To make a report to social services?

(104 Posts)
HappyWasGoLucky Fri 28-Feb-14 00:02:09

Name changed, I'm a regular. Pom bears, naice ham, penis beaker.

This is long, I apologise!

A family member of mine has been interviewed under caution regarding an incident in which her child (2 years old) was hurt. Social Services turned up at her house several weeks ago and took her and her two boys to hospital (2 and 3) because of a severe mark on the two year olds face. She told the hospital staff and social services that he and his brother were fighting and he fell over and hurt his face on a toy bus, which they accepted.

Fast forward several weeks and she has rang SS and told them that she lied and she hit him round the head which caused him to fall on the toy bus. She had a child action meeting with SS and the police in which she admitted hitting her son.

Following this meeting the police rang her and told her to present herself at the police station for interview as they were going to charge her with assault on a minor. Following the interview, the police are going to make a decision on whether to charge her with assault on a minor and give her a caution or proceed to court.

She and her mother are now down-playing the incident and saying that she only gave a small tap on the top of his head with the palm of her hand and that SS are trying to stitch her up for something she didn't do.

The thing is, I know of and have witnessed previous instances in which these boys have been emotionally and physically neglected and have been hit.

I've witnessed her smack the elder child round the head because he wasn't leaving a room quick enough. I went round one afternoon and neither boys were dressed or washed, they both had nappies on that were dangling down to their knees and the elder child had quite obviously had a poo. I told her he had soiled his nappy and she said 'yeah, I need to change him' and then proceeded to sit down and talk to me for an hour about her boyfriend. When she did finally change him the poo was stuck to his bum so it had obviously been left for a while.

I've witnessed the children throw bricks around the back garden whilst she sits in the kitchen smoking and gossiping, absolutely no supervision whatsoever. On another day, this actually resulted in another child's head being split open by a brick and an ambulance was called. The ambulance man was so concerned at the state of her children that he called the police.

Her elder child has taken to wetting himself when someone shouts, it doesn't even have to be him getting told off.

So basically, the police and SS are focussing solely on this one incident with the bus and her smaller child, they know nothing of anything else.

I know that by reporting this I will be opening myself up to all sorts of abuse and I will probably be outcast from the family (bar my own immediate members). But I feel that by not reporting this that she will more than likely be let off with a caution and the children will continue to suffer. sad

AIBU?

Saturnsearcher Tue 04-Mar-14 16:18:46

Yanbu may be able to be anonymous if that would help

MrsSquirrel Tue 04-Mar-14 14:08:10

Well done for reporting, you have done the right thing. thanks Let's hope those kids can now get the help they need.

Don't be so sure that the sw wasn't interested. She may have seemed that way, but she is probably just overworked. She wants to speak to your sister to corroborate what you said. It's understandable.

HappyWasGoLucky Tue 04-Mar-14 13:55:18

I've spoken to the social worker assigned to the case and told her what I know.

To be honest, she didn't seem that interested, perhaps because I don't really see the mother that often, or perhaps because of the time that has lapsed. I should have reported a long time ago. sad

She wanted to speak to my sister really, who sees the mother a lot more than me. I've rang her and given her the number. I hope she decides to report.

HappyWasGoLucky Tue 04-Mar-14 09:22:35

Thanks Surro.

These boys are high level on the child protection register, so I think Social Services have to investigate immediately...so I've been told, I'm not sure how it works myself.

Sorry to hear you went through something similar. thanks

surromummy Mon 03-Mar-14 22:40:45

can I recommend you email your concerns to child services too, that way there is a paper trail proving you have expressed your concerns. I may be wrong but I don't think they will swoop in and take the children, at least that's not what happened in a similar case with my family, they had lots of evidence of neglect and emotional abuse but opened and closed the case with no further action after weeks. There is no harm done in reporting additional concerns but an expectation of immediate action is imo unlikely.

HappyWasGoLucky Mon 03-Mar-14 22:26:35

I know...seems like my attempts are being thwarted! confused

Going to ring again tomorrow morning.

Mumof3xx Mon 03-Mar-14 16:36:45

Well done for speaking up op!

Ss can be tricky to get hold of!

HappyWasGoLucky Mon 03-Mar-14 16:26:37

Sorry for the late update, I've been running errands all day!

I called social services and got the name of the worker dealing with the case, however, she wasn't in so I left my details and I'm awaiting a phone call back.

ColdTeaAgain Sat 01-Mar-14 21:57:50

Report it OP, tell them everything you know.

If family members disown you for wanting to protect children then they are not people you need in your life anyway.

Good luck OP, I hope a better future is not too far away for those children.

MrsDeVere Sat 01-Mar-14 21:37:06

I missed out a page so apologise if I am missing something.

