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Reporting neighbour to social services

(138 Posts)
Chnagedname Mon 18-Dec-17 03:49:37

Hi i want to ask if you would as I don't have children but I am concerned however I do not want her children to be taken away so please tell me if they would be if I reported.
However if you believe it's the right thing as mother's yourselves let me know.

My neighbour is a girl in her early 20s. She goes out a lot leaving her kids with baby sitters. She smokes weed in her kitchen but doesn't allow the kids to come in there when she is.
Her house is disgusting, often piles of washing up, food and dirt on the floor, toys everywhere, bin always over flowing and she wonders why she has a rat infestation also ants. The kitchen is the main place which is disgusting I would never eat from there.
She has 3 kids. A 15 month old, a 5 year old and 7 year old.
The 5 and 7 sleep on a bed no headboard no covering just a bed duvet and pillow
Her room the baby sleeps in which is dirty but the cot is okay.
She brings guys over to her house I am not sure if the children are there when this happens.
There is often no food in the house.
I have heard her shout at her 5 and 7 year old but they seem to love her as well as the baby who follows her everywhere

She doesn't seem like a bad mum but she is dirty and the weed bit I don't like.

What would you do? And what will happen if I do report? I will feel terrible if her kids get taken away

furryelephant Mon 18-Dec-17 03:54:25

I’d probably ask her if she needs any help with the house first, maybe she let it get in a state and feels too overwhelmed to know where to start, especially with 3 kids. Do you know her well? Does she appear to have any mental health problems?

I personally wouldn’t report to SS unless I thought the children were being neglected. No headboard on a bed is hardly an issue! For me, it would be the HV or school nurse/school pastoral care id let know about concerns and they can follow it up, make home visits, and see if she needs more support.

furryelephant Mon 18-Dec-17 03:55:55

No food is also an issue of course, but are the kids fed? Have you offered any help with getting a shop in/watching the kids while she does/transport to the supermarket? I only have 1 DC and shopping is hard enough.

Battleax Mon 18-Dec-17 03:58:45

Headboards don't matter. (I can't really follow if you're saying something else critical about the bed.) Babysitters are fine and appropriate. If she keeps them away from the weed and they're unaffected, that's not earth-shattering, although it might be undermining her motivation to tidy up.

Don't worry about "She brings guys over to her house I am not sure if the children are there when this happens.". You don't even know who they are. A lot of my friends are "guys". Don't go looking for scandal.

It doesn't matter if she has large food stocks as long as the children are fed.

Most importantly, the children love her and she lives them, so the real problem is a lack of housework. A social services referral would be a complete over reaction for that alone and, TBH, your gossipy tone makes me wonder if it's not as bad as all that anyway. You do seem quite keen to find things to criticise.

By the way she's a woman, not a girl.

Chnagedname Mon 18-Dec-17 04:00:14

The kids are usually always fed. She has only one Kiev and some chips and gave it to her daughters and didn't eat herself.
She has asked for money from me several times but she never pays back so I don't give her anymore.
Honestly it's not my place to offer to help her I have a lot going on in my own life I cannot deal with someone else's issues.
I feel a little sorry for the kids though. She has depression and aniexty which she told me.

Chnagedname Mon 18-Dec-17 04:02:44

I mentioned the bed because the kids room doesn't look like a kids room it looks like someone room who has a severe drug problem.

Chnagedname Mon 18-Dec-17 04:05:22

And the guys are guys she is having sex with because she tells me. They are not friends I have met 3 different new guys in the past year. She also told me how people have condemned her about hanging about a notorious estate which has had a few drive by shootings with her baby. She was around this estate during the summer.

Splinterz Mon 18-Dec-17 04:07:40

rat infestation - phone the council.

I don't think SS will come round because there is no head board.

