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To wonder if I should call Social Services?

(36 Posts)
fluffyanimal Tue 23-Apr-13 12:29:21

I'm posting here mainly to get the traffic, so I expect a wide range of robust responses grin

About this time last year I started a thread about a time when I nearly ran over a small toddler I found wandering in the middle of the street near where I park for work. Here's the thread:
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/1438862-What-else-could-I-should-I-have-done-for-this-child
Brief summary - I couldn't find an adult in sight and didn't know which house he came out of, but then a teenage girl turned up who said she knew him and I left him in her care.

The majority view seemed to be on that thread was that there wasn't much more I should have done at the time. A few people thought I was being judgey, which I may have been.

Well more things have happened. I guess you don't forget the face of a child you nearly run over, and I have seen this small boy now on a few occasions and know which house he lives in. The first thing that has been concerning me is that for several months now, there has been a broken beer bottle on the front step coming down from the short path from their front door to the pavement. The broken glass has been there for literally months. Nobody has cleared it up, and still I see the boy, his mother and older siblings coming out of their front door regularly.

Then today I was walking from my parking space to work when I suddenly saw the child run straight across the road, alone, again no adult in sight. The front of the house faces onto a busy main road, with a primary school opposite so around 9am there are always lots of cars, plus the road is a bus route and about 100m away from a junction with the city inner ring road. Myself and a few other women saw him run across the road and we stopped to see if his mother was around, possibly just dropping off older children at the school opposite the house. She wasn't; the front door was wide open. Another woman who had been dropping her kids off at the school then came along, recognised the boy and took him back across the road to his house where his mother came out and yelled at him for being naughty.

So basically that's twice I've witnessed this boy being able to get out of his house unseen and run across a road, the second time a much busier road, and it's been up to passing adults to take him back to safety, plus there's the broken glass still on his doorstep.

So what would you do? Is this the point where I should call SS, or should I decide it's none of my business? All views appreciated, because I can't stop thinking about it.

quietlysuggests Tue 23-Apr-13 12:32:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

innermuddle Tue 23-Apr-13 12:32:41

How old is the boy? it's a difficult situation, but I would probably cal SS and make them aware of the situation. Maybe the parents just need a little bit more support?

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 23-Apr-13 12:33:09

It is your business. Call ss and let them decide if this needs investigating, which I would hope they do.

NotYoMomma Tue 23-Apr-13 12:37:19

It's not malicious so I would just call and let them know you are a bit concerned

AllThatGlistens Tue 23-Apr-13 12:41:18

Yes I think under the circumstances you describe I'd give them a call and express your concerns.

May come to nothing but it also may be the trigger that gets that family some support.

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 23-Apr-13 12:46:24

I would call.

Cherriesarered Tue 23-Apr-13 12:48:54

You aren't malicious, you are worried and have nearly run over the boy yourself! He may just be really good at escaping or mum or dad / carer may need more support. I would call them and raise you concerns.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 23-Apr-13 12:52:12

Yanbu. My Mum called them after only one incident. A girl had left her new baby alone in a parked car outside her house...she was young and Mum felt very bad for her. But she didn't want to speak to the girl herself as the family is a rough one which is renowned locally. The police rolled up immediately. SS followed.

waikikamookau Tue 23-Apr-13 12:55:33

call children's services.

waikikamookau Tue 23-Apr-13 12:56:51

or speak to the mum, but given you don't live near her, just work, then have a chat with children's services.

quoteunquote Tue 23-Apr-13 13:02:22

Do please,

I work with someone who had a horrific childhood that he eventually escaped, he really wishes someone had intervened, and finds it hard to understand why people didn't phone SS.

BonaDea Tue 23-Apr-13 13:03:25

Yanbu. Call ss.

waikikamookau Tue 23-Apr-13 13:04:56

actually I have changed my mind. well or I can't make up my mind.
children do run out, and cross the road, particularly if they live opposite a school.
is he 2 or 3?
or special needs.

HappyJoyful Tue 23-Apr-13 13:07:16

without wishing to sound judgemental either, do you know if the property is rented off either a Housing Association or the local Council ?

Madlizzy Tue 23-Apr-13 13:09:48

I think who the house is rented from is neither here nor there. A call to children's services would be a good idea. It may be that the family is already known to them. Waikik, it says in the OP that the boy is a toddler.

TallGiraffe Tue 23-Apr-13 13:10:53

I would call. If it were me and I didn't and then something happened (car not stopping in time) then I wouldn't be able to forgive myself for not acting when I had the opportunity.

LoganMummy Tue 23-Apr-13 13:12:15

How would you feel if you saw this wee boy lying in the middle of the road having been knocked down and you had decided not to call SS?

Please make that call.

HappyJoyful Tue 23-Apr-13 13:16:05

madlizzy, I was only asking who owned the property as if it is rented from either a Housing Association or the Council then it's a really good idea to call them and mention these actions and concerns to the Housing Officer - there is loads of care and support for someone available if they are struggling with bringing up their child and it might be better or more helpful for the family rather than the OP caller speaking to social services as often a Housing Officer would be in touch with a social worker anyway if the family is vulnerable in anyway.

GreyWhites Tue 23-Apr-13 13:17:09

Why are you even hesitating? If my son had escaped from my care and run into the road I'd be EXPECTING a call from SS, and would be happy to see them frankly.

olivertheoctopus Tue 23-Apr-13 13:18:17

I'd probably call. Not because of malicious reasosn, just because its better to be safe than sorry. No harm will be done if all is fine.

fubbsy Tue 23-Apr-13 13:21:19

YANBU, go ahead and make the call. I once called ss about my young neighbours after some prodding on MN and it was the right thing to do. I don't know the outcome (and rightly so, because it is confidential information) but I am glad I did it.

jojane Tue 23-Apr-13 13:38:05

If it was just the once i would say to leave it, these things happen (dd when about 2 managed to open the front door and follow dh down the road, didn't know she could reach the catch and luckily we live in a quiet road with no through road and dh turned round and saw her within a minute. But I would hate to think someone would have seen that and called social services,) but given its a few times I would report it (after our incident we kept the switch on thenyalelockmflipped to locked so she couldn't escape again.

Wannabestepfordwife Tue 23-Apr-13 13:38:39

Yanbu you should ring I know some toddlers can get out but you would think after the first instance the mother is not more cautious.

You should definately ring them.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 23-Apr-13 13:40:58

Definitely ring them. Soon.

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