‘Everybody’s Responsibility’: Exploring the Challenges of Community Engagement in Child Neglect

  • Nigel Parton
  • Sasha Williams
Part of the Child Maltreatment book series (MALT, volume 9)


Cases of child neglect are now a significant proportion of the work coming into child protection agencies in all ‘western’ jurisdictions and this has grown considerably over the last 30 years. The same period has seen growing interest in trying to engage the wider community in preventing child maltreatment so that it becomes ‘everyone’s responsibility’. Both developments have important implications for developing public health approaches to child protection. The chapter draws on original research (Williams, Drawing the line: An exploration of how lay people construct child neglect. PhD Thesis University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield. Retrieved from The research was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) grant number ES/1024301/1, 2015) which explored how lay people construct child neglect and what they saw as the most appropriate response to neglected children. In doing so it raises a number of messages and challenges for practitioners and policy makers in relation to both how child neglect is defined and how best to engage lay people in responding to neglected children. The chapter argues that attempts to develop public health approaches to child neglect need to address these issues.


Child neglect Community engagement Lay views Public health model 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nigel Parton
    • 1
  • Sasha Williams
    • 2
  1. 1.Applied Childhood StudiesUniversity of HuddersfieldHuddersfieldUK
  2. 2.Children TeamJones Myers SolicitorsLeedsUK

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