Should I call social services?

(19 Posts)
Buddhababe22 Tue 17-Jun-14 19:45:09

Hi all- I've recently moved next door to a couple who have a few kids between them, and we hear them screaming through the walls constantly. We previously thought they were just a loud family and shouting at their dog, however today I've heard a far more horrible screaming match between the couple. The man (not the child's biological father) was f-ing and blinding about how the woman's son (about 6 years old) would not stop crying and how it was doing his f-ing head in etc. the gist of the argument was that he was frustrated how she didn't back him up when he was trying to deal with the child's constant crying. Not so bad until I heard his way of 'dealing' with it was to scream at the boy and shout at him for 'crying like a little girl.' He was screaming at the mother asking why she didn't say the same, and what was wrong with calling him a little girl? In his opinion this was the only way to stop it, and there was no mention of why he might be crying at every moment and is so reluctant to come out of his room. The mother barely answered and by the end of the row was going along with anything he said. The children on the terrace all play together outside, and when the little boy does come out can barely speak, and is constantly filthy. Their house is in an appalling state (we share an alley way) and there is dog filth all over their yard where the children play. I've had concerns over the last month but hearing this today and the poor child crying constantly is weighing heavy on my mind. The fact that he even told the mother to get her act together or someone at school would call social services makes me think they really may need some help and support. Am I over reacting??

PolyesterBride Tue 17-Jun-14 19:54:41

No not overreacting.

I have been in a similar situation to you and I consulted a social worker friend (in a different city) and she advised me to ring the nspcc. Their helpline was great - listened to my description of what was going on and said that it was serious enough to refer to social services (which they did for me). I was a bit uncomfortable seeing the neighbours in the street because it would have been very obvious who had reported them. But better me be a bit uncomfortable than it continue.

I don't know what happened in our neighbours' case but the screaming and shouting stopped.

IsabellaRockerfeller Tue 17-Jun-14 19:55:21

Call ss. Poor kids, someone needs to look out for them.

BagelWithMapleSyrup Tue 17-Jun-14 19:57:46

I think you should call ss. Poor little boy.

YourBrotherInLaw Tue 17-Jun-14 20:18:37

Are you in Wales op? This sounds familiar to me. sad

ElleBellyBeeblebrox Tue 17-Jun-14 20:21:57

Refer to social services, no doubt. You should be able to get the number of their Customer Services from the county council website.

ElleBellyBeeblebrox Tue 17-Jun-14 20:23:11
Portlypenguin Tue 17-Jun-14 20:27:40

I would call them - they will do their own assessment and make an objective decision if the family need support.
I work in mental health as a psychiatrist and frequently make these calls - i feel it if it turns out things are okay then at least it has been checked out and i can not worry.

keepyourchinupdear Tue 17-Jun-14 20:29:42

Google 'Daniel Pelka, of Coventry'.

And then make your mind up if you want to report, phone Social Services if you suspect things are as dire as you imagine and are of course witness to.

keepyourchinupdear Tue 17-Jun-14 20:34:09

I don't think it would be fair to get ss involved if they were say, a loud family. One can't expect everyone to be quiet as church mice.

Also, my young DS's are so active outside all day & are naturally filthy by the end of the day. Nowt wrong with that, as long as the child is bathed & has clean, presentable clothes daily.

Frusso Tue 17-Jun-14 20:36:28

Yes, phone SS and ask for the duty officer. They should be available even outside of "normal" working hours

Frusso Tue 17-Jun-14 20:37:54

Don't think "what of I'm wrong" think "what if I'm right"

Buddhababe22 Tue 17-Jun-14 21:06:53

No of course, I totally agree. It's not the noise level, but what's being said that concerns me. Constant swearing and shouting matches at both the children and each other.

TheGonnagle Tue 17-Jun-14 21:11:08

Ring ss and ask for the duty officer. You can make that call any time of the day.
You are not qualified to call whether they need help, but you are qualified to refer it to someone who is. You will be standing up for a child, it's the right thing to do.

ThePartyArtist Wed 18-Jun-14 11:55:58

Definitely worth a call and even if it turns out to be ok you know you did the right thing. Have you called SS?

NigellasDealer Wed 18-Jun-14 11:57:21

call them

TheyCallMeStacey Wed 18-Jun-14 11:59:46

Yes, call now. Better to be wrong than not make the call.

Dutch1e Wed 25-Jun-14 13:23:18

I had SS called on me once (I think it was because DD had taken a fall at playgroup and had a nasty bruise on her eye, as well as me being very young at the time).

Although you hear horror stories of overzealous protection workers, they were lovely and after politely looking through the house, observing us and giving the all clear, they told me all about the support services that were in place if I ever needed them. I had left my daughter's abusive father and desperately wished I had known about all that help before.

Maybe that mum could use the same kind of visit?

Apart from anything else, I was glad that someone acted on their concerns rather than potentially let a little child be neglected.

misscph1973 Wed 25-Jun-14 13:37:18

I once received a phone call from the headteacher at DDs school because someone had gone to the office and said I mad smacked my DD in the school playground in the morning. This was not true, I had told DD of, but I had not smacked her and I never would. So I don't know if the reporter was lying or thought that she saw something that didn't actuallt happen. Either way I was quite shocked and still feel a bit like I am being watched at the school.

So my point is you have to have good reason to call SS. It does sound to me like you do, it is not an isolated incident, and you are concerned. If the SS are as nice as another poster reports, then it's probably a good idea.

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