Understanding Child Neglect

Understanding Why Some Children are Neglected

If you see neglect or abuse call the Florida Abuse Hotline at 800-962-2873, if you see a child in immediate danger call 911.

Neglect is rarely a willful act. Most parents want to be good parents, but have trouble dealing with the STRESS caused by:

1. Emotional Problems. Parents who neglect their children generally have a very poor self-image. Often they were denied love and praise during their own childhoods. Lack of support from relatives, friends and the community combined with possible marital problems may leave parents feeling lonely, isolated, trapped and depressed.

2. Financial Difficulties. Without enough money, daily life can be very stressful. Many parents must struggle just to provide food and clothing for their children. Poor housing conditions, which parents feel powerless to improve, make matters worse. Tensions can continue to build unless parents get the help they need.

3. Limited Parenting Skills. Some neglectful parents are insecure. They know very little about raising children and have no one to turn to for help. Their only role models are their own parents – who may have neglected them. Following their parents’ example means that the vicious cycle of neglect continues.

4. Drug/Alcohol Abuse. Using alcohol or other drugs as an escape only creates more problems. The effects of alcohol or other drugs limit a parent’s ability to properly care for children.