Child neglect is everyone’s business
26 March 2015
A greater sense of shared responsibility between local authorities and communities is key to identifying and tackling early signs of child neglect, according to research published today.
The Local Authorities Research Consortium report (LARC 6), published by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) following a project run in partnership with Research in Practice (RiP), encourages local authorities to work more closely with their communities to ensure they have the right information, training, support and encouragement to help achieve this aim.
The report draws together research findings from nine different local authorities and focuses on identifying and addressing low-level child neglect. It explores how to work differently to identify child neglect at an early stage and encourage effective, sustainable solutions, drawing particularly on the role of the family network and the wider community.
The report, 'Child neglect is everyone’s business': Achieving a greater sense of shared responsibility for tackling neglect suggests a range of strategies including:
- Promoting existing services more effectively, simplifying processes and reducing waiting lists
- Improving multi-agency working and information sharing
- Raising community awareness about different levels of neglect
- Providing training and support for those in the community who are working with families
- Improving families’ knowledge about children’s social care to address the stigma associated with seeking help
Commenting on the report, Janette Karklins, Director, Children, Young People and Learning at Bracknell Forest Council and chair of LARC, said: “A major finding is that community-based, community-led, locally-owned support has a potentially vital role to play in addressing low-level neglect. It is important because it provides the kind of non-judgemental and informal support that families tell us repeatedly they want and need.”
LARC, the Local Authorities Research Consortium, was founded to support local authorities to develop integrated working through sector-led collaborative research projects. The consortium oversees and supports authorities’ research which explores integrated working and outcomes for children, young people and families. LARC adopts an innovative and creative approach to help authorities develop capacity to conduct and engage in research. This is the sixth in the series.
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Note to editors
LARC is a Research in Practice (RiP) and NFER partnership project.
LARC research adopts a practitioner-based model. National Foundation for Educational Research and Research in Practice researchers support authorities to carry out their own research in a robust and timely manner. Each year the Children’s Services sector chooses a new research topic for LARC. These focus on issues that are of current importance around early intervention. For each LARC project, we write an overarching report summarising the findings from the participating authorities. Further information can be found at:/larc.
NFER is the UK’s largest independent provider of research, assessment and information services for education, training and children’s services. www.nfer.ac.uk
RiP is a department within the Dartington Hall Trust’s Social Justice programme. It is a collaboration with a network of Partners from the children’s sector, which aims to build the capacity for evidence-informed practice in children’s services. www.rip.org.uk