Home alone

Sometimes not doing something can be harmful too. Physical or emotional neglect can also be a form of child abuse.

Neglect is family violence when a parent or other family member responsible for a child doesn’t give that child the basic things they need to keep them safe and healthy, like:


  • food
  • clothing
  • supervision and protection from harm
  • medical care
  • education

A social worker or other child protection worker could be called in to try to make sure that a child suffering from neglect is not harmed or in danger.

Neglect that causes danger to the life or long-term health of a child under the age of 16 is a crime. It’s also a crime to abandon or expose a child under 10 years of age to danger of loss of life or permanent injury (like leaving a young child locked in a car alone in extremely cold or hot temperatures for hours).

Emotional neglect is more than just ignoring someone or not giving them attention. It’s not providing the child with affection, emotional support and love over and over again until it causes harm to the child. Child protection workers may be called to prevent serious emotional neglect in a family.

Date modified: