Aims This is a presentation of two cases of Neglect of a Child in Need. The child in both cases had a significant bilateral sensory neural hearing loss. The presence of additional social and medical issues will be discussed. The problems with engaging the families and social services will be outlined.
Methods The chronology will be laid out for both cases.
Conclusion Children with hearing impairment are considered to be more at risk of child abuse than normally hearing children. In the cases presented neglect of their specific needs was the reason for placing them on the Child Protection register. Although the child's needs were apparent to the professionals they were not accepted by the family. In case A the granny was appointed legal guardian and subsequently realised that she was unable to provide fully for the child. The child was placed in voluntary foster care on a long-term basis and both granny and foster mother are working to obtain the appropriate educational provision for a complicated child. In case B the family continue not to accept that there is a basis for the professionals concerns and work with them. “If we do everything asked they will go away and leave us alone”. Statementing has been delayed and appropriate educational provision continues to be delayed. These two children have very different histories and highlight some of the difficulties of working with families where needy children are neglected. In both cases it was difficult to engage social services.
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