Services for Young People Hertfordshire Services for Young People

Child and young person neglect

The information on this page was compiled by young people working with Services for Young People as part of the Neglect Matters campaign in 2023.

Neglect Matters

The Neglect Matters campaign, a joint campaign between the NSPCC and the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership, aims to to raise awareness of child and young person neglect.

Young people at a Services for Young People project worked with Youth Workers and NSPCC staff to learn about neglect and share their knowledge and the important messages about keeping safe by designing a toolkit about neglect for other young people.

Chain for Change: be part of the ChAINge

The six-page online leaflet they created called 'Chain for Change' provides information about what child and young person neglect is and how it can be spotted, the importance of talking about neglect, and where to go for help or to report neglect.

View the Chain for Change online leaflet by clicking on the image below:

Chain for Change neglect toolkit

What is neglect?

Neglect is when children or young people do not have the things they need to keep healthy and safe. For example, not having enough to eat and drink, not having warm or clean clothes to wear, or not being protected from danger.

This can happen for lots of different reasons and is not always intentional.

What might I notice?

The Chain for Change toolkit gives examples of signs that you may spot if somebody is being neglected, including:

  • Changes in someone's behaviour and mood
  • Regularly missing school or arriving late
  • Lack of appropriate clothing or equipment for school
  • Poor hygiene


What can I do?

As a young person, it can be difficult to talk about our own experiences and what might be happening to ourselves, friends, or somebody else we may know. It is important that we continue to have conversations with our friends, so we can normalise asking for help and advice.

The toolkit offers lots of advice about how you could start a conversation if you are worried about somebody and what you could say.

If your friend discloses abuse or is in any danger it is important that you tell someone who can help. 

Pencil drawing of two people talking.

Who can I talk to?

Services for Young People staff can discuss your concerns with you. You may be worried about yourself or a friend. They can give you information and guidance to help you to deal with your situation, and support you to cope with your feelings and worries.

The toolkit gives information about who else can support you and your friends. Further help is available from the NSPCC.

Always remember if you are worried that somebody is in immediate danger, call the Police on 999.


NSPCC, HCC, Services for Young People and Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership logos