Three-quarters of reports to child protective services involve allegations of neglect. Neglect happens when a parent or caregiver does not provide food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision to the degree that the child’s health, safety, and well-being are threatened with harm. Providing families with economic assistance or concrete supports, such as food, housing, or child care, can build protective factors and decrease the risk of neglect for children.

Families experiencing poverty are more likely to be reported for child neglect, and poverty is disproportionally present in communities of color. Because of this, child welfare professionals need to be aware of how biases and oversurveillance of families, especially low-income families, lead to unnecessary child welfare involvement. Professionals should understand biases and how they affect decision-making. 

Understanding the causes of disproportionality—including racial bias as well as socioeconomic and systemic factors—can help prevent child neglect and ensure families receive services and supports that meet their needs, are culturally responsive, and are devoted to equity.

Use these resources to learn effective prevention and early intervention strategies to reduce the risk of neglect and involvement with the child welfare system.

Adjust the filters below to refine your list of resources.

Can’t find what you need in the filtered results? Try searching our Library catalog to access a large selection of peer-reviewed journal articles, evaluation reports, Children’s Bureau grant materials, research studies, and more.