To make a report to social services?(104 Posts)
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.
The golden rule is, if you have to ask whether to report, you should report. The eldest is wetting himself if someone shouts. They need help.
Do it. Youll need courage but whatever you lose, those children will gain.
YANBU. There is no justice without witnesses. Be brave.
You have to report, the children cannot protect themselves and they need you to do it for them. I know this is easier said than done and I understand there will be consequences for you, but those consequences are much less severe than what these babies will have to endure if this is allowed to continue.
If you're ostracised for looking out for these children are these people you want in your life anyway?
Yanbu. Please phone ss.
I think you know the answer, which is why you have written here. I would not want to be in your position, but I can only imagine what the children are going though, so if you can in any way aid in improving this situation, then you have to. I hope the support of your immediate family is strong enough for you. If you can in any way give some information and try and stay as anonymous as possible. Ask for advice. Oh Happy, I wish you luck
Please please PLEASE contact ss
Be brave. Report. Don't let these children fall through the net.
You're looking for support. You already know you're not being unreasonable.
Yanbu. There is something very wrong there.
Be brave, report. Those poor children
You need to report. I'm quite sure that you know this and mnet will give you the reassurance you need.
The children are too young to speak up for themselves and explain what is happening. They do not have the language or the emotional capacity to defend themselves. You do.
I think it is interesting that the mother has actually told the truth after probably being very close to getting away with the toy bus incident. She knows its wrong and on some level, wants something to be done. I say this as a professional trained in safeguarding children. There is probably much more to this than you know. She has actually told the truth but possibly others have had quiet words in her ear and now she is minimising. She's panicking.
Your information must be shared with social services. First thing tomorrow, before the weekend duty social worker rota kicks in. Your info may well be the tipping point which prompts the necessary investigations and discussions.
I wish you well OP.
I am a SW and work in child protection. You need to pass on what you you know under the spirit of. ' It's everyone's job to make sure I'm ok'. Young children cannot speak up for themselves and need people who will speak out to ensure their safety. Call them today don't wait until something else much worse happens.
You've seen the other responses OP. YWBU not to report to ss. Your friend needs a big wake up call, not to carry on behaving like this then downplaying her poor behaviour. Hopefully she and her dc will get the help they need.
It's worth adding you can ask ss to protect your anonymity.....
Normally I would say stay out of it if at all possible (some of the things people want to report on here are ridiculous). But these boys are being neglected, and possibly at serious risk of harm. You need to report now, hopefully they will act quickly for the sake of those kids
I hope you all get the help and support needed.
Good luck OP.
As a children's nurse I'm also saying please report. These children need protecting. They'll be able to tell from the mark left that it wasn't a light tap btw.
Please report it - I would hate to be in your position but I would do it, definitely. It's not tale telling or anything, the mum needs help. Is their dad around at all?
If you don't report it you're always going to be worried - and lower level neglect can lead on - if she thinks it's fine to leave them unsupervised in the garden she might think it's okay to leave them for ten minutes to nip to the shop, an hour to go to the pub...
It would be unreasonable not to report
Thank you for your responses.
I guess I do know that I should report it and I'm sort of looking for support? Or people to say they would do the same.
Does anyone have any experience of this? Do I ring and give details of everything I know.
I don't know if I'll be able to stay anonymous as my sister has told me quite a lot and I will need to give her name in case they want to talk to her. She has said she will tell SS what she has witnessed if they ask but will not seek them out to inform them.
I feel sad.
Yes, I'd do the same. Yes, give details of everything you know and have witnessed.
I'd also contact your sister and make a last ditch effort to get her to report, also.
The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept.
The police have told her that if it goes to court then thr children will be removed from her care, however, they want her to admit that she hit him directly in the face which she won't do.
They can't prove her story about the bus isn't true so we think that they are just going to caution her.
If I make this report do you think they will be able to make a more informed decision and possibly not let her get away with a caution and free to go home with the kids?
So you went to their house and the children's nappies weren't changed, one obviously having had a poo, and you sat there for an hour and chatted to her?! Really?!
Thats what I thought too WhamBam.
The more information SS have OP the better, so yes they can make an informed decision. You can phone anonymously you know.
