Adopting Science-based Policies to Combat Child Neglect Can Increase Wellbeing, Boost Opportunity, and Curb Costs of Government, Concludes Report by Institute for Child Success and Public Consulting Group

Boston, MA – March 31, 2016. Neuroscience-based policies to combat child neglect can usher a new era of wellbeing and opportunity while reducing strain on government services, according to a recent report by the Institute for Child Success and Public Consulting Group, a leading public sector consulting firm. 


The report (When Brain Science Meets Public Policy: Rethinking Young Child “Neglect” from a Science-Informed Two-Generation Perspective) defines child neglect as the failure to meet a child’s basic needs for food, shelter, supervision, or nurturing care. Cases of neglect, as opposed to physical or sexual abuse, comprise the vast majority of substantiated cases of child maltreatment, according to the report.


“Neuroscience shows us that by redressing child neglect, child welfare agencies can not only reduce human suffering, but equip generations of children to become productive members of society,” said Janice M. Gruendel, the report’s lead author, a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Child Success. 


To address the complexities of child neglect, the report proposes the following strategic policy solutions:

  • Invest in a multi-disciplinary, cross-sector service system designed to better protect children, assure age-appropriate development, and strengthen families as primary caregivers.
  • Assess the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), poverty-related toxic stress, and depression on children, their caregivers, and child welfare case workers.
  • Prioritize the needs of very young children (toddlers and infants) at risk of child neglect: Require early identification of developmental delays in neglected children, and timely action, to mitigate neglect’s impact, such as supports, to ensure a nurturing caregiver.
  • Train child welfare staff on the warning signs of child neglect, its potential neurological impact, and best practices to mitigate impact.


About Public Consulting Group (PCG)

Public Consulting Group, Inc. (PCG) is a leading public sector consulting firm that partners with the public sector to improve lives in over 60 offices in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. PCG helps state agencies prevent and mitigate the impact of child maltreatment by providing best practice solutions for child welfare programs, public policy implementation, financial management systems, and information technology systems.


About the Institute for Child Success (ICS)

Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, the Institute for Child Success (ICS) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit, research and policy organization dedicated to the success of all young children. ICS pursues its mission by: proposing smart public policies, grounded in research; advising governments, nonprofits, foundations, and other stakeholders on strategies to improve outcomes; sharing knowledge, convening stakeholders, embracing solutions, and accelerating impact, and by fostering the next generation of leaders.  


Media Contact:

Tim Stone

Public Consulting Group