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Unseen Men: learning from case reviews

Date: Thursday, 15th Dec 2022 | Category: General

The NSPCC has produced a summary of key issues and learning for improved practice around ‘unseen’ men.

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 male caregivers sometimes go ‘unseen’ by services involved with children due to:

• a lack of professional engagement and curiosity

• an over-focus on the quality of care children receive from their mothers

• inadequate information sharing between services.

Two main types of unseen men (sometimes referred to as ‘hidden’ men) have been identified in these case reviews:

• men who posed a risk to a child, which resulted in the child suffering serious harm or death

• men who could have protected and nurtured the child in their life but were overlooked by professionals.

The NSPCC 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. Unseen men: learning from case reviews (

Please also read the GSCP Professional Curiosity Factsheet.