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Child possibly neglected, WWYD.

(20 Posts)
Dancingtothebeat Tue 22-May-18 11:26:13

Namechanged for this as a bit outing but am a regular poster. A little girl recently moved in to a rented house around the corner from us. The situation was a bit strange as she seems to be out in her own a lot of the time outside until really late, has a dummy despite being six or seven, and spends a lot of time silently staring at people without giving any other acknowledgement even if you say hello to her. So possibly she does have some sort of SN.

Anyway, the situation escalated a bit because she took a bit of a fancy to one of my cats - that’s fine, but she has been following the cat into our front garden to stroke him. Our front garden is only small so it means she’s right up against the window of our living room and can see what we’re doing. We found that a little annoying but thought it was just kids being kids. What really took me aback though was that a fortnight ago I left the house and she was in the front garden again but her mother was with her and wasn’t telling her to get out or anything, she just smiled at me and I was too shocked to say anything.

The next time I saw the little girl I talked to her nicely and said that she couldn’t go in our front garden because it’s private but I told her the cat’s name and said if she called him and he wanted a cuddle he would come out of the garden to her.

I thought this had worked. But the situation has deteriorated even further after that, because she is going in the front garden and not even pretending it is to stroke the cat, but to peep at us and watch us through the window. When we see her she runs away but she is often there and it feels like every time you look up just staring through the window. She just seems to be a bit fixated on our family. Every time we shoo and every time she comes back.

Anyway, it all came to a head yesterday, after a weekend of constantly shooing her away my husband saw her doing both kinds of her business on the pavement just outside our house - a busyish residential street.

This has made us really worried that she is being locked out of the house because it’s only 20 yards away or so, she could get back there easily if she was able to. And if this behaviour is caused by SN, surely she shouldn’t be out roaming the streets on her own all the time.

Her parents are really not the sort of people you can take this up with as they seem to be rather a tough family. I suspect part of the reason why she is fascinated with our family is because she doesn’t really know how an ordinary family operates because it seems like her home life is chaotic.

I’m wondering what I should do, because although the situation is uncomfortable for us, the events on there own don’t seem so bad when taken individually, but put together they give us quite a bad vibe something is really wrong in her home.

Isabella1978 Tue 22-May-18 11:46:47

If you are worried report to social services, they may have other pieces of information and yours is the last piece of the jigsaw needed to trigger an intervention.
In terms of safeguarding and child protection what you are saying is concerning and it does appear that the child isn't being cared for. Neglect is not just physical but also social and emotional. It may be SN, but it the child still needs a massive amount of support as it sounds like she isn't aware of societal norms expected of a child of her age.

Luisa27 Tue 22-May-18 11:55:19

Exactly what Isabella said....

Wannabecitygirl Tue 22-May-18 11:59:03

‘Possible child neglect’ - title says it all. Report it.

RatherBeRiding Tue 22-May-18 11:59:34

Yes in your shoes I'd be speaking to social services - it does sound worrying and better to raise a concern that turns out not to be a concern, than NOT to raise one and something bad happens further down the line, and you are thinking "if only I'd spoken out when I was first worried".

Mymycherrypie Tue 22-May-18 12:02:59

Report that. Definitely.

HappyLollipop Tue 22-May-18 12:04:20

Please report it social services ASAP, none of that sounds right at all. Poor girl sad

Dancingtothebeat Tue 22-May-18 12:11:38

Thank you very much. Was thinking it was the right thing to do but needed a little moral support to make the decision. Much appreciated.

Luisa27 Tue 22-May-18 12:16:49


userbored Tue 22-May-18 12:21:20

God this is so sad op
I agree with it. You'd never forgive yourself if you didn't x

RB68 Tue 22-May-18 12:22:40

I think you need to report and let the authorities decide. It does look like there are development needs as at that age she should be in school as well

lorca Tue 22-May-18 12:28:51

Report, def. Her needs (whatever they may be) are not being met

DesignedForLife Tue 22-May-18 12:29:12

Yes absolutely report it.

MummyOfTwins2017 Tue 22-May-18 12:31:59

Better to be safe than sorry.
Report it
Hope it goes well.


Emmasmum2013 Tue 22-May-18 12:38:26

I don't know what's worse.. a child that doesn't understand social etiquette around where and when to go to the bathroom, either through SN or neglect of her upbringing. Or parents that lock her out of the house so she actually can't get in to go to the bathroom.

OP I'd be calling social services myself. Or can you see what school she goes to? And speak to the staff there and see if they think its a good idea to speak to SS? They might be able to offer a bit of insight as to whether the child may need some kind of intervention. But I don't know if they will divulge any info or not.

I'd be telling her if she needs the toilet she can come into my house sad

emmyrose2000 Tue 22-May-18 12:39:44

This poor little girl. You could be right in that she watches your family because she's fascinated by how a "normal" family works.

I agree with others that a call to SS is in order.

poopsqueak Tue 22-May-18 13:30:09

I had to report something similar last year. Couldnt tangibly say that they were being neglected, but had a number of incidents.

For example, the kids were out earlier and later than I would expect. One of them was in our back lane with no shoes on (lots of glass). One of them became (Like your story) fixated on our house and kept knocking on all the time. They actually started pushing past us and running in our house. The little one (5) was seen running in and out of cars outside our house by my partner. He went out to tell him to be careful and the kid ran in the house. The child told hi that he had been told to get out of the house for the day because his big brother was home and needed to sleep. At 5. All day. Shocking.

It was not one individual act, but more a pattern of behaviour that made us worried. The older child seemed to hang around the streets til all hours and they were riding on the dads boot (car boot) up the back lane. One of them fell off (audibly) and screamed when they hit the ground.

I spoke to a social worker cousin of mine and she actually suggested speaking with the school they go to (our child goes there too) and I was so glad I took that advice. The head teacher listened to me very closely and carefully worded his reply that said something along the lines of 'do not approach this family, they are dangerous' in not so many words.

He then advised me to log with NSPCC who called me and listened to me and said I was correct to log my concerns.

Interestingly the little one followed my partner to the shop one day and blabbed that he had split his head open on something 'that the lady has told my mum over and over again to move because it was dangerous' . So it seems services had become involved.

We have seen police at their house numerous times since then, and I am very pleased I reported when I did.

Paddington68 Tue 22-May-18 13:59:47

crispysausagerolls Tue 22-May-18 14:00:55

This has made me really, really sad. What a poor little girl - you're doing the right thing in reporting OP.

Isabella1978 Tue 22-May-18 16:44:44

Hello OP,
Just wanted to send thanks and moral support.

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