Men can play a vital role in their children’s development and wellbeing and have a major influence on the children they care for. However, an analysis of serious case reviews shows that fathers, male caregivers and male partners sometimes go ‘unseen’ by services involved with children due to:
Two main types of unseen men (sometimes referred to as ‘hidden’ men) have been identified in these case reviews:
This briefing is based on learning from a sample of case reviews published since 2020 that highlight the issue of professionals not identifying or assessing key men involved in the care of children who died or suffered harm.
Published: November 2022
Our series of thematic briefings highlight the learning from case reviews conducted when a child dies, or is seriously harmed, as a result of abuse or neglect. Each briefing focuses on a different topic or learning for specific sectors, pulling together key risk factors and practice recommendations.
We work with local safeguarding partners to ensure that learning from case reviews can be accessed and shared at a local, regional and national level.
Browse through our list of child safeguarding practice reviews, serious case reviews, significant case reviews and child practice reviews which were added to the National case review repository between 2017 and 2023.
Subscribe to our monthly email newsletter alerting you to the case reviews we have added to the National collection of case reviews repository at the NSPCC.
This 'why language matters' blog post explores how key men in a child’s life can be overlooked by professionals. It discusses how the phrase 'hidden men' is unhelpful and why saying 'unseen' can encourage action to identify and involve men.
Read our summary of the findings from the third national review by the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel for England, on babies harmed by fathers and stepfathers.
Best practice for child protection practitioners, adults who work or volunteer with children and strategic leads on multi-agency and disciplinary working.