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AIBU to contact Social services about a neighbour

(144 Posts)
Yetanothernamechange1234 Sat 20-Jul-19 19:09:37

Long and short of it is her 4 kids came over to mine today...said their mum was asleep and they couldn't wake her...they climbed out the back window to get out the house as couldn't find the keys. Mum also had a 1 year old in there also asleep the kids thought. They asked to have dinner with us in case they couldn't wake their mum later. When I took them home it took a good half hour of banging on the door to rouse the mum,she had no idea the kids weren't in the house. Would I be totally inappropriate to contact SS and if I did would they tell her who it was?

DifficultPifcultLemonDifficult Sat 20-Jul-19 19:11:39

You should have contacted the police after banging on the door for 5 minutes really.

Of course you should contact SS.

makingmammaries Sat 20-Jul-19 19:13:13

I think you probably do need to contact them. They don’t need to say who told them. Your neighbour may guess, though. But it does sound as though the kids are at risk.

CloudRusting Sat 20-Jul-19 19:15:37

Yes you absolutely should contact SS. This is highly neglectful. If they could t wake her that would suggest drug use (prescription or otherwise) or alcohol but either way intervention is needed.

CuppaSarah Sat 20-Jul-19 19:15:38

You need to contact them, no question about it. Poor children. The fact they asked you to feed them incase she doesn't wake later says a lot imo.

Jojobears Sat 20-Jul-19 19:15:40


At the very least, the woman needs help

Yetanothernamechange1234 Sat 20-Jul-19 19:15:47

Thank you,I didn't think about police stupidly.i had my daughter with me and she was getting upset so I just kept trying to get them home. Told the kids they can come here anytime they need to,just feel bad and like I should've done more

Lovebeingmama Sat 20-Jul-19 19:16:13

Yes, contact them. It needs some investigation.

Elsahappy3 Sat 20-Jul-19 19:16:35

Yes you should , but was she drunk or something ? Because banging on a door for 30 mins or not being able to wake up someone is a bit concerning.

stucknoue Sat 20-Jul-19 19:16:44

Speak to her, say you are concerned, I can't hear people banging on my door. Kids do exaggerate, not being able to wake her is serious whereas her being really dopey and telling them to amuse themselves because the baby has been up all night isn't the same. But if anything doesn't add up call the out of hours social services number.

Soubriquet Sat 20-Jul-19 19:17:13

Does sound rather worrying

Especially if there is a 1 year old in the house who presumably can’t get out

I would have rung the police but obviously that’s not the option now so SS is the next best thing

If it happens again, police straight away

NoSauce Sat 20-Jul-19 19:19:01

Yes definitely, how old are the dc? Poor things having to climb out the window? Have you noticed other things that are worrying?

Yetanothernamechange1234 Sat 20-Jul-19 19:19:05

When she answered q(after yelling to kids out the door thinking they were upstairs because she didn't know where the keys were) she looked out of it, could just be because I just woke her up out of deep sleep but wasnt normal. I'm so worried the children tonight,they did ask if they could sleep here if they needed to.

Camomila Sat 20-Jul-19 19:19:49

Did she wake up eventually?

In that situation I'd have probably called an ambulance or police to come do a welfare check straight away in case she's had an epileptic fit/stroke etc.

TheHandsOfNeilBuchanan Sat 20-Jul-19 19:20:48

Honestly op this sounds like class a drug use, definitely call social care

Didntwanttochangemyname Sat 20-Jul-19 19:20:51

Those poor kids, please call SS and if it happens again call the police.

FaithFrank Sat 20-Jul-19 19:20:51


ethelfleda Sat 20-Jul-19 19:23:54

Definitely call SS.

cccameron Sat 20-Jul-19 19:24:32

Why didn't you call the police immediately?How did you know she hadn't had a heart attack or stroke. She could have been dead with the 1 year old in there!

