The most important reason why neglect is neglected is that right at the core of a neglecting family is an awful intense loneliness. Neglect was the issue in the 1960s. Great debates were initiated to discuss whether there were such things as problem families or were they families with problems. Then in the 1970s the medical profession rediscovered physical abuse. Neglect was tagged on the end. Even the term 'child abuse and neglect' is used and reveals the attitude that neglect is regarded as 'something else' rather than abuse. Face-to-face work seems to work best with neglecting fathers and cohabitees. Workers have to remember that behind the heavy facade of repressed hostility and irresponsibility is an acute anxiety. Face-to-face work with neglected children has to begin as early as possible. Years of isolation, social and emotional, may lead to neglected children building up their defences.