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Don’t neglect reporting cases of child neglect

Published by the Milton Canadian Chamption

No one should hesitate to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect. That’s the all-important message the Children’s Aid Society of Halton is looking to drive home to residents this month. As October is Child Abuse Prevention Month, it’s an especially timely message that should go without saying.

But what constitutes neglect? A child who is neglected, according to the Children’s Aid Society of Halton, is one whose vital needs aren’t consistently met. That could mean poor nutrition, lack of attention, hygiene or unattended physical and medical needs. “From a child welfare perspective, neglect is a concern because it ultimately affects a child’s ability to thrive,” explained Mary Ballantyne, CEO of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS).

This year, the Halton-based society has teamed up with the OACAS and other agencies to highlight the devastating impact of neglect in the hopes of raising awareness of child neglect in our community — and beyond.

Child neglect can be difficult to assess, say experts, as harm caused by the absence of something is not always readily apparent.  A parent’s or caregiver’s inability to provide a child with his or her basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, education, supervision, medical care and safe surroundings, however, can have tremendous impact on the community’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens. While it is hard to fathom how anyone could neglect a child, some external factors are often at play.

Provincial research shows that approximately 90 per cent of those who receive protection from Children’s aid live in families that are struggling with chronic needs, including poverty, mental health and addiction. But those factors aren’t synonymous with abuse and neglect.  Far from it. “It is important to understand that although poverty can be a risk factor for both neglect and abuse, children and youth are also abused and neglected in families with higher socio-economic status,” says the local Children’s Aid Society.

If you have concerns about a child call:

905.333.4441

Click here for more information on reporting abuse.

Contact Us

Burlington Office 1445 Norjohn Court Burlington, ON L7L 0E6
Milton Office 325 Main Street East Milton, ON L9T 1P5
Toll Free: 866.607.KIDS (5437) Phone: 905.333.4441 Fax: 905.333.1844 TTY: 711 (TTY to Voice)
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