Mumtolittletorchers Sat 20-Jul-19 19:28:04

Is her kids quite young could it be that she was just exhausted and went for a nap. I understand the dangers of what happened. Instead of ringing ss straight away why don't you be neighbourly and invite her down for a cup of tea and tell her your concerns. Have you ever been inside her house because you would know if something serious was going on by the cleanliness and mess of the place.

MissChananderlerbong Sat 20-Jul-19 19:34:17

Social services! This happened to my nieces and the police removed them that day (I had no idea how bad my brothers ex had got and that they were in that situation!)

SparklyMagpie Sat 20-Jul-19 19:38:09

I wouldn't hesitate to contact SS at all

But tbh that situation is frightening, she could have had an accident or anything

How old are the kids? One of them obviously is old enough to be able to open and climb out of the window? Just wondering as that's worrying in itself if they arent that old

Jellybeansincognito Sat 20-Jul-19 19:38:54

I think it was really silly to not call the police, or an ambulance in fact. If kids can’t wake their own mother something is very very wrong.

I wouldn’t call social services tbh, I think it looks really bad on your part because children came to your house through a window because they couldn’t wake their mum and the health and well-being of that mother passed you by whilst you had them at yours and spent 30 minutes banging the door down.

Also, what proof do you have?
If it ever happens again do the right thing.

Wildorchidz Sat 20-Jul-19 19:40:24

How old are the children?

CanYouHelpFindThis Sat 20-Jul-19 19:40:25

Ring 101 and log the incident

Jellybeansincognito Sat 20-Jul-19 19:40:29

Op knew there was a 1 year old in a house alone with a parent that could not be woken.

Op looks neglectful herself, it’s a bit late calling SS now isn’t it.
There’s no proof.

herculepoirot2 Sat 20-Jul-19 19:41:24

I would have called an ambulance straight away. But yes, you need to contact SS. If they couldn’t wake their mother and had to climb out of the window, she is either very ill or she was drunk or high.

herculepoirot2 Sat 20-Jul-19 19:42:21

But half an hour banging on the door with a 1 year old inside (presumably screaming)? Really?

Weezol Sat 20-Jul-19 19:44:08

I'm so worried the children tonight,they did ask if they could sleep here if they needed to.

That line made me go cold. There's something wrong in that house.

I think the first thing to do is call the police and request a welfare check.

PeoniesarePink Sat 20-Jul-19 19:48:19

Yes please phone 101 and report this. They can do a welfare check and report onto SS if needed.

Something is very very wrong with all that. Makes your blood run cold.

Knackeredmommy Sat 20-Jul-19 19:51:40

Please call! They're serious safeguarding issues there. What is you were out? They're not safe right now. SS will support.

BitOftheSea Sat 20-Jul-19 19:52:17

There must be history here or you’d have called an ambulance when the kids told you she was unresponsive with a 1 year old in the house. She could have been in a diabetic coma or anything. No one would respond to this in the way you apparently did if it was a one off situation

Bookworm4 Sat 20-Jul-19 19:52:58

What ages are the kids? Did you have any sense of how the mum was?

Whitebeltatlife Sat 20-Jul-19 19:52:58

I think it odd that you didn’t think to call police as my first thought would be that she is seriously ill/dead/had an accident and I would have been extremely concerned about the baby! I’d have probably tried to climb in the window the kids came out of it! She could just be exhausted (I’ve been there, although not to the point where kids can’t wake me!) however the fact that the children themselves are asking if they can have dinner with you or sleep at your house if they need to is what’s ringing alarm bells that there’s more to this. I would call social services, I would probably even call the police regarding a welfare check as would be quicker and they will make the call on how serious it is. She will knows it you but frankly the safety of those children is more important in my eyes.

AbbyHammond Sat 20-Jul-19 19:54:48

Did you see the baby?

Is the mum ill? Sounds like the kids were asking you for help - no way would I just have taken them home and left them there!

IntoValhalla Sat 20-Jul-19 19:58:31

You need to ring the non-emergency police number and report it as well as reporting to social services sad
The thought of a 1yo baby being in there with an adult who can’t be woken, and older kids asking if they can sleep at your house makes my blood run cold sad
There’s something very wrong in that house - even if it is just that the mum is completely exhausted and has no support.

