Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

Session Eight - Childhood Neglect

Hello everyone and welcome to our Trauma support session. Today we will be discussing Childhood  Neglect. Trauma sessions will run at the same times each week and they are an opportunity for us to learn from and share with one another. Let’s remember to show kindness and support to others in the group at all times. If you need more support during this time, please connect 1-1 with a listener.


See this resource thread ( for coping if being triggered.


Everyone is welcome to share and participate as they would like, but we respectfully ask you to let everyone participate in the discussion as they are comfortable to do so.   Due to the nature of trauma discussion, please do not provide graphic details of your trauma to help prevent triggering others.


Reminder:  If you feel yourselves being triggered, remember it's okay to take a breather from the room and come back when you are feeling ready to.  Remember to use the link on grounding and if necessary, reach out for support to a listener. You come first and it's important to look after your needs!


Reminder if needed in discussion by leaders - To show respect to one another let’s keep this a safe, supportive space, remembering not to be too graphic to avoid triggering others, and focus on the current question so everyone feels included and involved.


Icebreaker: If money was no object what would you ideal home look like?


  1. Lets begin today’s session with defining what we mean when we talk of what childhood neglect is.  How would you define childhood neglect and what example’s can you give of what childhood neglect would encompass?  


Neglect is the ongoing failure of a parent or carer to meet a child’s basic needs.  Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child's basic needs and is the most common form of child abuse.  A child may be left hungry or dirty, without adequate clothing, shelter, supervision, medical or health care.  A child may be put in danger or not protected from physical or emotional harm. They may not get the love, care and attention they need from their parents. A child who's neglected will often suffer from other abuse as well. Neglect is dangerous and can cause serious, long-term damage - even death.


  1. When we talk about a child’s basic needs, what would you define as what any child should expect and deserve?  What were you experiences around having your basic needs met as a child?


Basic care, love and affection, stable living conditions, security, good learning environment, good nutrition etc


  1. What different types of neglect are there, and what experiences of neglect did you experiences as a child that you feel comfortable sharing with the group?


Physical Neglect: Failing to provide for a child’s basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter.  Failing to adequately supervise a child or provide for their safety.

Educational Neglect: Failing to ensure a child receives an education.

Emotional Neglect: Failing to meet a child’s needs for nurture, stimulation, also includes ignoring, humiliating, intimidating.

Medical Neglect: Failing to provide appropriate health care, including dental care and refusal of care or ignoring medical recommendations.


  1. What signs could indicate that a child is at risk or is suffering child neglect?  What signs do you feel were present for you when you were suffering neglect as a child that others could have picked up on?


Clothes are ill-fitting, filthy, or inappropriate for the weather

Hygiene is consistently bad (unbathed, matted and unwashed hair, noticeable body odor)

Untreated illnesses and physical injuries

Is frequently unsupervised or left alone or allowed to play in unsafe situations

Is frequently late or missing from school

The child looks uninterested, withdrawn, unusually quiet, fearful and overly compliant. Lacks confidence and unhappy.

The child’s progress in school is declining, or show a sudden change in behaviour.

Clingy, withdrawn, weight loss, malnourished, acting out

Health and development problems


  1. If you were neglected as a child, how did this affect you at the time and what do you feel are the short term effects of child neglect for others who suffer similar experiences?


Children who don’t get the love and care they need from their parents may find it difficult to maintain healthy relationships with other people later in life, including their own children.

Children who have been neglected are more likely to experience mental health problems including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.  Young people may also take risks, such as running away from home, breaking the law, abusing drugs or alcohol, or getting involved in dangerous relationships - putting them at risk from sexual exploitation.

A parent or carer's behaviour has a big impact on a child. It can also affect the relationship between parent and child.This relationship, or bond, between a child and their primary caregiver - usually mum or dad but sometimes another family member or carer - is described by attachment theory.  When a child is neglected they don't usually have a good relationship or bond with their parent. Psychologists would describe this as a poor attachment. Poor attachment can significantly affect the relationships that people have throughout their lives, including how they interact with their own children. Early intervention can change attachment patterns, reducing harm to a child and helping them to form positive attachments in adulthood.


  1. How did you cope with the neglect you experienced and did you tell anyone at the time about what you were going through?  Was the neglect detected by family members? Teachers, Social Services etc? If so was there an intervention?


  1. If you didn’t tell anyone about what you were going through what prevented you and what do you think could prevent other children from disclosing what they experience?  


  1. What social factors do you think can contribute to child neglect? What social  factors do you think may have contributed to your neglect?


Poverty, family breakdown, drugs and alcohol abuse


  1. Which children do you think are more at risk from neglect? What do you feel could be done to prevent these children becoming more vulnerable to neglect?


Children in care, children living in households with parents/carers that have mental health or substance misuse issues, children with disabilities, children suffering from other forms of abuse, children living in household’s with parent(s) that have physical health issues.


  1. In what ways do you feel communities have an important part to play in the prevention of future child neglect cases where children are saved from further cruelty and unhappiness?


Enabling communities to support families, Communities have an important role to play in preventing and intervening early in child neglect. To make a difference, we need to make sure everyone in our communities can:


Recognise the signs of child neglect; Understand why it happens and what they can do to help; feel confident and supported to help; know how to find help if they are experiencing difficulties in their own family; Professionals can help to generate hope and confidence in families by giving them access to their own skills and resources by: developing long-term positive relationships with parents; using a model with a theory of change to provide structure and a purposeful approach for addressing neglect; taking time to understand a family’s needs. Empower children to speak out and seek support


Thank you everyone for participating in this group support discussion.  If you would spend a minute filling in this feedback form, it would be most appreciated.  Thank you for being here and take care of yourselves.


Consider Giving Feedback:


If you would like to take part in the Traumatic Experiences Community forum discussions, please see this link:

  • User Image
  • User Image


    Category Name
    If subcategory, choose parent:
    Category Description:
    Listener Category