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Is it unreasonable to report this?

(73 Posts)
starlightmagic Fri 31-Jan-14 11:54:27

Someone I know fairly well is pregnant. She is due in August.
Is it unreasonable/interfering to inform social services of this? She had a child 4 years ago, who was taken away from her due to neglect and placed in permanent full custody of her grandmother.
She is planning to change her name by deed poll to try and get under the radar from authorities.
So would I be unreasonable to call SS to inform them she has had another child when the time comes? Even if just so they could offer support and keep a close eye on the situation?

Pobblewhohasnotoes Fri 31-Jan-14 16:45:25

SS can't just take children away.

littlewhitebag Fri 31-Jan-14 16:51:32

When she goes for her booking in appointment the midwife will ask all the pertinent questions and raise concerns if she feels she is being misled. I am a SW and have had a number of cases a bit like this where a mother has moved areas to try and evade detection while pregnant with a subsequent child and as far as i am aware they are usually caught out. It is a massive red flag that she is trying to conceal this pregnancy. If you have concerns then pass them on to your local SW dept. Some mothers in this position do well the second time round and don't make the same mistakes. Some never learn and the child is removed. For the child's sake you need to report what you know.

badgerknowsbest Fri 31-Jan-14 16:52:18

Yanbu. If you report and ss have no worries then no harm done but if anything happens to that child further down the line I wouldn't want to be the person who looked the other way. Changing your identity is not the actions of a mother who wants to prove she is now capable of bringing a child up, regardless if she gets found anyway, as someone who neglected a child she isn't making a good case for herself by actively trying to hide from the system.

falulahthecat Fri 31-Jan-14 16:58:52

As someone who is familiar with the various actions of SS through an Aunt and Uncle who foster, I would say that it is a lottery as to the sort of 'care' you receive and without knowing more about why the previous child was taken away from her I could not possibly comment on whether it was just or if they 'jumped the gun'.

I think you should talk to her, kindly tell her changing her name will not keep them from seeing her and may hurt her situation, and that SS will want her to stay with her child and help her if they can or need to, because there have been lots of changes in how SS operate.

The welfare of the baby IS important, and if she has changed and CAN provide a loving, stable, if not perfect environment for her child then she deserves a chance, and if as everyone is saying they will 'catch up' with her anyway then there is no real need for you to report it yourself. IMO anyways.

cansu Fri 31-Jan-14 17:20:28

FGS leave her alone. there is plenty of time for medical services, midwives etc to raise concerns if they have any. It really is absolutely not your business. I am utterly amazed at the number of mad busybodies on here.

I know that Xxed. But what would you do, if you were the mother? Seriously? The urge is almost primal to protect your child.

OK to turn my post around. The mother has two choices, be open or hide.

For the child, best case scenario if mother is honest. Social services are able to support the mother and help her to be an adequate mother to her child. - Or - child is removed from potential abuse or neglect before it happens and hence is able to have a happy life brought up in a stable home.

Worst case scenario if mother is honest - SS remove child unnecessarily, child is denied chance to have relationship with mother. But is probably young enough to be adopted and hence have stable (if not totally free from the issues brought on by being in care/adopted in itself)

Best case scenario if mother hides - child has totally normal upbringing. But considering it's known there were fairly serious problems in the past and serious problems don't tend to disappear of their own accord in the four years betweentimes, it's unfortunately unlikely that this would be the case. So instead I'd say best case scenario is that the parenting might not always be great but it's good enough. OR if the parenting is truly terrible that it's picked up on early enough that the child can have a good, stable life in care and have a good chance of being adopted.

Worst case scenario is of course that the child suffers horrendous abuse which is never picked up because the mother has tried to hide, OR that abuse is discovered after it has been going on for some time and hence the child suffers before being removed and/or is too late by the time they are removed to be placed easily with a family. OR, that the child is removed later despite having a good attachment to the mother and this is extremely distressing for them both.

It's clear from this (speculation, obviously) that it would be overwhelmingly better for the child for the mother to be open and honest, but as I said earlier, how on earth do you convince a mother terrified of losing her child to the point that this clouds all other judgement that this is the case?

blahblahblah2014 Fri 31-Jan-14 17:24:01

I think if someone had genuine concerns over a mothers ability to look after her child, then fair enough, report - But reporting prior to baby being born is just ridiculous - She has NOT done ANYTHING wrong and is entitled to have a baby if she wishes. Why dont you save your judgement for when the baby is actually here? Poor girl, with friends like you....

MrsAMerrick Fri 31-Jan-14 17:31:41

Report it. It's not being a busybody, it's protecting the unborn baby. It's not up to anyone on this board to make a decision about whether or not your friend is or is not a fit mother, and it's certainly not your responsibility - I don't think people who are posting that you should "keep an eye out" are thinking this through.

In fact, the decision doesn't lie with an individual social worker or health professional either.

