Child neglect and its relationship to sexual harm and abuse: responding effectively to children's needs (Updated)

Evidence Scopes
Published: Nov 2016
Author: Research in Practice
This series of open access evidence scopes considers the potential relationship between neglect and forms of sexual harm and abuse: child sexual exploitation; intra-familial child sexual abuse; and harmful sexual behaviours. These different types of harm rarely exist in isolation; children need support at earlier stages - and more holistically - if we are to address their vulnerabilities and help them to achieve positive outcomes. The scopes, commissioned by Action for Children and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) with Research in Practice, examine relatively new and emerging evidence bases to outline the characteristics and prevalence of these different forms of sexual harm and identify how they may relate to neglect. They offer conceptual models for understanding how neglect can interact with and increase vulnerability to various forms of sexual harm and abuse, as well as considering gaps in the existing knowledge base.

Each resource draws out the key messages, themes and implications for practice and policy. Rather than offering simplistic messages or assuming causality, they encourage sector leaders and practitioners to critically reflect on the evidence, to explore how this relates to their own experience and to engage with the complexity of these topics.

Aimed at: Practitioners, managers, local service leaders and commissioners, local and national policy makers.

Number of pages: 137
Preview available.

The three Evidence Scopes, Executive Summary, Appendices and References are available now to download below.


These PDF downloads are open access resources.