I've only ever reported in a professional capacity, not personal. IME it can be a long, drawn out process. Thanks to shitty soap operas and crap TV dramas, some of the general public are under the impression that SS swoop in like a SWAT team after one negative report. The reality is very different as most local authorites try their best to keep the children with their natural parents for as long as they can before placing them in foster care.
Despite all that, it's imperative that you DO report it. As others have said, the more they know, the better and more informed a decision they can make.
She called them voluntarily out of the blue to admit to hitting the child, when the accident story had already been accepted?
IF this is true, she is clearly asking for help. Do something to help then, instead of colluding in the abuse (like pp said, you sat and chatted for an hour knowing the child was being neglected at the time? Why didn't you change the nappy yourself?)
Yes I would in this case, I do not normally like to encourage people to snitch in this way but you seem to have seen lots of things with your own eyes and it sounds like a very sad situation.
Please please don't think of this as "snitching" - this isn't the playground. Imagine if you don't report. When those poor children grow up they will know that other people knew what was happening to them and they did nothing to help. Please report all you know.
Why didn't the police intervene earlier if they were called after the brick incident?
I can't believe you sag there for an hour when this baby needed changing, I would of ask where the nappy and wiped was and Chang him myself.
Why haven't you reported it sooner.
I feel very sad that people do not report such things or act on instinct for fear for themselves. As if turning a blind eye will make uncomfortable things go away.
There are so many neglected and abused dc and when something awful happens people ask why didn't anybody do anything? The signs are usually always there.
Those poor poor dc. The one person who should be loving and caring is letting them down so badly and with a grandmother who would rather lie and aid and abet her own abusive daughter than seek help for her grandchildren.
Op, you have a good heart, you know what you've witnessed is wrong as does your sister. What sort of family members will these dc turn into without someone with a kind heart and strong conscience to help them?
They are still very young so the damage could be mitigated if you act now. Have you and your sister been too afraid to confront this awful grandmother or mother and tell her that the way she treats her dc is so wrong? The nappy incident for example, wouldn't you have said let me change him for you then we can have a cup of tea?
It sounds as if you are used to the neglect and bad parenting which has lessened your shock to the fact that it is utterly unacceptable and a disaster waiting to happen. The brick incident was already a warning light when another child got badly injured.
There seems to be successive warning bells going off and paralysis to do anything apart from you op.
Your conscience will not allow these dc to be further neglected and abused, thank god, but please do not delay in reporting it x
You have to report, SS are involved and need to get an accurate picture of what is happening.
You have to ask why they turned up at the door in the first place, I suspect someone alerted them and now SS need to get help from you, yor sister etc to get a clearer picture of what's happening. They will try to support the mother rather than rush in and take children away.
To the posters asking why I just sat there and didn't say anything about the child's nappy - I did say something. Twice.
Plus I had my 6 week old DS with me. I should have changed the nappy myself and I didn't. I know that was wrong of me. But thanks for making me feel worse than I already do.
I'm going to report this morning once my DS has gone down for a nap.
I completely understand why you didn't change the nappy OP, you're in a very awkward situation. Unfortunately some people come on AIBU to pick holes and criticise.
Well done for deciding to report, HappyWasGoLucky. It's hard, but the right thing to do.
Thank you lazyhound.
This family member is the same age as me and has been diagnosed with boderline personality disorder and has other mental health issues, so we are led to believe.
She has already said to my sister that she needs a night out this weekend so she 'have a break from it all'. I just don't think her heart is in the right place. She sees her children as more of a burden on her life, I think.
Their dad is not around. He left over a year ago and she got together and moved in with a man who she said was violent towards her.
I don't know if that is the case. She tends to embellish stories and make them completely different to what actually happened.
OP you are doing the right thing and I think it is very brave of you to do so.
Please don't listen to those trying to make you feel bad. No one can say how they would react in a situation unless they have been in it.
I'm about to make the call.
WTF do I say? I've got no clue what I'm doing.
And yes, I'm worrying about the effect this is going to have on me. That makes mr selfish, I know.
But, above my own preference to avoid drama, I need to know that SS know the full picture, or at least as much of it as I can give.
You are not selfish, you are scared. Be brave. Those who you really need will still be there after the call has been made (plus MN will always be here )
Tell them the truth. Tell them what you have told us.