SparklyMagpie Sat 20-Jul-19 20:00:59

And what did she say as you'd obviously explain why you were stood on her doorstep with the children?

MmmBlowholes Sat 20-Jul-19 20:04:04

You should've rang 999. Half an hour banging with a 1 year old unaccounted for? Insanity.

RhubarbTea Sat 20-Jul-19 20:05:15

Ring the police, this is definitely serious enough.

Thump Sat 20-Jul-19 20:09:37

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

SparklyMagpie Sat 20-Jul-19 20:10:22

@Thump agree with you

YouSayPotatoesISayVodka Sat 20-Jul-19 20:11:58

I don’t think it would do any harm to contact social services. She’s got lots of children and is presumably on her own with them? Maybe she needs more support/is struggling. They might be able to help, they’re meant to. I’m glad the children know they can come to you if they get stuck again. They did the right thing.

HappyHammy Sat 20-Jul-19 20:12:18

I'd call the police now for a welfare check and take the children in if mum isn't able to look after them

SpartacusAutisticusAHF Sat 20-Jul-19 20:17:55

Seriously? Some kids turn up at your house and tell you they can't wake their mum, their baby sibling is still in the house, and they climbed out of a window, and you keep them for a play date?

You should have gone round/phoned police immediately FFS.

skybluee Sat 20-Jul-19 20:19:32

I'd go and speak to her, see what she says before calling anyone. There may be a very simple explanation (for example, she tried a new antihistamine and it reacted badly or something like that).

PinkBlossomInSummer Sat 20-Jul-19 20:19:35

her 4 kids came over to mine today...said their mum was asleep and they couldn't wake her...they climbed out the back window to get out the house as couldn't find the keys. Mum also had a 1 year old in there also asleep the kids thought.

And you never thought to ring the police knowing the children climbed out a window and there was a baby still Inside? Ok then...🙄

StrongTea Sat 20-Jul-19 20:20:48

Do you know if the mum has family nearby? Maybe you could have a word with them? Think the children’s welfare has to come first so sounds like you have to talk to social services, for all you know the family may be known to them.

OnlyFoolsnMothers Sat 20-Jul-19 20:21:15

Is there a chance the mum is sleep deprived with the baby- any other indications that ss need be involved?

IVEgottheDECAF Sat 20-Jul-19 20:23:20

If this is real. It is horrible and needs reporting to SS and the police

SparklyMagpie Sat 20-Jul-19 20:24:58

"any other indications that ss need be involved?"

So if this really did happen, none of that would be enough for you to report because the mum might be "sleep deprived"??

ReanimatedSGB Sat 20-Jul-19 20:26:40

Do you have any idea of what the mother's issue is - diabetes, epilepsy, being unwell, or do you think it's substance abuse of some sort? You do seem to be unusually laid back about the fact that the mother couldn't be roused and the DC were upset.

3dogs2cats Sat 20-Jul-19 20:27:23

Crikey, I can’t believe you are getting told off. That’s such an odd situation, I think you did your best.

Thefemalekeithrichards Sat 20-Jul-19 20:27:35

As everyone has said You should report-and It’s nice of you to look after the children - you are very kind, I hope this has a happy ending

viques Sat 20-Jul-19 20:30:40

it took a good half hour to rouse the mum

Sorry, I would have called police/ambulance long before half an hour. Supposing she was unconscious? Had had a stroke?

That half hour could have made a huge difference.

Anyway that's been and gone, what you need to do now is safeguard those children in the future, phone your local station, and I would also get the contact details of your out of hours social work team.

Screamanger Sat 20-Jul-19 20:32:07

In all honesty in that situation I wouldn’t have thought to call the police or SS,

BogglesGoggles Sat 20-Jul-19 20:35:52

Absolutely call SS and the police but also give the children your phone number please. Assuming they have a phone in the house it could make a huge difference. What if you had been out? Where would they have gone? To another neighbour presumably-what if that neighbour was a psycho?