Battleax Mon 18-Dec-17 04:12:33

This is going to be an enormous drip feed isn't it?

streetlife70s Mon 18-Dec-17 04:14:50

Unfortunately the bar for SS intervention is very high. While they would follow up on any report you made, they would likely hand over the case to her health visitor if you called them.

You can call children’s services at your local council with your concerns. It doesn’t go straight to SS. It goes to a team who screen the calls and compare notes from multi agencies to see if there have been other concerns from other agencies reported (schools, doctors, health visitors, other friends, neighbours etc) and a decision is made from there how to proceed. It does no harm to make a report, even if nothing is done on this occasion, because it helps build an overall picture for the future. Your report could be helpful if the situation deteriorates.

As things stand, the health visitor would be the most likely person to be sent round to offer support if you make that call which I think is the most appropriate response. She will offer help and support.

The only thing I’d say is that she may well be aware it is you that reported. That may result in repercussions and her cutting you out completely so you won’t see if things get worse. But I don’t get the impression you are friends and as you don’t have time to help yourself I’d recommend making that initial call with your concerns.

Maya12 Mon 18-Dec-17 04:16:32

I'm not sure why MN tends to minimise. SS will Listen, and if deem it necessary will assess and if it's fine, ok, at least you know. But maybe mum really needs help, and can be signposted to relevant services.

CaledonianQueen Mon 18-Dec-17 04:24:07

I think I would call the nspcc for advice, tell them everything that you have told us here. They are very well trained and know to ask questions to get information that is relevant and important but you may think not worth mentioning. You don't have to give your name and you can leave the information with them, allowing them to decide if it warrants a referral. I feel for those poor babies, living in a rat-infested, filthy house is dangerous for a little toot of 15 months! This young Mother sounds like she needs support, perhaps social services can be there to provide that support. Even if it's a referral to home start, benefits check to make sure she is claiming for everything she is entitled to or parenting courses. I have contacted the NSPCC several times and don't regret my decision, young and older children need someone to speak up for them. I can hold my head high if anything happens and know that I tried to help. I know I would never forgive myself if I hadn't said something.

AstridWhite Mon 18-Dec-17 04:42:27

Headboards don't matter.. I agree.

I can't really follow if you're saying something else critical about the bed.

Me neither. By 'no covering' do you mean no bottom sheet? No pillowcase and duvet cover? Or just no mattress protector? It's a bit skanky to continually not use pillowcases and duvet covers but so long as the mattress and pillow etc are clean it's not the end of the world. Maybe she regularly washes the pillow and duvet itself? The only question really is whether or not the children's sleeping conditions are warm, clean and hygienic.

Babysitters are fine and appropriate.

Hmmm, maybe but not necessarily. If it's a regular and responsible babysitter of an appropriate age, then yes. If it's a motley assortment of randoms drafted in purely so she can go out drinking/clubbing more often than is considered acceptable or normal for someone with young children then I'd be very concerned.

If she keeps them away from the weed and they're unaffected, that's not earth-shattering

Except that she doesn't appear to have any motivation to keep the house in a acceptable state, nor enough money to feed the children adequately and is always begging off the OP.

laudanum Mon 18-Dec-17 04:42:29

Mental illness can cause MAAAAAJOR havoc on the ability to keep your surroundings clean and organised. It's one of the first things to fall by the wayside. If she's smoking weed, it could be her self medicating.

Look at the condition of the kids. Are they well fed, clothed, and clean? What's their disposition like? Are they happy or do they seem depressed? Are they acting up for attention or displaying any other behaviour that might indicate problems?

You mention there is often no food in the fridge, but do the kids look malnourished? If there are nasty surroundings, she might not want to bring food into the house so are the kids being fed at school? Obviously her baby is a different story.

Chnagedname Mon 18-Dec-17 04:42:34

There is no need to be rude to me I am it asking for advice from mother's if I should or this is normal. I don't understand why the head board is the only thing you got outta my post rather than the dirt, bins, rats, ants and weed smoking but okay.