I don't know if you've already are the call but ime they talk you through everything over the phone. The hardest part was making the call, then it was just a case of answering their questions.
You're doing a brave thing OP.
As Mr Tumbles has said, they will talk you through it all.
I've got an appointment this afternoon at 1.30 so I'm going to make the call now and I will update later this afternoon.
Thank you for encouraging me.
If something happened to these children could you live with the guilt of not saying anything ? I think I would contact ss. These children sound as if they need help. As does mum.
OP, it sounds like by admitting to police that she was responsible for the injuries, the she probably know herself she is not coping and needs help. She has obviously back-pedalled since, but that could be due to pressure from other family members (ie, her mother).
Well done, Happy, you know you are doing the right thing.
You're doing the right thing OP, 100% the right thing for those children.
Be strong and get the initial call over with.
I think as a pp said, you can be desensitised to low level neglect and now it has progressed to assault, you have been shocked into action.
You are absolutely doing the right thing. I would be doing the same in your position. Good luck and I hope your report makes a difference to those poor childrens' situation.
well done Happy,
Years ago I had a neighbour who for various reasons, ended up neglecting and not coping with her children,
When SS did get involved, they were able to support, she turned it all around, with parenting classes, support her youngest sons were able to stay with her.
But they did need help, and took someone pointing out to SS.
I hope it goes well.
My husband a child was neglected, his father had left (he didn't see him again for twenty years), his mother was ill and in bed, he was left as carer for a mother with mental health issues, as well as other issues, his school reports from primary are heart breaking,
the teachers wrote about his neglect,abuse and how under weight he was, but because supposedly it was a nice middle class family, no one reported it (we know a lot of the adults in his life from then, all now comment they can't believe they did nothing), he had a very hard time, some he is only relising as his children grow, and it becomes very apparent what he was missing) he is an incredible father because of it.
His mother who we still care for still can't understand why no one intervened, she did ask for help, but was ignored.
We have a social services for this type of thing, but they can't help unless they know.
As someone who has mistakenly had SS called on me by hospital A&E I say: contact them (I see you have and wish you luck this afternoon).
It's humiliating to have to deal with SS unnecessarily but I'd rather go through that than have a child's death on my conscience.
OP I imagine you're on the call now but it might help to have your original post in front of you when you ring - you've laid it all out clearly there so you can work through it if you get nervous or worry you'll forget something.
Having read through the thread I'm so relieved to see you are going to report.
The very last thing you want is to see a child being taken off by ambulance because you didn't report the abuse.
Please come back and confirm you have made the call.
I would report.
You have a responsibility to speak for these dc. You've witnessed neglect and abuse.
for you, but more for them.
Don't feel bad for reporting. It's absolutely the right thing to do.
Adding to the consensus: definitely do call SS.
I saw a pro-child protection poster in a youth services office once with an adorable little mixed race boy of around four playing with big ABC blocks on a mat; above him, the words written in crayon like font on the wall say "Keeping ME safe is YOUR responsibility!"
That advice applies to these poor boys too. Your job is to report- from there the professionals will take over, and whatever happens won't be your fault- all you're doing is making the authorities aware of a situation.
If you're going to report, have the courage of your convictions and give your name.
Oh, those poor children. I'm so glad you've reported everything, OP. I hope everything goes well.
Hope it goes ok op.
You are doing the right thing.
Please do make the call.
ALL children need to have people to look out for them and sometimes their parents are not the best ones to protect them.
Far too often children are hurt or killed because no one wanted to rock the boat or make things worse for them or the child. Well tough. A child is incapable of protecting themselves.
I also think an education campaign about what SS and SW can do is needed as all you hear about are the babies snatched from the womb and children left without checks and then we get "lessons will be learnt" and "no one person was at fault, it is the system" and there needs to be a middle ground so that people can able to report without worrying the child will be lost to the family for ever or they will be blamed. Ultimately though, if a child is at risk you should think only of them. Staying quiet might stop you getting grief from family but it could result in a child's death.
So glad you're calling op, you're doing the best thing for those little ones.
No one made this call for a friend of mine, he now doesn't trust anyone from his childhood, as no one ever helped him. It's made his life very hard.