Contrary to popular opinion and the Daily Mail, Social workers simply don't have the powers to make individual decisions about whether a child should stay with its parent. A decision to remove a child comes only after many professionals have made an informed recommendation (and yes, sometimes they get those wrong, but they may know much more about the situation than a friend or family member).

If your friend co-operates with social workers and health professionals, and can be seen to make genuine efforts, then that will be recognised and taken into account. Trying to conceal a pregnancy is not going to look as though your friend is co-operating...

Leverette Fri 31-Jan-14 17:46:45

Report.

The "busybody" view is what stops people reporting DV next door etc and is about putting oneself before a more vulnerable person, which of course applies here.

The suggestions that the OP get herself involved in assessing and monitoring the baby's welfare and then deciding whether or not to report are highly irresponsible and absurd confused

maddening Fri 31-Jan-14 17:51:29

Her previous dc was taken - do you know what happened in that case?

AmberLeaf Fri 31-Jan-14 17:54:02

You don't need to report anything. If she has had previous SS involvement, it will come up at some point during her ante natal care.

Carriemac Fri 31-Jan-14 17:58:17

For those of you who say you can't have two NHS numbers - I have . And I work in a hospital! Keep trying to get them merged ( I work under my maiden name) but the systems keep reverting

AmberLeaf Fri 31-Jan-14 18:03:18

The info in the OP is rather scant anyway.

LimitedEditionLady Fri 31-Jan-14 19:03:37

Youre not a busybody for caring op.I think itd be a lot more stressful trying to hide a pregnancy and worrying when that knock on the door is going to happen or that phone call.This woman will get every support she needs and Ive seen this situation and it turned out well and it can.The lady I know has proved a lot of horrible gossipers who only knew the other kids were taken and not even why wrong and walks around now with her held high when before she didnt.

Dromedary Fri 31-Jan-14 19:16:28

I predict another new born baby heading towards adoption, so assisting the Council's adoption figures. I wonder whether SS will be attending the birth?

OP, this is the link I mentioned before which some mumsnetters have set up v recently. Looks like a fantastic resource already - perhaps you could pass it on to her?

www.childprotectionresource.org.uk/

WhataMistakeaToMakea Fri 31-Jan-14 20:18:25

Adoption figures?! Please it costs thousands of pounds to take a family to court to ask a JUDGE to decide if a child can be removed. We are constantly discouraged from requesting to take families to court because it costs so much!

Also neglect are the hardest cases to get children removed for and a lot of time they don't make it past local authority legal teams so to actually have a child removed for neglect must have taken a lot of evidence to convince a judge to remove them.

That said some people can change their lives around and then bring up a further child perfectly well with more life experience and more favourable circumstances on their side but social care need to assess this. I closed a case today in similar circumstances.

The midwife will have to inform social services once they see the history anyway.

Coldlightofday Fri 31-Jan-14 20:23:52

You seem to know lots of details about her life OP, which makes me think you must be good friends.

In which case I'm assuming you will be telling her about what you plan to do.

I'd also assume you would be planning on supporting you friend.

Laurel1979 Fri 31-Jan-14 21:42:33

In my experience (as a healthcare professional who has contacted SS about a very similar case in the past) I found that they simply weren't interested as the child was not yet born and no harm had actually happened. I would always recommend ringing NSPCC for advice, if you are in any doubt as to whether to report or not, particularly if you don't want to cause trouble for your friend. You can remain anonymous and they will advise you what the best course of action is.

Fairy1303 Fri 31-Jan-14 22:47:46

Adoption figures?! It is view points like that which mean children are left vulnerable. The media and our darling John Hemming are putting children at risk putting about that bullshit - I hope they realise.

Nobody is saying she has mistreated this baby, but she has had a child removed previously and SS need to know - as pp said she may well do well with this baby, OR she might still have the same issues as before. You don't know why her previous child was removed.

Well, the OP knows the woman well enough to have been told that she plans to hide her pregnancy, which would suggest some sort of friendship (whether or not it's based on the OP feeling superior to the pregnant woman).
OP: while you may not want to post this info for fear of outing her or yourself, please think about it.
What were the reasons for neglect of the previous child and have they been addressed? For example, if the woman was previously using drugs/alcohol and has now stopped doing so, she might still be in fear of SS but unnecessarily. Was it a matter of domestic abuse (ie the woman didn't get rid of an abusive partner but has now done so)?
Most importantly, do you think/know whether she was treated fairly over the neglect of her first child? There are good, compassionate, efficient social workers, and there are nasty, power-crazed, bullying ones.

TheXxed Sat 01-Feb-14 10:28:42

SolidGoldBrass the OP has not stated whether or she is a trained professional. So let's assume she isn't. Its not up to her to make that judgement.

FFS neglecting a baby to the point that SS were able to take them away is not an easy task.

Drug addicts relapse and people who put the children often put them in dangerous situations often repeat the same behaviour.

Leave it to trained professionals.

TheXxed Sat 01-Feb-14 10:29:56

* People who put their children in dangerous situations often repeat the same mistakes.

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