Thanks for the people who gave their opinion without being sarcastic think I won't report just leave it.

Chnagedname Mon 18-Dec-17 04:43:59

The kids don't look malnourised, they are happy and they do dress okay so does she it's just the living conditions

AstridWhite Mon 18-Dec-17 04:45:44

If she's smoking weed, it could be her self medicating.

It could be. It's also highly likely that smoking weed regularly is the cause of her depression and anxiety and lack of energy and motivation. I think to assume she's self medicating for an existing MH issue is putting the cart before the horse.

Chnagedname Mon 18-Dec-17 04:47:05

There are no sheets or duvet cover or pillow case and I don't think she washes the duvet as she would hang in the garden and she never has.
The net curtains in every room including the kids are black with dirt.

AstridWhite Mon 18-Dec-17 04:47:39

(Thanks for the people who gave their opinion without being sarcastic think I won't report just leave it.*

I would absolutely report if I were you. Or contact the health visitor, if the baby is still of an age where she's likely to know of the family?

Battleax Mon 18-Dec-17 04:49:59

Ringing the NSPCC helpline is good advice, but leave out the stuff about headboards and gossip about her love life, it undermines your credibility and makes it sound like gossip.

CaledonianQueen Mon 18-Dec-17 04:51:19

Please report op! There could be an assortment of 'babysitters' being allowed to care for/ abuse those children! The state of the house is very relevant!!! These children are too little to speak out for themselves! Please speak out for them! If at least she is given a nudge to prioritise her children and provide them with a clean and safe home then it is worth it!

aims331 Mon 18-Dec-17 04:55:12

I would offer her some support

AuntyElle Mon 18-Dec-17 04:55:20

Please do report. It helps build a picture. Whilst working in a school, and reporting to SS about a child, I’ve been desperate for a neighbour or similar to report which would have backed my concerns up.

SnowGlitter Mon 18-Dec-17 05:02:43

I'd report given what you describe.

SS aren't the ogres many people on here believe they are. They're not going to swoop in and remove the children. They are there to provide support to families to ensure that children can remain living with them. It's only when parents fail to engage with support services that plans to remove are pursued. The LA does not have the resources to remove children willy nilly and it's not the SW who makes that decision. If they feel it's necessary, they discuss it with their Team Manager and, if they think it's necessary, they compile the evidence to present a case to court and that is where the decision is made.

Exceptions to this are where it is believed the children are at immediate risk of harm, but then it is only temporary.

Parents are supported. That's the whole point of CIN or CP plans etc.

She's got a lot on her hands if she is in her early 20s and has 3 young children. Women who find themselves alone with 3 small children at that age and living in those conditions quite often have unmanaged mental health needs that will only get worse without support/intervention.

SS won't care that the bed has no headboard, but they absolutely will care that there are no sheets on the bed and they will care that there is vermin and no food. The contents of the fridge, the state of the kitchen and bedrooms are things they look at.

SS involvement can lead to other support for her - access to charities that provide other support for example.

If you don't want to get personally involved (and I understand that), then report.

You can contact the NSPCC and explain the sitatuion and seek advice anonymously. That might reassure you.

Please do report it. Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility. Those children deserve a better life than this and their mum is currently struggling to provide it for them, or choosing not too. Either way, it's the children who you should be thinking about, not whether SS involvement would be nice for the mum.

Italiangreyhound Mon 18-Dec-17 05:12:16

Please report your fears to social services and let them proceed. If the house is as you describe with rats and there is no food in the house then it sounds like the kids are being neglected. It is (IMHO) unlikely the children would be taken into care, the bar is quite high for that.

However, she may be offered some help.

Children do tend to 'love' parents who treat them badly, don't look after them etc. Because it is all they have ever known.

It sounds like she is struggling to cope and needs help. I would not expect her neighbors to go in and clean her house etc, but if you report it she may get help from somewhere.

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