SparklyMagpie Sat 20-Jul-19 20:36:06

What would you have done then @Screamanger? Genuinely just wondering knowing there were children at your door saying they got out the window and their mum won't wake up and a baby is in there and shes not answering when you bang on the door

BogglesGoggles Sat 20-Jul-19 20:37:05

And don’t be hard on yourself for not calling the police-I’m not sure it would have been my first thought either.

4under4our Sat 20-Jul-19 20:38:57

Both my parents were addicts, quite frequently slept so deeply I couldn't really wake them.

If I'd have gone to a neighbour and told them this I'd have been in A LOT of trouble.

If you feel there is a possibility that this is the case please contact the police ASAP. I dread to think what my parents would have done to me in this situation.

Thump Sat 20-Jul-19 20:39:25

I know what police would have done if they had been called. They'd have broken in.
As the children climbed out of the window, could you not have climbed in to check on the mum?

Why am I even responding to this shit.

Thump Sat 20-Jul-19 20:40:35

The OP has done a dump and run. Don't expect any logical response to this thread...

Amibeingdaft81 Sat 20-Jul-19 20:43:18

Are you being unreasonable?

Bloody hell - yes!!!

For not having contacted the police as soon as those children came to you.

Amibeingdaft81 Sat 20-Jul-19 20:45:37


What would have been your first thought out of interest? A gaggle is children in your door step having climbed out of their house?

ReanimatedSGB Sat 20-Jul-19 20:48:32

If I had encountered some kids saying they couldn't wake Mum up I would almost certainly have called 999. But if I had been able to rouse the mum by knocking, I would have at least asked her if she was all right. And I would have been considering things like: did the kids look dirty/underfed/neglected? Was the house a shit heap? Could I smell alcohol or weed? Because either the mum is ill, or she is neglectful, and either way, the family need help.

We had a little incident last year when 13-year-old DS, who was home alone and off-colour, managed to go out or the house, barefoot, without either keys or phone and lock himself: luckily a neighbour who knew him called first me and then his dad, and took him in for a bit. But the neighbours know us well, know that DS is not 'at risk' and that he had just been a complete div that afternoon.

RickOShay Sat 20-Jul-19 20:54:31

Op you did the right thing, you took them in. Call SS in the morning.

FurrySlipperBoots Sat 20-Jul-19 20:58:31

How bizarre. I struggle to believe this story. I think anyone's gut reaction on having neigbours children come round saying they couldn't wake their mum or baby sibling would be to call 999 immediately.

Lunde Sat 20-Jul-19 20:59:13

Call the NSPCC helpline for advice
If you're worried about a child, or you work with children and need advice or information, call our helpline on 0808 800 5000 - we're here Monday to Friday 8am – 10pm or 9am – 6pm at the weekends.

Smellbellina Sat 20-Jul-19 20:59:22

I was in a similar(ish) position once, I called SS eventually and they said to please call police if it happened again. Next time it was just the toddler that turned up naked from the waist down, I popped some trousers on and called police straight away. Officer came out and was useless but they did deal with it in the end.
Report to SS ASAP and if it happens again ring 101.

GreigLaidlawsbarofsoap Sat 20-Jul-19 21:00:11

Yes YWBU by not immediately checking on the Mum (climb back in the window? Did you not think of this?) and when you couldn't rouse her after a few minutes then calling police/ambulance. Did it not occur to you she could be seriously ill with a baby still in there? Or even if out of it on drink/drugs could have choked on vomit/be having difficult breathing etc?

This is why basic first aid and safety protocols (and possibly common sense hmm) needs to be taught in schools.

You do need to let SS know now at least. Whatever is going on, todays scenario is unacceptable neglect of the kids anyway, and if there is a cause it needs checked. She needs help one way or another as the kids sound frightened.

elfies Sat 20-Jul-19 21:06:43

It sounds like she's diabetic

WorraLiberty Sat 20-Jul-19 21:12:37

Christ a fuck live, you honestly have to ask, OP? confused

Why didn't you ring the police as soon as the kids came over and said they couldn't wake their mum up and they thought there was as baby in the house??

