Information about neglect

Indicators of neglect are often there most of the time. Ask yourself these questions: are the signs—that you might interpret as neglect—simply the expression of cultural differences, an alternative lifestyle, or are they actually true neglect?


Neglect, or “harm through omission,” refers to a failure to supply the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, supervision or health care, providing the parent or guardian is financially able to do so.

Examples of neglect include:

  • Lack of proper supervision
  • Lack of protection
  • Lack of adequate clothing
  • Lack of a safe place to live
  • Lack of educational opportunity
  • Lack of adequate medical and dental care
  • Lack of proper hygiene
  • Deprivation of sleep
  • Leaving a child locked in a closet
  • Driving with children while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failure to provide adequate nurturance, affirmation or emotional support.