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To mention welfare concerns to the school?

(9 Posts)
FanciestofPants Thu 28-May-20 11:43:08

I'm lost at what to do regarding my children and their care when with their father.

I've 2 DC, one 7yo and 3yo, and am in Aus. I split from ex 2 years ago and have come to an uneasy 50/50 arrangement over time, with no legal orders in place. The relationship wasnt great from day one but abuse ramped up once I was pregnant with our first, emotional and financial, breaking me as a person completely over the 9 years together. I am still scared of him and there is now only communication through text. Drop off and pick ups are from care/school only so no physical interactions.

To the issue -
Last year 7yo dc was suffering nightmares for a period of time. Investigating revealed that he'd been watching the show stranger things via YouTube on the ipad at his dads. Supporting this is artwork in his school books of the demogorgon monster. I tried addressing it with ex over text at the time and it was vehemently denied and abusive in responding. Unsupervised access to adult YouTube continues to this day.
I do have an iPad also, allow him access, but it has only games and epic reading app, everything else is passcoded and both adult and kids youtube blocked in browser also.

I've also given up begging him via text to please treat the nit infestation our children have been suffering for almost 6 months now. It's horrible. Every single time I get them back they're riddled with fresh lice and eggs. Its friday to friday swap and I just cannot get on top of them. I hate that every single visit is tainted on night one for not treating and on their last night again. It ruins our time together.

This current week of them in my care, 7yo again has nightmares, and again more drawings of the monster found in his school books. On top of this, it is causally mentioned by 7yo that "dad leaves me at home whilst he and x get fuel/shopping sometimes".
A few days of gentle queries has revealed that whilst not for long periods of time, it is frequent enough that 7yo confidently tells me they play minecraft on the computer or play the playstation while ex is gone.

He is a best an indifferent parent, devices do most for him. 3yo was bought her own ipad for xmas just gone and 7yo comments often that I wouldn't like how much screen time hes allowed at exs.
Overall they're not neglected in a sense of fed, warm and basics needs but wtf do i do about the youtube, nits and leaving at home??

I've already asked the school and day care if I can come in during their week with ex and treat the nits, and will start next week, but can I ask them to also look out for any other changes of behaviour or things the kids may mention?

I know a court order is needed but it's a minimum 6k just to get an arrangement before the courts and whilst working full time I also walked out of the house with only my clothes and car, and just cannot save that amount in less than a year, he destroyed my credit and he applied for legal aid and I am ineligible as only one party of a dispute can.

I want to ask the school and daycare just to keep an extra eye on them and why but is that unreasonable? Do I just report him to our services instead?

I know the post isnt greatly written, but please if anyone has advice on what to do or write I'd greatly appreciate it.

OP’s posts: |
Dislocatedeyeballs Thu 28-May-20 16:39:07

Surely the not situation IS neglect and leaving a 7 year old in charge of 3 year old is against the law? Can u just say they're ill and keep them t hours for 3 weeks to frea

Treat nitz properly but he probably has them too I guess I don't know how it aorma but I think you should speak with school about how to report him because it is neglectful no matter how well they are fed to leave them home alone

Dislocatedeyeballs Thu 28-May-20 16:41:20

autocorrect is hopeless sorry yes report him

Dieu Thu 28-May-20 17:29:57

Hi OP. That all sounds very difficult, and it's unfair that you have to keep picking up the slack on his weak parenting.
I'm confused by the nits situation. Do you mean to say that your ex has nits, and the children catch it from him each time they visit? confused And why would you be going into school/day are with him to treat the nits??

rosiejaune Thu 28-May-20 18:00:55

It is not £6k to go to court. You can represent yourself like many people do these days. My abusive ex got legal aid and I didn't.

GreasyFryUp Thu 28-May-20 18:42:36

@rosiejaune she's in Australia it might be different.

I've no idea of the court system in Aus but I'm sure someone with experience will come along.

FanciestofPants Thu 28-May-20 23:16:35

Thank you for taking the time to reply. The figure was advised by 2 different solicitors, and beenadvised by solicitors and the local police that i should lawyer up to fight him. You're right that I need to look at it again regardless, and reassess as an option.

Sorry poorly worded OP but ex is not leaving the 7yo incharge of 3yo. Just leaving the 7yo at home and taking the 3yo out.

As for the nits, yes I assume that ex has them also, it's a 7 day cycle for growth so after I treat the dc nits while with me its then 7 days before I see them again and its restarted.
I've asked to be allowed to go into school one day a week when with their dad to treat their hair as ex refuses to do so at home.

OP’s posts: |
Dieu Fri 29-May-20 08:35:55

Treating them for nits at school seems a really odd plan to me. Sorry, OP! I'm just not sure what difference it will make in the long run. And won't it be embarrassing for your 7 year old?

Howaboutanewname Fri 29-May-20 09:13:59

In England, a lot of this would be considered parenting difference. It’s not against the Law to give a child access to YouTube or let them watch Netflix. Even leaving a child alone can be considered just a judgment issue - only really becomes an issue if something happens and it doesn’t sound like they’re home alone for long. I am not sure you would succeed in stopping contact. Nits are notoriously difficult to get rid of. As a start, I would say change what you’re using to treat them and then provide your children with a small spray bottle of diluted tea tree oil and show them how to give themselves a quick spritz in a morning. It should help.

Absolutely mention concerns to school - it may be that an experienced teacher could help intervene with things like nits and nightmares but also shows them in court.

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