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Neglect and GCP2

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health or development.  Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.  Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to;

  • provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
  • protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
  • ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care givers); or
  • ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to a child's basic emotional needs. (Working Together 2018)

Effects of neglect

Apart from being potentially fatal, neglect causes great distress to children and leads to poor outcomes in the short- and long-term. Possible consequences include an array of health and mental health problems, difficulties in forming attachment and relationships, lower educational achievements, an increased risk of substance misuse, higher risk of experiencing abuse as well as difficulties in assuming parenting responsibilities later on in life. The degree to which children are affected during their childhood and later in adulthood depends on the type, severity and frequency of the maltreatment and on what support mechanisms and coping strategies were available to the child.

Neglect guidance

The neglect framework and practice guidance is designed to assist in the identification of child neglect and identify when there is a concern that the quality of care a child is receiving is leading to their developmental needs being neglected. This framework should assist in completing single or multi agency assessments and can be used in reflective supervision meetings.

Graded Care Profile (GCP2)

Graded Care Profile 2 is an assessment tool, which helps practitioners measure the quality of care a child is receiving and so identify neglect and spot anything that is putting that child at risk of harm. Please refer to the principles and FAQ’s section below.

Can anyone use the GCP2 assessment tool?

In order to begin using the GCP2 tool practitioners need to attend and pass a one-day training course that we are providing across Swindon. Training is delivered by a pool of multi-agency staff trained in GCP2.

Where there is possible or potential neglect.

GCP2 should be used across the multi-agency partnership, including to support referrals to other agencies. Where immediate referral or immediate action is required, practitioners may not have had the opportunity to undertake the GCP2 and not having a GCP2 should not preclude a referral being made or accepted.

It is recognised that some professionals, such as schools, acute health and police may not be in a position to complete a full GCP2 assessment but they may be in position to complete one or more of the 4 areas of care: physical, safety, emotional and developmental. In those circumstances where no GCP2 assessment can be completed, a neglect screening tool is available to assist in evidencing neglect concerns and compliments the GCP2 assessment.

Training

From June 2020, subject to circumstances regarding Covid-19 we have been prioritising GCP2 assessor training. It is apparent there are some key professionals who would benefit from this training. The courses are free but there are a limited number available during the year. If you wish to be considered please seek authorisation from you line manager and email your details to SSP email: safeguardingpartnership@swindon.gov.uk.

Further information and awareness sessions

There will be awareness briefings for managers and services across the Safeguarding Partnership regarding GCP2 explaining what the tool is, the language that they can expect to see used and what this means for professionals.