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To consider reporting this couple to S.S.?

(111 Posts)
MrsV2012 Sun 21-Jun-15 12:19:28

Im pretty new to MN so please be gentle smile

I'll try to keep it brief if I can. OH and our family moved from our home town a couple of years ago. One of OH's friends and his DP had a young baby when we left. She had never been an organised or tidy person, but at the point we left the town, it was worse than ever. I don't mean a bit of normal mess and clutter, it was actually hard to navigate through the clutter, and the oven looked so unclean, it would make you ill to eat from it. OH's friend worked 70+ hours a week, came home and found nappies stuffed behind the sofa, kitchen piled high, and baby handed to him as he came through the door while she went to bed.
I thought maybe PND, so offered (discreetly) to help with the baby if she needed a break, but they have a good extended family and HV, so said they'd were fine.

Fast forward a couple of years, we've just visited family and friends in our home town for the 1st time since. Talking to a mutual friend, it turns out the couple are in a worse state than they were before.
I asked where are his and her extended family in this- apparently one set of GPs had the baby for a week, while the other GPs gutted the house- but it's back in the same state again now.
The child (now nearly 3) is still in the Playpen he was in when we left the town, because (I presume) it's the only bit of the house safe to be in. He has been walking since 11 months, how is a Playpen enough space, or healthy for a toddler to be in all day?
DH's friend said the couple never take the child out to any activities or nursery, he just sits and watches TV programmes from his Playpen.

I only found all this out yesterday night, and don't know what to do. OH's friend we visited, said he was shocked to see it. It was the first time she'd answered the door to him visiting in a while.
I just don't think it's right, that a nearly 3 year old child sits in a hovel of a home in his playpen, watching tv with the curtains closed. I don't think I should ignore it.

What would you do? Thank you in advance.

SunnyBaudelaire Sun 21-Jun-15 12:22:08

I would consider it yes, that sounds terrible. Not just the mess as such, but the whole picture that you have painted.

reallybadidea Sun 21-Jun-15 12:23:06

I'd definitely contact them. It sounds as though they need more support than the grandparents can provide.

awombwithaview Sun 21-Jun-15 12:23:54

I'd probably report to be honest going on what you are saying.

popalot Sun 21-Jun-15 12:24:49

I would. Contact NSPCC if you are unsure, but it sounds like this kid needs your help. And the parents too. You'll be helping the whole family.

awombwithaview Sun 21-Jun-15 12:25:57

The thing is, it may just be that this couple need a lot of support. Equally the child may well be placed in foster care for a while. Either way, the little one needs to come first and what you are describing is neglect. Report it and help everyone in this situation to get the help they need.

SecretRed Sun 21-Jun-15 12:26:43

I would in a heartbeat. They need help and support and I feel very sorry for their little boy.

SunnyBaudelaire Sun 21-Jun-15 12:27:57

I mean, if the mother was a bit crap at housekeeping but was out with the child entertaining him, doing social stuff with him, then I would leave it.
But his 'needs are not being met' are they?

Testingthename Sun 21-Jun-15 12:28:07

Please report it op poor child sad

CalleighDoodle Sun 21-Jun-15 12:30:50

Id report too.

TidyDancer Sun 21-Jun-15 12:31:05

That sounds very much like someone I know. The family have been reported multiple times and SS did fuck all about it. Shockingly awful and bordering on malpractice imo.

I would still report though, the social workers might be better where your friends are.

MrsV2012 Sun 21-Jun-15 12:33:19

Thank you, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't being over-judgmental, its it something I can discuss in RL as I don't have close family, and all friends know one another. Obviously I would have to do it anonymously.
I just seems that he isn't getting the care that he should from his parents, for whatever reason. I just don't want people to find out it was me.

SunnyBaudelaire Sun 21-Jun-15 12:33:26

tidydancer how do you know that 'ss did fuck all' ?
Possibly the SW know more than you do about the real situation?

Whatthefuckhaveidone Sun 21-Jun-15 12:33:40

I wouldn't report based on hearsay, there are at least 5 people who are witnessing what's going on (2 sets of grandparents and the mutual friend) none of whom think it's bad enough to report them.

It may well be gossip, or vague truths with arms and legs added on. If you are that concerned go for a visit and see for yourself before getting ss involved.

answersonapostcardplease Sun 21-Jun-15 12:35:55

Yeah this is a ss matter, report. They need more help or intervention. Im guessing dm very depressed or both? Otherwise why diesn't one parent sort it out?

Only point I don't agree with is oven. They are get so hot, germs will be blitz.

PurpleSwift Sun 21-Jun-15 12:36:03

At this point its hearsay. See for yourself then yes I probably would.

answersonapostcardplease Sun 21-Jun-15 12:36:32



Good point wtf.

MrsV2012 Sun 21-Jun-15 12:37:00

I just wonder if everyone has thought, 'someone else will do it', so nobody actually does. I honeslty had no idea it had gotten so bad, and it's playing on my mind.

answersonapostcardplease Sun 21-Jun-15 12:38:14

I suppose light at the end of the tunnel is dc may start nursery soon? Due to funded hours?

Pipbin Sun 21-Jun-15 12:39:50

I have known a family like this. The mum simply couldn't cope, as you say I think it was PND as well. SS came in and helped get the older children up dressed and breakfasted every morning as well as helping with the baby. They kept in close contact but the children were eventually put into short term foster care. They now have the children back but still with lots if SS support.

Another thing to think about is that the child will be going to nursery soon, hopefully. If nursery do a home visit then they may well report or at least keep a very close eye on them. I know of another family where the children were taken into long term foster care as the result of a nursery home visit.

cashewnutty Sun 21-Jun-15 12:39:57

As a SW i would say please report this. The poor home conditions are one thing but the sitting in a play pen watching TV is another thing entirely and far more worrying. You can report anonymously via the NSPCC if you want.

MissBananaMama Sun 21-Jun-15 12:43:21

Child protection is everyone's responsibility. It sounds as though these parents are neglecting their child. Like pp said, you've not seen the house so you are going on hearsay. However, perhaps the others speaking of this are in thinking the same as you: should we report? Shouldn't we? Grandparents would be less likely to report so as to protect their children (ie. Mother and father)

It's definitely better to be safe than sorry. If this is just nasty gossip and they are investigated with no concerns then no harm done. However, if this child is suffering neglect and living in filthy, unsuitable conditions then you could be making all the difference by taking the first step.

Although this should have already been picked up by HV and I wouldn't be surprised if SW weren't already involved

MrsV2012 Sun 21-Jun-15 12:44:17

I do trust the word of OH's friend, he's been as close as family to us for 20 years, and has a Son the same age as the couple. He said to us Yday, he couldn't take his DS to the house again, as the home is just piled high with DVDs, plates, cups, PS4 games, curtains closed and the boy in the Playpen in his pyjamas at 4pm.

DancingDinosaur Sun 21-Jun-15 12:44:45

I would certainly report it.

SunnyBaudelaire Sun 21-Jun-15 12:45:44

report it then, and if there are no concerns from SS, then fine, no harm done IMO.

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