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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?

thebody Thu 07-Mar-13 12:44:55

You know what to do. Doing nothing isn't an option unless you avoid mirrors for the rest of your life.

xigris Thu 07-Mar-13 12:48:09

Heartbreaking story. So horribly sad. Well done Mini, you've done the right thing both for those children and your friend. Have a big bunch of virtual thanks. I think it's only normal to feel emotional and teary.

autumnmum Thu 07-Mar-13 12:49:26

Mini I just wanted to add my support. I had to call SS about my neighbour and I felt awful when I did it. It was a slightly different situation as she was a vulnerable adult (no kids), but after months of incidents I was terrfied I was going to find her dead in the street. SS were brilliant, got her into hospital, got her house cleaned up (dog poo and human waste everywhere) and three years on she is a diffent person. She never knew it was me who called. SS should contact the school and you can ask them if they have done this if you are concerned about confidentiality. Good luck - you are doing the right thing.

thebody Thu 07-Mar-13 12:49:44

Add I would tell the school as well, they won't be able to say who the concerns were from, the more adults who can help are involved the better. Well done op xx

Snoopingforsoup Thu 07-Mar-13 12:50:47

Feed the kids, give them a bath then get her the help she needs.

FatherHankTree Thu 07-Mar-13 12:54:30

Mini, you're doing the right thing, although I can appreciate how tough it is. I've been in the same situation as her kids and knowing someone has tried to help makes a world of difference.

ChocolateCoins Thu 07-Mar-13 12:54:45

You're not being un loyal by calling SS. You'll be giving her the help she and her DCs need.

Wewereherefirst Thu 07-Mar-13 12:54:45

You're doing the right thing, she needs help, more help than you can give. Her and her children will be better for it in the long run.

LoopDeLoops Thu 07-Mar-13 12:55:33

I have been this child. I am so glad you are calling SS. smile

minouminou Thu 07-Mar-13 12:59:31

If she was in physical pain, and you'd been giving her paracetamol, then (for the sake of argument) co-codamol, then your TENS machine.....and she's still in pain, you'd take her to the doctor, eh?

Translate this to a non-physical condition like she's probably got - which, importantly, impedes her own ability to ask for professional help - it's a no-brainer. Of course you'd get an outside agency in.

Pozzled Thu 07-Mar-13 13:02:32

I'm so glad you are calling ss. You are definitely doing the right thing- those poor kids.

NC78 Thu 07-Mar-13 13:03:24

You have done the right thing.

TheChaoGoesMu Thu 07-Mar-13 13:04:46

Tell ssd and tell them it needs to be confidential. You dont have to give your name if you dont want to. You have to do so for the sake of the children, because without a doubt, they are at significant risk of harm.

TheChaoGoesMu Thu 07-Mar-13 13:05:45

Just read your last post, well done op, stay strong.

ICBINEG Thu 07-Mar-13 13:08:02

another one to say you are doing the right thing!

hope you feel better about it asap.

MiniTheMinx Thu 07-Mar-13 13:14:31

Thank you so much. I have spoken to named sw. They didn't have full picture but she is under one social worker. I have told them everything. The SW wasn't shocked it seemed to back up their suspicions.

The sw very concerned about leaving Dcs and even more so about taking Dcs to strange houses to meet men.

Thank you all, you have really helped, I feel very tearful, I just want them to get help and hopefully something will happen.

I may ask for thread to be pulled. My friend doesn't use MN but it might not be right to leave it here.

minouminou Thu 07-Mar-13 13:16:53

Good on you, Mini.
It's possible that part of your upset is actually relief - you've been dealing with this for a long time and have been increasingly worried.

Xiaoxiong Thu 07-Mar-13 13:19:06

Good work. It sounds like you have just confirmed what the SW already knew or suspected and hopefully this will help your friend get the help she needs. Thank you for being so brave thanks

Ionasky Thu 07-Mar-13 13:23:40

Good idea to pull thread just in case, well done you

MiniTheMinx Thu 07-Mar-13 13:28:10

The flowers are wonderful.

Nine years and the concerns have grown and diminished at different times. Things have changed and at times been much better so I hold off. Yesterday though was it. I felt scared and upset for the boy who looked lost. She told him "go play out with * and then go home collect bag and stay at ***house and go to school in the morning" The child looked lost and resigned. He didn't even ask where she was going. Leaving Dcs roaming the street whilst travelling over 60 miles on a train to meet and stay out with a stranger! At that point I guess I knew that she had finally lost all sense of right from wrong.

minouminou Thu 07-Mar-13 13:41:50

Hungry, cold and dirty, too.
You may not be the only person to make a call to SS today.

TippiShagpile Thu 07-Mar-13 14:11:59

You don't need to tell her what you've done. In fact, I would strongly suggest you don't.

She'll suspect the school so let her think that.

You've done a good thing.

ISpyPlumPie Thu 07-Mar-13 14:13:06

Just wanted to say I think you've done a very brave thing. Hopefully now things will get better for these poor children, and your friend will get some help too. Think it's totally natural to feel emotional - it must be an enourmously difficult situation to have been in. Take care of yourself thanks.

TheChaoGoesMu Thu 07-Mar-13 14:16:43

Well done op. You've done the right thing.

MiniTheMinx Thu 07-Mar-13 14:29:42

I still feel a bit tearful. I just keep thinking that I could have said more last night, maybe convinced her not to leave the kids but I know it's more than just yesterday as well.

The SW asked a lot of questions which seems to imply that they will act to do something.

haven't heard from friend today, hope she is ok.

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