According to a new joint report from inspectorates Ofsted, HMI Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and HMI Probation, ‘…the neglect of older children sometimes goes ‘unseen…’
The Report, published 6th July 2018, delivers findings from inspections of services for children in six local authority areas: Stockton-on-Tees, Cheshire West and Chester, Haringey, Bristol, Peterborough and Wokingham. The inspections reviewed practice in children’s social care, education, health services, the police, youth offending services and probation services.
The Report describes how ‘…too often, local agencies are failing to spot the signs of neglect in older children…neglect of young children is usually better identified but older children suffering the same abuse are slipping through the cracks…’
Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice at the Care Quality Commission said: “Older children experiencing neglect need proper care and support from a number of services, but proper intervention cannot happen if the neglect they face is misunderstood or goes unseen and unchallenged.”
Siarad Da agrees with Professor Steve Field and supports the Report calling for: ‘…the behaviour of older children to be understood in the context of the trauma they have experienced…’ We know that when professionals fail to look behind the behaviour of older children this often leads to feelings of isolation and experiences of social exclusion and involvement with the criminal justice system.
 There is no agreed definition of the age of an older child. The programme of inspections used the term ‘older children’ to include children aged seven to 15. The age range was chosen following a pilot sampling of neglect cases. A focus on this age range allowed inspectors to select from a wide sample of children and consider issues in middle childhood and transition into adolescence for neglected children. (Growing up neglected: a multi-agency response to older children, Page 3)