This is a handbook about child neglect as the most frequent form of child abuse. It takes place when some of the child’s basic needs are not satisfied and it can damage the child’s health. Neglect can seriously affect physical and mental health and even lead to lethal outcome, especially if it is prolonged and if it has started within the first three years of life. In this period, the processes of growth and development of the child are the most intensive.
Contemporary research state that neglect represents 50% to 60% of all forms of abuse, and most victims are younger than three years of age. While the number of proven cases of child abuse has decreased in the past ten years by more than 20%, neglect is volatile and only a decrease of 7% has been noted.
In order to explain the concept of neglect, it is important to distinguish between blunders and facts, like the one e.g. that most poor families neglect their children. However, it is a fact that poverty is not neglect and families with low income can properly care for their children.