To think this should be investigated(98 Posts)
A visiting DC 2yo has told adults who she sees often that mum's partner of 6 months has hit and made her cry and that her mum was also hit and ended up crying in the bathroom.
It's not the only time something has been mentioned by DC and the mum has been known to arrive in an emotional state due to problems with this bloke.
One of the adults [experienced parent, unlike me] receiving the info says they don't believe there is serious abuse as the child appears well adjusted and happy. Also that DC make stuff up [even I know that's true].
Sorry a bit vague and low on details. I am pretty sure they don't want to be identified plus I am being told this third hand. My feeling is that at the very least further investigation is needed if a child tells you that.
Any advice will be passed on to the non-MNers involved.
AIBU to think this should not be ignored and WWYD?
Technically you have received what is called a disclosure. And when you receive a disclosure you need to pass that information on. You don't need to pass judgement, I don't have to worry if it is the truth or not. You just need to pass that information on. Perhaps this family is already on the radar. There's a fine line between well-adjusted and good at concealing. Luckily you don't have to make any of those judgements, you just tell it as it happened with a clear conscience.
I agree, I think this sort of information should be passed on.
Children do make stuff up, (DD told someone I put her in the washing machine when she's naughty, with a shark ) but it's better for a disclosure like that to be reported than dismissed.
Does the lack of fantasy maybe make it more serious and-or more likely to be true maybe IYSWIM?
Love the shark in the washing machine though. Maybe the shark was dirty?
You have no idea whether this is true or not. But domestic abuse is a safeguarding issue so should always be investigated. Pass this onto the experts and let them investigate. There is a reason you have to be trained and qualified to be a social worker.
user it doesn't matter whether it's true or not. And if they have any professionalism around confidentiality you will probably never know for sure whether it was true or not...
You have received the disclosure your job is to nonjudgementally report it without interpretation and without bias.
Then as hard as it is you have to forget about it. If you receive another disclosure your report that in the same and unbiased manner.
It's not a matter for conversation and speculation.
What is worse, a family being investigated and social services ascertaining that there is no cause for concern, or nothing being done and a child being at risk?
If you are concerned please report it.
Just to be clear, I have no intention of reporting anything. I only wish to get info and support for those who actually got the disclosure from the child as to what they should do.
Sorry, I should have also made it clear that the adults who received disclosure from the child greatly value the relationship with mum [and child] and do not wish to risk that. Understandably IMO.
Their concern is that if reported either a possibly overcautious approach will be taken and the child removed from mum and away from everyone.
Or that due to an inadequate but intrusive response from SS the mum is pushed away from them and towards stepdad. That could result in further contact for the reporting adults with both mum and child being restricted.
Neither of those outcomes are desirable for anyone.
Not sure the gung ho response of just report [whilst I understand it's well meant] and trust the authorities to get it right is helpful. Nor do I think it will happen.
A chat with NSPCC would maybe help them. Thanks for that suggestion. Although their website [again understandably] is very oriented towards reporting and escalating.
There is a fear of an unjust or incompetent reaction from authorities as much as a fear that some abuse is going on.
What sort of person does nothing for fear someone might be able to help? Wtf kind of response is that? What's the point in asking if they don't intend to do anything? Their concern should be that nobody's left carrying a little white coffin.
I am disgusted that your friend would sooner protect her friendship than an innocent child.
Definitely encourage them to pass the disclosure on. For all they know he might have a history of this sort of behaviour towards children. Also from my experience social services don't just whisk children away unless they are absolutely sure that the children's well being is seriously at risk. Every effort is made to keep the family unit together.
2 year olds don't lie about these sorts of things. tbh I couldn't be friends with someone who failed to get a 2 year old help.
When there is a high profile case of abuse people ask where was SS, but SS can't act without information.
A disclosure from a 2 year old is difficult because of their lack of capacity to understand time however In my experience they don't make things up. It's very likely that there is some domestic violence going on and while you are right that all the issues you've raised need to be considered they are currently neither dealing with it themselves or giving anyone else the info to allow it to be dealt with professionally. They are burying their heads and pretending it's not happening and that is leaving the child at risk. While I understand the reluctance to report for the reasons you've given the dismissal of what is being said suggest that the priority is maintaining the adult relationships at the expense of the child's safety. They aren't supporting the mother by ignoring what is happening.
You are asking advice about what someone else should do but you have been made aware that this is possibly happening so you should report.
How would you feel if a year down the line the same people are telling you that little 2 year old is in hospital or worse dead or her mum is.
You need to report this! Don't continue to discuss with your friend just simply report. Your friend may be telling you in order to shift responsibility. It may lead to nothing but it is better that a professional discover this than you both sitting back and wondering. It's extremely unlikely that the family would be broken up but SS would be obligated to monitor the child as they are the main priority.
I'm afraid that now you have been made aware of the situation, it is now down to you to report. Please don't let this be one of those newspaper stories we read about how no-one stepped in to help an abused child.
I would agree with your decision to take no steps to report this to SS. My family have been all through such a situation. They do nothing when a child is in real trouble and do all sorts when there is no real cause for concern.
The cause for concern here is that people have no faith in SS to deal with a situation in a satisfactory manner. That is a dangerous situation because there is no one else to report to, or any report to another agency eventually lands with SS.
There is a situation around me just now concerning a child which has been going on for over a decade and still SS can not do the right thing. They hide behind confidentiality and use that as a shield to cover their wrong doing. This in turn means that I will never report anything to them or anyone else until they change their ways.
Something really has to change.
Just to be clear, I have no intention of reporting anything.
I hope to god I am misreading/misunderstanding this sentence and reading out of context or something...
So the people who have been told this are doing nothing, you are doing nothing...that poor, poor child
I would agree with your decision to take no steps to report this to SS.
I personally would rather SS investigated 10 cases and it turns out to be nothing than not investigate and help/save a child who is being abused.
so your doing nothing theyre doing nothing and youre asking us what exactly?
I could have been that child - my bio father was very violent to my mother and I witnessed it on several occasions and told a family member. I would have been about the same age. However it wasn't dealt with in the same way then. It did fuck me up though.
But of course it's far more important for the adult receiving the disclosure not to risk their relationship with the mother
Has your friend spoken to the child's mother about this?
It's all very recent [I first heard about it hours ago, the disclosure from child was in the last day or two at most] so to say nothing is being done is not true. It is true to say people involved are not yet sure what to do for the best. IMO they need support to make that choice, not being told they are disgusting if ... but hey I did post this in AIBU so my fault.
As stated in my OP, my opinion is that it needs to be investigated and I wanted some other opinions to back that up. <so thanks for those, however errrm abrasive>.
If anyone can point in the direction of less potentially damaging ways to investigate that would be great too.
Also any idea of what can be expected if an NSPCC / SS report is made. The statement you will never hear anything again is frankly the worst nightmare rather than reassuring that all will be well handled.
The relationships at risk are not "just freinds", it involves family.
There is a risk with reporting to SS. All very well to say what if you do not report and something terrible happens as a result. You can also say what if you report and something terrible happens as a result whilst there was no problem to start with.
Everyone involved would like to do what's best [for the 2yo] having considered what the options are rather than jump in and make it worse.
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