Good luck x
Thanks to everyone for replying.
I was waylaid this afternoon as my DS wasn't himself so ended up taking him to the doctors (just a bug).
DS is in bed now and I have just called the NSPCC who advised that it was very concerning and social services should be made aware of the information. He gave me the number for the area and I called but they aren't answering, are they not 24/7?
Also, I have received a text message from her asking me if I want to go round for a Chinese tomorrow night.
Does anyone have any advice on what to text back? I don't particularly want to give a bogus reason as to why I can't go round but I don't want to seem like I'm mouthing off at her, IYSWIM?
Do you think SS will be open on a Saturday? I genuinely thought they were open all week until late in the evening. Maybe if you have immediate concerns when they are shut you have to call the police?
SS are open all the time but out of hours there will be a duty social worker on only. At least that's how it works when we have to refer in hospital.
Tell her you can't, your DS is ill.
What about telling her your DS is poorly and has been to the GP so you don't want to leave him?
...with an infectious bug.
That's what I mean, I don't particularly want to make an excuse.
The reason I don't want to go round is because I don't think it is appropriate, she needs to concentrate on her kids and being a good parent, not making lots of social plans.
I don't want to spend time with someone that is being charged with battering her 2 year old.
If I make an excuse I will feel like I am hiding my real reason out of politeness or like it's not a good enough reason to not go round. She expects everything to carry on as normal and for people to continue treating her as normal. And I can't, I'm so upset that she has put her children in this position.
A family friend has said 'oh don't worry, it will all blow over'.
But it's not an excuse, you have been to the GP with your DS.
I would go round so that you can change the nappies, give the dc a bath, read them a goodnight story and put them to bed!
She might find someone else to go out with. In any case those dc need a responsible adult around who cares for them!
I don't want to spend time with someone that is being charged with battering her 2 year old
I would just tell her that.
We banned ExDPs brother from the house after he was arrested for GBH. It caused a rift between him and his dad, but ultimately his brother ended up in prison for 3 years, and we didn't want a violent criminal around our 1 yo DD
Thinking of you OP and just wanted to say that you should be able to find the SS out of hours duty phone number on your council website.
There will be a social worker on call who has access to records etc, who will be able to take down your concerns and make sure they are followed up. They will guide you through the call to make sure they get the info they need.
I use our local duty team quite a bit due to my work (health practitioner) and they are always helpful- also it's generally staffed by senior practitioners so are knowledgable.
Hope you are able to get the call made- you hold a piece of the jigsaw and SS need that to get a full picture of what support is needed and to make good decisions.
Thanks for your kind thoughts.
I was honest about why I wouldn't be going round and I got a truck load of abuse. When I said I disagreed with the way she was treating her children I was called a 'nasty, horrible little bitch' and a 'snobby, judgemental, stuck up cow'.
I also got the mandatory facebook status update! 'Some stuck up stupid bitch trying to tell me how to parent, so-calles family! stupid bitch'
So, because I'm not prepared to sit and tell her it will all be okay, how nasty SS are for trying to stitch her up etc and I'm actually calling her put on her shitty parenting then I'm all of the above things.
Makes me wonder about the world some people live in.
I've found the out of hours number but it is just ringing out, I'm assuming the social worker is busy or not in the office. I will try again tomorrow.
calling her out
Normal social work hours are usually 9-5. There will be an out of hours service the rest of the time but they deal with emergencies. They may take some information from you but are unlikely to act on it over the weekend. They would probably just e mail the information to the allocated worker. You may be best to wait until Monday unless you think the children are at significant risk of immediate harm
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.
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.
Thank you eternal
You big bunch of vipers have made me feel somewhat at ease with my decision.
Thank you all
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.
Please report straight away, this is so sad I am crying for those poor children.
Well done, very brave of you to report it Totally did the right thing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Meant to add, well done for looking out for these children, op.
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.
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.
You have to speak up, I think you have a moral obligation to. Do it Monday morning.
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.
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.
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.
Well done for speaking up op!
Ss can be tricky to get hold of!
I know...seems like my attempts are being thwarted!
Going to ring again tomorrow morning.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Well done for reporting, you have done the right thing. 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.
Yanbu may be able to be anonymous if that would help
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