Call us: Mon - Fri 8:30am - 7pm, Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm
Call local rate 0330 056 3171
Mon - Fri 8:30am - 7pm | Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm
Call local rate 0330 056 3171
Mon - Fri 8:30am - 7pm | Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm

Thousands of teenagers neglected by parents

Tens of thousands of British teenagers are neglected by their parents, new research suggests.

The Children’s Society found that perhaps as many as three children in every Year 10 class experience some form of parental neglect. They are often mistakenly seen as in need of less care than younger children, the charity claims, and as a result are not offered emotional support or protection.

Around 2,000 young people from 72 schools were surveyed about the care they receive from their parents including emotional and educational support, supervision and physical care. The older children, aged between 14 and 15, were also asked questions about alcohol, smoking and truancy.

Around 15 per cent of the 14 and 15 year-olds questioned said they had experienced some kind of neglect. Eight per cent also claimed their parents had not helped them get through a problem in the previous year. Of those who reported neglect, almost half – 46 per cent – said they had been drunk recently. This was almost double the rate of teenagers who had adequate care and support from their parents. Similarly, neglected teens were twice as likely to have deliberately missed school and three times more likely to take up smoking.

The Troubled Teens report also reveals that teenagers whose parents have not provided adequate care and support are more likely to be unhappy with their lives and pessimistic about their future prospects than their peers.

Children’s Society Chief Executive Mathew Reed described the results of their report “deeply worrying”. Although young people can be seen as “more resilient than younger children … they still need care from their parents to meet their needs, support their education and keep them safe”, he insisted.

Reed claimed there was “little dedicated advice readily available for parents of teenagers”, adding that the government had “a massive role to play in making sure the needs of teenagers, and their parents, are never forgotten”.

Last year, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary claimed that more than a third of police investigations into child neglect cases were inadequate. This was based on an analysis of more than 600 incidents across eight police forces around the UK.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

Contact us

As the UK's largest family law firm we understand that every case is personal.


  1. Eugene Lukjanenko says:

    what is a problem? Put them all to foster placement, make foster industry flourish! “Future emotional harm” on balance of probabilities is a very serious problem!

  2. Jerry Lonsdale says:

    So from a survey of 2000, of which 15% say they have faced neglect, that then means “Thousands” of children are, Really! on such a small study, no wonder parents don’t know if they’re coming or going these days.

    I know, why not set up a Quango, and call it, erm “Troubled Families” yeah that’ll work.

    It galls me with the money wasted on narrow studies like this when the money can be used for so much more good

  3. VIincent McGovern says:

    Eight out of ten cats reported feeling unloved on occasions a charity for cats has reported. Much the same applies when Fifteen per cent of 13-14 year olds said they had experienced some kind of neglect in the past year. In which case teenage parents should be praised to the heavens for quality of parenting. But wait, a charity has done research, no doubt lead questions and standpoint research with pre determined outcome. And they want the government to apply more of the nanny state intervention which in itself is inherently neglectful. Sledgehammer and nut comes to mind.

  4. Name Witheld says:

    Sounds just like my ex of two boys…who totally neglected them when I was their engaged Dad….and then as a good covert narcissist, she needed the kids for economic ammo and tried to get me locked up but failed and decided to alienate them agin me and has terrorised them as well as permanently neglected their welfare…my oldist needs extra ed but shes forign so cant help and the youngest so a neighbout say cowls before her but cant show it when shes around. good thing she did nt marre a Mexican so Vicky Derbyshire says in the nationals she be serving 15 yrs time in ther jails now….Poor litte sods..

Leave a comment

Help & advice categories


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up for advice on divorce and relationships from our lawyers, divorce coaches and relationship experts.

What type of information are you looking for?

Privacy Policy