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In feeling like reporting this family was the wrong thing to do?

(73 Posts)
mumstable Sun 17-Nov-19 14:57:35

Name changed for this but long time poster.

I've posted before on this, if anyone recognised my other thread please don't post any identifying details on this one, thanks. smile

For a long time I was concerned about the safety of one of my child's friends. We are friends with his parents also. Or rather, I was good friends with her and we'd have dinner etc with them both.

Both parents are VERY heavy drinkers. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a judgy person, dh and I like a drink ourselves. But they regularly drink drive (and I mean plastered) and she's been passing out early in the afternoon. She's also passed out when having kids over for play dates. Not my child though. I've also recently been told drugs may be involved.

She's also been turning up to school drop off and pick up drunk.

I've been told by her that he's been physically abusive to her child when he's drunk. And her. Since they were 2 years old. I've also been told be other people that she is abusive to the husband. Which is true (or both) I don't know.

I'm not in the UK so services here are very different.

I did contact both our version of social services (and from what I'm aware of have done nothing, they're extremely overstretched and I'd already been told that as the child is fed and clothed this probably wouldn't make their threshold) and the school. I know the school have taken it very seriously and some kind of action has been taken but I'm not clear what.

Obviously reporting was something I had to do. But now she's completely withdrawn from the community. She won't talk to anyone. Obviously she doesn't know who reported them but will be suspecting everyone. Her child's behaviour has got much worse at school and he's saying some really sad and alarming things.

I don't know what I'm hoping for from this thread really, maybe just validation I did the right thing as it seems to have just made things worse for them. sad

MatildaTheCat Sun 17-Nov-19 15:05:47

The most important thing here is the safety of the child and the situation you describe is clearly unsafe so you did the right thing.

It’s normal for you to feel bad about it all though because it’s a horrible situation. Would you/ a group of other mothers or patients feel able to contact the mother and see if she’s ok? Perhaps then try to offer some support.

mumstable Sun 17-Nov-19 15:16:51

I REALLY wouldn't want anyone to know I was the one who'd reported them. One mutual friend suspects it's me and is no longer talking to me. sad

LolaSmiles Sun 17-Nov-19 15:17:02

You have done the right thing by reporting concerns about a child's safety. It's normal to feel bad, but the alternative is the child grows up in a home with alcohol absue and absuive behaviour.

Her child's behaviour at school may well be them communicating some of the trauma from home. School will be reporting this to the required authorities.

There's always some on MN who'll pile on and tell you you're a terrible person, you don't know her struggles, you should have opened your own house 6 days a week and offered to have her child etc but just ignore them. This place has a bizarre view of turning a blind eye on safeguarding issues at times.

NewNameGuy Sun 17-Nov-19 15:20:10

You did the right thing, maybe you can have the kid over to yours sometimes for play dates?

mumstable Sun 17-Nov-19 15:22:48

The times I've had him over for play dates she's always stayed. On three occasions she's been very drunk (or high) and made my child very upset. Anyway, she won't answer any of my calls now so that's a moot point. sad

caravanette Sun 17-Nov-19 15:23:51

You did the right thing OP

caravanette Sun 17-Nov-19 15:24:48

To be honest OP she sounds horrendous and I speak as daughter of alcoholic narc mum!!!

HuggedTrees Sun 17-Nov-19 15:26:06

You absolutely did the right thing. If I knew someone was picking kids up from school drunk that’s a 999 call there and then. Although I know it’s easy to say from this side of the screen.
Thise kids deserve better and hopefully any friend withdrawing from you will see that they are an idiot for but reporting them themselves

mumstable Sun 17-Nov-19 15:33:39

@caravanette she's very passive aggressive when she's drunk. The times she's made my son cry it's because she's tried to take him back to her house for an overnight or play date (obviously not going to happen partially because ds was only 3 at the time and also but she was steaming drunk and driving!) she'd tell him that 'mummy doesn't like or trust me as much as her other better friends' and similar.

One time ds was hysterical as she'd told him he could do an overnight and when I said no he obviously lost it. On his birthday. I took him upstairs and told dh he needed to get her out of our house and home.

She's clearly saying very passive aggressive things to her son. He's saying things at school like 'the only friend you can rely on is yourself'.

I'm making her sound like a nightmare (and she is when she's drunk) but when she's sober she's the most kind and giving person. It's so fucking sad what alcohol can do to people and lives. But I just can't put ds in that orbit anymore. I don't want him seeing someone so drunk that they're falling over and passing out. It's not healthy and I'd be a shitty parent to have him around that.

