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Report by The Children’s Society reveals neglect of teenagers at home

One in seven reports some form of neglect by parents or carers

Tens of thousands of teenagers across England are suffering neglect at home, according to a new report by The Children's Society. The report, Troubled Teens – part of The Children's Society's nationwide research programme – reveals the scale of teenage neglect as reported by young people themselves. The findings show that, on average, the equivalent of three Year 10 pupils in every classroom report some form of parental neglect.

Researchers surveyed the level of care 14 and 15 year olds in Year 10 received from their parents. It found that one in seven (15%) reported some form of neglect. They described experiences with parents or carers who failed to monitor their activities outside the home or make sure they got adequate health care or took little interest in their education.

Emotional support was found to be lacking for many 14 and 15 year olds, with one in twelve (8%) Year 10 pupils saying that their parents had rarely or never encouraged them, or helped if they had problems during the past year.

The report revealed that neglected teenagers are more likely to behave in ways that risk their physical health or future prospects. Nearly half (46%) of the teenagers who said they had experienced emotional neglect had got really drunk recently – more than twice as many as those whose parents gave them the emotional care they need. This group were also more than twice as likely to have truanted and nearly three times as likely to have smoked.

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children's Society, said:

"It is deeply worrying that so many teenagers in this country are suffering neglect. No child should be left feeling that no one cares about them. Teenagers are often seen as more resilient than younger children. But, of course, they still need care from their parents to meet their needs, support their education and keep them safe.

"Our research makes clear the central role of parental care and emotional support to the well-being of young people. With little dedicated advice readily available for parents of teenagers, we need to provide more support to parents bringing up teenagers, not to blame them. The Government has a massive role to play in making sure the needs of teenagers, and their parents, are never forgotten. Society must not give up on teens."

To read the report, click here.