Current knowledge relating to child neglect points to the existence of a rather absurd paradox. On the one hand, child neglect has consistently been shown to have a markedly higher incidence rate than either physical or sexual abuse, and furthermore has been found to result in more profound developmental deficit than other forms of child maltreatment. On the other hand, however, child neglect is the most understudied and consequently the least understood type of child maltreatment. Given that so many children experience neglect of one sort or another, and that its outcomes can be profoundly harmful, there is an urgent requirement for practitioners and the decision-making forums to re-evaluate current practices and policies in relation to neglected children.
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