Passthecherrycoke Sun 17-Nov-19 15:36:07

Maybe they’re getting some help and things are starting to get better

I mean I think it’s obvious she’s going to be humiliated and retreat, I struggle to imagine any other reaction you’d have to SS intervention from the outside at least

DryHeaving Sun 17-Nov-19 15:43:40

Think of the alternative OP how would you feel if you didn't report it and something happened ?
You absolutely did the right thing.

LadyAllegraImelda Sun 17-Nov-19 15:47:45

it's worth to keep reporting, it can really help due to accumulative harm now being recognised.

TryTry123 Sun 17-Nov-19 15:49:42

The mother needs a reality check. You may have saved the child from a car crash. If everyone is in denial with the drinkers then nothing will change. You did what you could. You were brave to stand up for a child who can not do that for themselves.

Highlights12 Sun 17-Nov-19 15:54:48

Yes you did the right thing. As another pp said imagine if something bad happened you would have always thought if only I had told someone.

Tistheseason17 Sun 17-Nov-19 16:07:10

I would look fo other friends.

You did the right thing by reporting and now is time to let the authorities do what they need to.

She suspects you and she is right - what good is going to come from trying to remain friends with someone who is not good for herself or her children and most likely you and your children.

There are other mums to be friends with - take a step back.

AcrossthePond55 Sun 17-Nov-19 16:07:45

You've done the right thing. From your last post it's obvious that she was starting to put YOUR child in danger, or at the least causing your child extreme stress and upset. You had no other choice. What would have been next? Her taking your child from the schoolyard or another child's home to her house without your permission?

Honestly, you have done your duty and if she's cut you off IMHO you've dodged a huge bullet. As far as others who may be blanking you and taking her side, if they know what she's like then good riddance to them too.

The only thing I'll add is that if you see her and you even suspect she is driving drunk or is otherwise too drunk to be in charge of a child, call the police and report her.

If you're in the US, you're right. Child Services is overworked and understaffed. Unless a child is in absolute immediate physical danger (ie in the ER with injuries, being beaten at the time, or has been abandoned) they won't do jack as long as the child is fed and sheltered. It's pathetic. But the same people who scream to high heaven about it also vote down the taxes to fund them.

Caledoniahasmyheartforever Sun 17-Nov-19 16:17:15

Have you reported multiple times? As there is no way I could watch a three year old be taken into a car to be driven home by a Mother who is steaming drunk! I would have called the police! It is a miracle that she has not killed herself, her child or anyone else whilst driving around hammered!

Hearing that a two year old has been physically abused by a drunken Father would have me Calling the police AND social services! Where on earth do you live that social services don’t care that a little boy is living with two drunks/ drug addicts who drink drive, and one of whom beats the crap out of a little boy from the age of 2! I am honestly horrified- this is the kind of story that ends in an awful way - usually with the death of a child and everyone comes out the woodwork saying how they suspected abuse but didn’t like to accuse!

Thank goodness you are trying to get the little boy supported!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 17-Nov-19 16:17:49

I think the only unreasonable thing is not calling the Police immediately when she is drunk and driving or under the influence in any way .If she is a friend could you not take her keys ? If not the Police it is .

(And yes the school should have some involvement here as she -and her DH if he does drop off/pick up- are putting other children at risk.

I have zero tolerance of drink drivers anyway . And anyone who blanks you might like to think if the Police turned up at their door to tell them a family member had been killed by her , would they be so understanding .

mumwon Sun 17-Nov-19 16:26:50

do you have a children's charity like Barnardo's or nspcc uk? report it to them - Charities tend to be proactive here

Passthecherrycoke Sun 17-Nov-19 16:27:56

She’s already reported them mumwon

abigailsnan Sun 17-Nov-19 16:33:26

Please don't beat yourself up over reporting them you have done the right thing and anyone who thinks different is not worth your time.
Has this girl got any family that you may know ? do they know what is going on because any family member worth their salt would be in there getting it sorted pronto.
The next time she turns up drunk at school notify the school head at once and demand they do something straight away don't worry about other people and what they think far too many people will say "if only we knew what was going on" when its too late.

stucknoue Sun 17-Nov-19 16:39:49

You did the right thing, the authorities are failing that child

mumstable Sun 17-Nov-19 16:40:20

Her family all live a plane ride away. Her brother is an alcoholic who hasn't worked in 15 years and is on his last legs. I think her Father is too.

Drunk driving isn't taken at all seriously here. In fact some people take the piss out of the fact that dh and I won't drive if we've had more than one drink.

Also, they don't really breathalyse here. Most people I know get pretty tanked and drive. It's horrific.

FromEden Sun 17-Nov-19 16:49:52

Is it the US? I find they do have a casual attitude to driving after a few drinks, but driving actually drunk absolutely is frowned upon and with kids in the car even more so. Some states have lower limits if you are driving with young children. If you know she is endangering her children in this way , call the police and give her details.

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