Common Indicators of Neglect

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Consider the possibility of neglect when the child:

  • Is frequently absent from school.
  • Begs or steals food or money.
  • Lacks needed medical or dental care, immunizations, or glasses.
  • Is consistently dirty and has severe body odor.
  • Lacks sufficient clothing for the weather.
  • Abuses alcohol or other drugs.
  • States that there is no one at home to provide care.

Consider the possibility of neglect when the parent or other adult caregiver:

  • Appears to be indifferent to the child.
  • Seems apathetic or depressed.
  • Behaves irrationally or in a bizarre manner.
  • Is abusing alcohol or other drugs.

Author: National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information (DHHS)