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Neglect is the deliberate or unreasonable refusal by a caregiver to provide a dependent (e.g. a minor, an elderly or mentally incapacitated person) with basic necessities (e.g. food, shelter, clothing, medical care or supervision when required) to the extent that the dependent’s health, safety or development is at risk.

Examples of Neglect

  • Being left in unclean or unsafe living conditions
  • Not having medical needs met (e.g. allowing them to develop untreated bed sores or not having physical/mental health problems treated in a timely manner)
  • Having untidy appearance and poor hygiene (e.g. dirty or inappropriate clothing)
  • Not given proper care or unsuitable level of care for their age and level of development
  • Deprived of food over a period, resulting in constant hunger, dehydration, malnourishment
  • Not given medication or intentionally given wrong medication
  • A child not having their educational needs provided for
  • A child being forced to do duties not suitable for their age, such as expecting a 5-year-old to care for a younger sibling alone
  • Not being protected by the caregiver despite knowing that the dependent is being abused by others