation income Social integration Less cohesion, poor attachments Community resources Less integration

  10. Thinking about: the causes of neglect for specific groups of young people • Disabled young people • Higher rates • Communication difficulties • Being isolated, less regular services • What is result of disability or neglect? • Looked after young people • Many have history of neglect • Physical heath, emotional wellbeing, education • Assessment, quality care, attachments, compensate

  11. Thinking about: the causes of neglect for specific groups of young people • Young carers • May increase risk of neglect • Drawn into caring – than being cared for • Lack of support at key developmental stages • Lack of supervision and boundaries – greater risks and problems • Parental problems • Mental health, substance and alcohol abuse • Increase emotional unavailability • Young people physically and psychologically alone

  12. What are the consequences of adolescent neglect? Evidence linking adolescent neglect with negative outcomes in relation to Every Child Matters Every Child Matters Practice Issues Being healthyPoor mental and physical health, risky sexual behaviour Staying Safe Running away from home, substance abuse, bullying Enjoy and achieve Poor school record Positive contribution Getting into trouble Economic wellbeing Cumulative effects into adulthood

  13. How can we intervene? primary prevention Preventing neglect before it occurs through universal or targeted services ‘Most young people can’t tell anyone they’re neglected’ • Services promoting the wellbeing of families so young people not neglected • Promotion of ‘authoritative parenting’ - good quality attachments • Parenting for teenagers courses? • Enhance the wellbeing of young people in schools, PSHE, citizenship, colleges • Youth services – positive activities

  14. How can we intervene? secondary prevention Early interventions when problems first arise through informal or formal responses ‘I think that parents do not always have help, and could have had a difficult time themselves.’ Empowering young people – friends, guides, information Professional perceptions of risk Informal responses Common Assessment Framework and integrated working ‘The team around the child’, ‘family’, or ‘school’

  15. How can we intervene? tertiary prevention Prevent the recurrence or persistence of problems Little UK literature on evaluated interventions on teenage maltreatment The Assessment Framework Dedicated adolescent support teams Projects working with young people in response to general or specific issues, e.g. Kids Company, young runaways, sexual exploitation

  16. How can we intervene? tertiary prevention Key messages Research suggests ecological, multi-faceted approaches - seeing adolescents within network of interconnected systems Encompass individual, family, community – peer group, school, neighbourhood Importance of a key worker – quality relationships Resilience, cognitive-behavioural approaches, MST Serious case reviews - never give up!

  17. Research sources Stein, M., Rees, G., Hicks, L. and Gorin, S. (2009) Neglected Adolescents – Literature Review (Research Brief). London: DSCF. Rees, G., Stein, M., Hicks, L. and Gorin, S. (2011) Adolescent Neglect, Research, Policy and Practice. JKP. Hicks, L. and Stein, M. (2010) Neglect Matters. A Multi-agency Guide for Professionals Working Together on Behalf of Teenagers. DCSF. Neglect Matters – a guide for young people about neglect (www.nspcc.org.uk/neglectmatters) Rees, Gorin, Jobe, Stein, Medforth, Goswami (2010) Safeguarding Young People: Responding to young people aged 11-17 who are maltreated, Executive Summary. The Children’s Society. On serious case reviews see: Sidebotham et al. (2011); Brandon, M., Belderson, P., Warren, C., Howe, D., Gardner, R., Dodsworth, J. and Black, J. (2008); Ofsted (2011) Ages of Concern On prevalence data: Radford et al. (2011) Child Abuse and Neglect in the UK today. NSPCC.

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