WorraLiberty Sat 20-Jul-19 21:13:03

*fucking live

I'm too confused to type!

NoSauce Sat 20-Jul-19 21:13:06

OP are you still here? Have you had reason to be concerned previously about this family?

Ivestoppedreadingthenews Sat 20-Jul-19 21:15:28

This is a tough one because with older kids, mum could easily have put the baby to nap in their cot and then said put on a Disney film and said I’m going to have a lie down, come get me if you need me... kids being kids they don’t always tell 100% the truth. My son has told daddy that I left him when I was actually upstairs folding washing and had told him where I was....
However it sounds as if they were frightened. I think I personally would check on them and mum tomorrow, invite her for a cuppa. If it feels off then refer.

MayLeaveADentInYourSofa Sat 20-Jul-19 21:22:50

I was in a similar scenario some years ago.
The person who could not be woken was seriously ill.
I think you took a chance not reacting straight away, OP, but it is not too late. I would chat this through with SS. Good luck.

Anyway, I hope you return to complete the story and tell us what the mum said when you she did come to the door? Did she seem ok?

DifficultPifcultLemonDifficult Sat 20-Jul-19 21:23:58

You took 4 kids, 3 of which had just clkmbed out a window and were frightened after telling you they couldn't wake their Mum and there's a baby in the house, to bang on a door for 30 minutes and you simply didn't think to call the police? hmm

Gosh, that's quite astounding really.

Franklyyes Sat 20-Jul-19 21:30:59

Inform social services as children at risk - they have a social services duty team out of office hours. You might be the piece of a jigsaw - lots of concerns, School, local community which add up to a bigger picture. Or SS think they already meet threshold
You are thinking of the children and making sure they are safe

OnlyFoolsnMothers Sat 20-Jul-19 21:35:18

SparklyMagpie I just think mn are so quick to call ss on everything! If otherwise this mother is “perfectly together” and this was down to a period of exhaustion then I would rather the limited ss resources were used somewhere else. But any other signs this mother can’t cope then yes I would call

Screamanger Sat 20-Jul-19 21:35:20


I would have done exactly what the OP did and then asked the mother if she was ok, asked if there was anything I could do and basically been a friendly helpful neighbor.

Charmatt Sat 20-Jul-19 21:49:08

If this is unusual behaviour she might have had a seizure. My epilepsy is controlled but when I had them I was not rouseable for a considerable amount of time and looked shocking when I did regain consciousness

Yetanothernamechange1234 Sat 20-Jul-19 21:50:52

Thank you for all your posts,I rang were aware of the family and sent someone over.i spoke to the mum when we roused her and she just asked if the kids had been good...despite not knowing they had left the house.they came back shortly after I posted asking for food and to come in and play.took them back home and mum was walking about.. again didn't know the kids had left.

I know I should've been more proactive the first time they came over,will be next time. Thank you for advice x

IVEgottheDECAF Sat 20-Jul-19 21:54:27

Well done op

Yetanothernamechange1234 Sat 20-Jul-19 21:57:28

And sorry to drop feed.shouldve said the mum isnt I'll,think poss been drinking,the "baby" is 3,just they call her a baby. Her older kids go to school with my daughter, I know people who babysit them and they say here is no furniture in kids bedrooms only couple mattress they share,massive TV though.she doesn't ever let me in house when our kids have played together before and I've taken them home,I've known her a few years but only neighbours for a few months and I have invited her over for coffee and a talk,hasn't done so though..the kids know me and I'm pleased they know they can come to me if they need to.just hope she gets support and the kids are ok.

FurrySlipperBoots Sat 20-Jul-19 22:06:34

the "baby" is 3, just they call her a baby

I thought she was 1?

iwillkeepthishouseclean Sat 20-Jul-19 22:08:31

She's either very tired or drugs who
Sleeps 3 hours and not
Notices that the kids have left
The house. House conditions sound like neglect.

