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To call social services on a friend?

(98 Posts)
MiniTheMinx Thu 07-Mar-13 10:44:13

I have been holding off on this for some time, 9 years if I'm really honest. My friend has struggled for years. Three DC at home, recently dispatched her DH because of domestic violence and because he attacked one of the children. Social services involvement and courts.

She has been struggling to cope on her own, if anything the situation for the children has become worse. The children stink, there is no food in the house, they do not have coats, their shoes do not fit, there hair is matted. One child is refusing to go to school and has started smashing the house up. When we visited last week there was old food and rubbish all over the floor in the kitchen, no bin, piles of wet washing, no cloths, no clean dishes, cigarette buts all over the sitting room floor, glass smashed....

She has had her benefits stopped and has about 2,500 rent arrears and yet she is running around with an iphone on which she has run up a bill just short of £500 this month.

She is taking men back to the house, sometimes two in one day for hook ups, spending social services loan on travel to meet men.

The final straw yesterday, she rang in tears threatening to leave her children to move in with some man. She had no food for the Dcs and her money had not come through. I offered to feed the children and offered her the use of our phone/pc to try and sort of TCs. She turned up at 6pm, dressed up with an overnight bag. She left her son aged 11 roaming around the streets whilst she got on a train to meet a "date" in London.

I am very concerned about her and them and I don't want to go behind her back. So do I tell her what I am doing or just ring SS and then back away?

Any opinions?

StanleyLambchop Thu 07-Mar-13 10:48:39

I think you know what you need to do, those children need help. If SS have already been involved then I really think you can be honest and say you believed she needed some support again. Did she leave the other children with you? If so, then she has involved you and you have to do something. Good Luck

Chigley1 Thu 07-Mar-13 10:50:56

Agreed, SS really need to be involved here.

mrsminiverscharlady Thu 07-Mar-13 10:51:23

YANBU. Please call them now.

MiniTheMinx Thu 07-Mar-13 10:52:15

Thank you, I just feel very disloyal if I go behind her back. She has always come to me for help, it isn't really a friendship, just a case of me feeling I should help if I can.

She left one child with another friend and left the boy of 11 roaming the street with instructions "get your school stuff, go to "so and so's" house and go to school in the morning. This is a kid that won't go to school.

corlan Thu 07-Mar-13 10:53:08


Don't tell your friend you did it though as she may cut you off and the children need a concerned friend like you in their lives. Your friend does too.

targaryen24 Thu 07-Mar-13 10:54:28

Oh hell yes, call them.
Friend or not, the DCs deserve a bit of help & a better chance & she may benefit from it too in the long run. Made me so sad to read sad

KellyElly Thu 07-Mar-13 10:55:41

Don't worry about loyalty in this situation, the children come first.

MiniTheMinx Thu 07-Mar-13 10:57:19

Should I tell her ? I have always been honest with her but she is a very volatile person, no boundaries, poor upbringing and very poor start in life. Yesterday she said again "why can't I be like you" last week she started flirting with DP, who said to keep her away from the house. He thinks she has mental health issues, he works in MH so maybe he's right.

There is social work involvement but I feel fairly sure that they don't know half of what is going on, which is why my friend is not getting the support she needs.

RobinSparkles Thu 07-Mar-13 10:58:17

I agree with everyone else. No one should have to live like that sad.

SparklyVampire Thu 07-Mar-13 10:58:23

Those poor children, you have to do something. Don't see it as been disloyal see it as helping her, you will be giving her the kick up the arse she badly needs to sort herself out. Her children don't deserve to live like this and if she won't or can't help them at the moment you can by calling SS.
Social services are not kiddy snatchers, they are there to help.

targaryen24 Thu 07-Mar-13 10:59:12

My mum had a friend like that and spent years trying to help (lived exactly the same, not much food, unsanitary house, struggled etc. She also had undiagnosed mental health issues which she refused to seek help for). In the end all my mum could do to help her & her kid was to call SS. She doesn't know it was my mum to this day & things are a lot better for her kid. She just qualified from uni & (sadly) has disowned her mum due to her childhood.

But the point is it gave her DC a chance at education & kept her safe, though the outcome was sad in some ways. The DC who's now in her 20s always says she's glad someone did something when she couldn't or her life would be very different. Best of luck, I know it's a hard decision to make when it's also a good friend that you don't want to 'betray' thanks

fieldfare Thu 07-Mar-13 11:00:29

Call them and be honest, but I wouldn't tell her though. It would close off all communication and the kids need to have someone else watching out for them and making sure that SS are properly involved.

Cuddlydragon Thu 07-Mar-13 11:01:31

I can't think of a single valid reason why you wouldn't. Do it now, do it today. Poor kids. I wouldn't care what she thought tbh, but I probably would not tell her, to avoid risk that you were cut off from the kids and they were even more isolated.

AnneNonimous Thu 07-Mar-13 11:04:56

Oh this is heartbreaking.

Please call SS right now. I wouldn't tell her, you are helping her but she most likely won't see it that way.

thezebrawearspurple Thu 07-Mar-13 11:05:13

Call them now, those children don't deserve to suffer like thatsad

WilsonFrickett Thu 07-Mar-13 11:23:02

You know you need to call them. Call them.

I agree with pp saying not to tell her though. They need another pair of eyes on them at the moment.

neolara Thu 07-Mar-13 11:25:07

Of course you should tell them.

Icelollycraving Thu 07-Mar-13 11:28:54

Call them. These children & their mother need proper support immediately.
I can understand your reticence but you really must not ignore this any longer. She could bring anyone back. The children have a right to be clean,warm & fed.

Another one saying report to Social Services as soon as possible. Then hopefully both she and the children will get the help they need.

LaalRatty Thu 07-Mar-13 11:32:05

I'd call them OP. That sounds horrendous. Has anyone called SS for anything like this before? What actually happens? How do you know it did any good? Everytime I watch Jeremy Kyle they seem to call SS on each other seemingly out of spite.

DeepRedBetty Thu 07-Mar-13 11:32:27

YY to call them. If she's behaving as you describe chances are plenty of other people are aware of what's going on and the field of potential suspects if she starts wondering who called will be pretty big, if you decide not to tell her it was you.

lisad123everybodydancenow Thu 07-Mar-13 11:36:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MiniTheMinx Thu 07-Mar-13 11:36:35

Thank you so much, I just feel so torn btw loyalty and knowing that she needs more help than I or anyone else can give. She listens but she has started telling lies to cover over the worst of this mess she is creating.

I am going to ring them, she has a social worker so I hope to speak to her because they need to know more about what is happening, perhaps then they will do more than just offer cash cards. The money she was given was spent on clothes and travel for her sad. she admits that she is struggling and admits that the NS sex is a way of escaping reality.

I'm off to find out the number. Thanks all.

Dahlen Thu 07-Mar-13 11:37:36

Of course you need to ring SS. This is a completely unacceptable situation for those children.

FWIW I think your DP is right about her mental state. She clearly needs help, which she will get if SS become involved.

Calling SS could be the best thing you've ever done for this woman and her DC.

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