To think an alcoholic who abuses her own children shouldn't be allowed to work in a school

(49 Posts)
FeliciaVonBottomburp Sat 12-Nov-16 19:40:20

A person I have known for a couple of years has just started work as a TA. She has 3 children. Last year she threw the eldest DD out and she had to live with her father for a few months. While she was there the mother sent vile text messages calling the DD a cunt and other such names. Eventually myself and another friend manage to calm everyone down enough and the girl moved back home.
Earlier this year the same DD told a teacher that her mum had punched her and had left a mark. The police were called and social workers became involved and none of the children were allowed to go home and all moved in with their dad. It also came to light that she had pushed one of the children down the stairs, pushed their faces into their food if they didn't eat it and much name calling and nastiness.
The mum agreed to go to some alcoholic meetings and the children went home.
I know she is secretly drinking and now she is working at a local school. I'm guessing it didn't show up in any checks because there were no charges and the social worker is keeping an eye on them.
AIBU to think someone who behaves like that shouldn't be working with children or are people allowed another chance?

OurBlanche Sat 12-Nov-16 19:48:43

Well, she will have been DBS checked but it isn't impossible that there is no record of criminality or abuse.

If you are 1000000% certain then your only option is to report to the employer, police or SS.

But you seem to have knowledge that should be confidential... what is said to teachers, SWs and the recommendation to attend meetings... how do you know all of that? Unless she has told you you shouldn't know! Which means everything, from the abuse, to the current secret drinking is all just gossip, conjecture!

Trifleorbust Sat 12-Nov-16 20:01:22

I'd tend to agree, but unless something was flagged by the DBS check, there is nothing you can do. Her employer cannot act on hearsay and gossip.

ElizaSchuyler Sat 12-Nov-16 20:04:02

An enhanced DBS check should show this up but a standard one won't.

wherethewildthingis Sat 12-Nov-16 20:04:12

The local authority designated officer is the person to deal with this -Google who it is in your area

YouTheCat Sat 12-Nov-16 20:06:08

You can report this to her head as a safeguarding issue (just done my safe guarding training).

This kind of thing wouldn't turn up on a DBS check but school might want to know so they can decide what action to take, if any.

Trifleorbust Sat 12-Nov-16 20:06:26

I think DBS only looks at criminal behaviours, not whether you, for example, attend AA.

JerryFerry Sat 12-Nov-16 20:08:16

How do you know all this?

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Sat 12-Nov-16 20:11:29

You KNOW she's secretly drinking? How?

FeliciaVonBottomburp Sat 12-Nov-16 20:12:14

I know because I was a friend of her and the children. I had to pick the youngest one up from school the day she was told she couldn't take them home. The DDs told me what had happened and showed me the horrible texts that the mum had sent.

OurBlanche Sat 12-Nov-16 20:12:17

We may never know Jerry

Thingsthatmakeugoummmm Sat 12-Nov-16 20:15:09

She would only have to declare if her children were subject to child protection plans. As previous poster said, you can call LADO

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Sat 12-Nov-16 20:15:30

Yes, you WERE a friend, but is your knowledge of her drinking current? If you're no longer a friend, how can you know? Or are you just going on hearsay?

If the DDs showed you texts very recently, fair enough. But that sounds historic going by your posts.

OurBlanche Sat 12-Nov-16 20:17:16

Ooh! Too soon!

But how do you now all the rest of it, the details?

I can see how you would know about her having been nasty to her DD.

You say she was told she couldn't take them home... why did you collect them and not their dad? Was she legally barred from seeing them? As in SWs took them away? In which case again why did you pick them up? How long did yo have them? What kind of order was it?

As I said, if you are 1000000% certain you have duty of care to report her actions, just as I would, or anyone else who was aware of such actions.

If you are absolutely certain that all you have said is correct then you must report her.

FeliciaVonBottomburp Sat 12-Nov-16 20:19:42

The DD has texted me this week to say she is drinking again.
Thank you for you advise. I will google the LADO as I am concerned.

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Sat 12-Nov-16 20:21:52

That sounds like the wisest course of action, Felicia, definitely.

Thingsthatmakeugoummmm Sat 12-Nov-16 20:23:23

You can also speak to NSPCC anonymously and they can take it from there. You can do this via phone or email. I would argue that you have a duty to report if children are still living with her.

FeliciaVonBottomburp Sat 12-Nov-16 20:26:20

OurBlanche the mum asked me to collect the youngest one as the dad was working a couple of hours away and couldnt be back for pick up time. The older ones were still at school talking to the police.
I am not sure what the order was or if there was one. They went to their fathers house when he returned home.
Every now and then the DD texts me as I was a family friend although not so much now.

Olympiathequeen Sat 12-Nov-16 20:27:12

I worked with children and I thought all people working with children have an enhanced police check? So if nothing has shown up there were no charges brought and no record as such made.

Unless you know she is currently drinking to the point of being dangerous (drinking more than is good isn't considered being an alcoholic) you can't do anything. She may have a rocky relationship with her daughter but clearly not enough to have her children removed permanently. Unless you have something current then maybe she needs the benefit of the doubt and left to earn a living which may be the best thing for her family.

FeliciaVonBottomburp Sat 12-Nov-16 20:28:00

I was just concerned about her working with children when I have knowledge of what she is like. If the TA in my ds class had this history then I don't think I would like it. Thank you for all your advice

ItShouldHaveBeenJingleJess Sat 12-Nov-16 20:31:34

I don't get this. Surely if SS were involved, they'd know about her role as a TA? And you say you're her friend but you'd rather report her than talk to her?

madein1995 Sat 12-Nov-16 20:34:12

She will have been DBS checked -but circumstances can change at the drop of a hat. Like pp have said, if you have any concerns you have an obligation to report, better to be safe thn sorry. Maybe not a legal obligation but definitely a moral one. There ought to be a designated safeguarding officer at the school, if not go to the headteacher. If you don't feel safe doing that you could contact your LSCB (local safeguarding children board) who have to investigate. Of course your worries may be unfounded - but as far as I'm concerned, there is no point in discussing ifs or maybe. You (I'm assuming) and me aren't experienced in safeguarding and cannot make these kind of decisions, the best thing you can do is tell someone in authority and let them make their educated decisions. Too many people make excuses and miss opportunities to perhaps save a children's life. Don't forget though, that after reporting, you are not just absolved of any duty (at least in Wales) and need to chase things up. You'd be given a number to ring and ask if the issue is being 'actioned' which is all you need to know, no need for details. If no action is taken and you feel the decision is wrong, there is always someone higher to speak to and you should do that.

OurBlanche Sat 12-Nov-16 20:35:18

That's why I wondered Felicia

You may have been put in a difficult position... been drawn into a situation that you had nothing to do with, no control over.

If I were you I would contact the NSPCC and talk it through with them. As Olympia said your knowledge is not current and all that you have knowledge of might be known and be on her DRB. Talking to the NSPCC would allow you to register your fears without having to talk to anyone who may know you or her. You could talk more freely knowing that they, a professional organisation, will know exactly what to do with your information.

ItShouldHaveBeenJingleJess Sat 12-Nov-16 20:36:06

You know, while I can't argue against your claims of abuse, as I don't know the facts, it's the use of the word 'alcoholic' in this context, i.e 'bad mother', that prevents so many people from seeking help for addiction. The last remaining mental health condition where stereotyping and judgement is actively encouraged.

OurBlanche Sat 12-Nov-16 20:38:14

But the fact that OP is asking for help before leaping off that judgement might show that that isn't quite as global as it once was!

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