In saying all of that she may need help
Social services don't just take kids off
People they offer w lot
Of help first so hopefully she may if she is willing to work with them get some support...

NoSauce Sat 20-Jul-19 22:10:59

I’m glad you have rang SS.

Is the youngest one or three? confused

WorraLiberty Sat 20-Jul-19 22:11:45

Sounds awful, no wonder she's known to SS.

I have to ask how the size of her television is relevant in all of this though?

That's a bizarre little nugget in and amongst a very tragic story.

colourlessgreenidea Sat 20-Jul-19 22:12:38

I rang were aware of the family

SS told you they were aware of the family?

Amibeingdaft81 Sat 20-Jul-19 22:16:30

*I rang were aware of the family*

Bull. Shit.

They never ever ever would have disclosed this information.

louise5754 Sat 20-Jul-19 22:17:57

When my eldest was 3 and started nursery I was so exhausted having 2 under 3 that I fell asleep and woke to my nearly 2 year old opening the front door. She had never been able to open the door before and you don't need a key to do it. Extremely stupid of me and I still wonder 6 years later what could have happened to her.

Bookworm4 Sat 20-Jul-19 22:18:25

SS will say they are aware but not anything else.

stucknoue Sat 20-Jul-19 22:19:56

The original post says the baby is 1. I'm wondering if other details are incorrect too. 3 school age kids getting up to mischief perhaps. Social services would never say that a family is known to them, they would be sacked for breaching confidentiality

Amibeingdaft81 Sat 20-Jul-19 22:21:56

Op’s Story is full of holes

The baby was 1. Now 3.
This drip feed of others having expressed concerns about no furniture in the bedrooms only couple of mattresses, fact she’s never let you in to the house when you’ve come to collect your kids.... and yet you’ve allowed your children over there for play dates unaccompanied

The fact you post at >7pm and less than 3 hours apparently they children returned to you, you called social services, someone came out, and they told you they were aware of the family

It’s just full of holes and doesn’t ring true

DifficultPifcultLemonDifficult Sat 20-Jul-19 22:23:03

Social services came out really quickly on a Saturday night. Glad they aren't as understaffed and over worked as the rest of the country.

Amibeingdaft81 Sat 20-Jul-19 22:23:26

*SS will say they are aware but not anything else*

They will do nothing of the sort.
They will reveal nothing re whether the family is known to them or not.
It would be a gross breach if they did

Bookworm4 Sat 20-Jul-19 22:25:02

I’ve had it said to me when I called with concerns about a person.

Amibeingdaft81 Sat 20-Jul-19 22:28:00


You experienced a major beach of confidentiality then that the social worker in question would have undergone a disciplinary if it had been reported. Fact.

ysmaem Sat 20-Jul-19 22:31:12

I'm actually a little surprised you didn't call for an ambulance or police when the kids said they couldn't wake her. She could have fallen over and hit her head or collapsed. That would have been my immediate reaction anyways. Have you actually been round there and asked her what actually happened or had some form of discussion about it at least? I would definitely call the authorities and voice your concerns if you feel something isn't right

SparklyMagpie Sat 20-Jul-19 22:31:50

Well the "baby" has grown 2 years older in this short space of time

Oliversmumsarmy Sat 20-Jul-19 22:34:32

Could she just have been getting 40 winks because 1 year old is up all night.

Years ago I was doing gardening in my front garden when a little boy no more than 2 darted across the main road and was running down our road.

I managed to stop him and took him back over the road to find his house.

Little boy, I don’t think knew where he lived but fortunately the houses opened up onto the streets so I was able to find one with the front door open.

His mother was flat out on the sofa.
She was profusely sorry. He apparently didn’t sleep well at night and she had put him to bed for an afternoon nap and thought he was still in his bed. Instead he had got out of the bed, got a chair and opened the front door and run off.

Genuinely felt sorry for her.

Don’t know what SS would have done.

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