I think its unlikely that the SS are just focusing on one incident. If the police are involved and she has admitting hitting a young child I think it is likely they are going to be more involved than she is letting on.

I would at least expect SS to be doing a core assessment. It would be a bit strange if after a confirmed incident of violence against a tiny child that SS would leave it to the police.

That is not to say you shouldn't report what you know. If SS have concerns it is helpful to have more information.

I am another one who is astounded at what some people think of as reportable on MN but in this case I think you are perfectly reasonable to contact SS and tell them what you know.

Don't expect anything dramatic to happen though. Unless the mother totally kicks off and refuses to deal with SS and/or another injury occurs.

Call on Monday. Nothing is going to happen out of office hours.

monkeynuts123 Sat 01-Mar-14 21:25:59

You have to speak up, I think you have a moral obligation to. Do it Monday morning.

MiscellaneousAssortment Sat 01-Mar-14 21:22:56

I understand it's all to easy to get caught up in complex family dynamics and also sidetracked into do I / don't I, betray/ protect type of arguments and all these people will wish to do is minimize, confuse and stop you reporting.

They appear to be normalizing the not normal. It's hard to fight against that once you're drawn into it.

So, don't get drawn in. Keep focused on the child. And phone social services first thing on Monday.

FabBakerGirl Sat 01-Mar-14 14:35:57

I suspect Grandma is telling you not to repeat what SS have already been told as they know more than one report will be flagged as important.

differentnameforthis Sat 01-Mar-14 11:47:36

Meant to add, well done for looking out for these children, op.

Good luck.

differentnameforthis Sat 01-Mar-14 11:47:08

I wouldn't have told her the exact reason for not going around, because if & when you do report, she will now know it was you!

I have recently done a course for work called 'Child Safe Environments' which was known as mandatory reporting. Because of the job I am in, I am now (since doing the course) obliged to report anything that makes me think a child may be at risk. If I don't, and something happens to the child & the relevant authorities find out I knew something & held it back, I could be fined $10,000.

Some people have already been fined.

We were told to see the situation from the child's POV.
Stay child focused.

'what would be the outcome for the child if I did nothing'
'what would occur should it continue'

Were two things regularly mentioned during the course.

SinisterBuggyMonth Sat 01-Mar-14 09:07:49

OP you have been very brave, there aren't many who would actually do what you have done to help protect these poor children. The last few posters on here are being unnecessarily mean.

DraggingDownDownDown Sat 01-Mar-14 05:15:00

I read the thread and your reasons for telling them why you're not going round but I just feel that you inflamed the situation made sb issue for yourself when you didn't need to.

HappyWasGoLucky Sat 01-Mar-14 00:35:36

I haven't 'successfully' put it off at all. My DS wasn't too good so I took him to the doctors.

I did call the NSPCC who gave me the number for SS but it just rings out, I've been informed they are only open 9-5 Mon-Fri unless there is an emergency.

I didn't start the argument, she did because she doesn't like my opinion. I certainly didn't engage in arguing with her Mum.

hmm

MiscellaneousAssortment Sat 01-Mar-14 00:24:52

Well I'm somewhat worried that you've successfully put it off for another few days, and also started an argument with the mother and her mother.

Step away from the family gossip and in fighting, and step towards reporting what you have seen.

mumminio Fri 28-Feb-14 23:25:38

Well done, very brave of you to report it smile Totally did the right thing.

mumminio Fri 28-Feb-14 23:24:28

Please report straight away, this is so sad I am crying for those poor children.

Finola1step Fri 28-Feb-14 23:07:01

Well done Happy. I do have a feeling though that the grandmother may well be embellishing the role of ss at the moment so that it makes you pause and not report for now. Is she trying to buy her own dd a bit of time?

Stick with your plan to report.

HappyWasGoLucky Fri 28-Feb-14 22:07:08

Thank you eternal

You big bunch of vipers have made me feel somewhat at ease with my decision.

Thank you all thanks

theeternalstudent Fri 28-Feb-14 22:00:26

OP just wanted to say that I think you're very brave and have done the right thing. It's not easy to confront someone over something like this. However, you just never know, it might just have pricked your family members consciousness to realise the seriousness of her predicament and the effects that her parenting is having on her children. She might not thank you for it now but in the long run see that it's for the best.

Good luck for Monday and for calling the duty social worker. I'm sure that any information you can give them will help to paint a fuller picture of what is going on.

Hope you manage to enjoy the rest of your weekend.

HappyWasGoLucky Fri 28-Feb-14 21:58:50

Ah, thanks for that.

No, I don't think they are at immediate risk, they are having daily contact with their grandmother.

Who has just text me and told me that social services do not need any more information as they are already fully involved.

I would rather repeat the same information twice than risk it being missed.

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