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To Phone Social Services?

(38 Posts)
NameChangedButARegular Mon 15-Sep-08 21:59:45

I have changed my name not so much to protect myself but so the identity of the person I am talking about isn't recognised because there are people on here that I know in RL.

I currently work in a local child care facility. There is a boy that I look after who is worrying me and I don't know what to do. He is 6 and behaves in a way that I find unusual for a child of his age.

Firstly on several occasion I have been into the bathroom to find him showing his willy to other boys and trying to get them to show him theirs. This has happened about 4 times. The most worrying time though was when I found him in a cubicle with another boy who was clearly distressed. I asked the other boy what had happen to make him upset and he said that xxxx had been trying to see his willy while he was on the toilet. I have also found this boy in the playtent we have outside, again with another boy showing him his willy.

The second thing that adds to my worry is that I know a person who has taught this boys older sibling and this person once mentioned in passing that this older child always wrote really dark, depressing stories. I myself have met the older child on several occassion and he always appears quite depressed and withdrawn.

I have spoken to my boss about this but he said that some children are just curious about each others 'bits'. I do understand this but I have worked with children for quite a few years now and have never met a child like this before, its just a bad feeling I get.

I have reached the point where I am thinking of making a anonymous call to social services because if I do it without my bosses permission I will be in huge trouble

frasersmummy Mon 15-Sep-08 22:03:59

I think calling social services because a young boy is showing off his willy is a bit of an over-reaction

what exactly is that you think you should be reporting ??

avenanap Mon 15-Sep-08 22:04:05

Your boss should have a child protection policy, you should be able to impliment this. If not, you can contact social services.
As far as I am aware, boys of this age like to talk about willies, poo, wee etc because it's exciting and naughty. I know of one child (not personally) who has been inappropriate though and this was because of prior abuse so I would also contact social services if I was in your position. Trush your instincts.

lemonlady Mon 15-Sep-08 22:05:53

Gosh, how sad. All kids explore to some extent but, I think this could be a bit too far. Poor boy stuck in the toliet.

NameChangedButARegular Mon 15-Sep-08 22:08:11

Fraser, because when ever i have done child protection training through work. We have been told that a child who displays such behaviour could be the victim of abuse, I know its normal for boys to be like this a bit, but the one occasion that he had the other little boy backed into the toilet cubicle trying to see his willy concerns me, and the other child was very upset after the incident

StewiesMom Mon 15-Sep-08 22:18:21

Message withdrawn

steviesgirl Mon 15-Sep-08 23:26:18

Maybe you are overreacting just a bit? When I was a kid me and the neighbours kids often dared each other to show one another our 'bits', but in a totally innocent and un-sexual way. It was just curiosity, and we certainly were not abused. Maybe you should wait and see if there is anymore behaviour that should be cause for concern not just based on what you have seen. It doesn't always mean a kid is being abused, children can be curious.

Imagine the devastation of his parents if SS or police turned up on their doorstep and they question totally inncocent and decent parents?

I don't know but these days it seems that if a child is showing the remotest bit of interest in 'down there', then it's automatically assumed they are being abused. It's a sign of the times and a shame that nothing is seen as just innocent anymore. I think you should stay out of it unless you are really sure this child is being abused.

avenanap Mon 15-Sep-08 23:30:19

Imagine the devestation if the op does nothing and this child is abused and takes things one step further! Children are curious but they know when they have gone too far. It's better to check then leave a child that is being abused at home.

Mamazon Mon 15-Sep-08 23:35:29

When he is showing his genitals and encouraging others to show thiers what is he doing? why does he want to show and see them?

have you spoken to teh boy about why he does this? maybe you could sit down with him and ask why he feels teh need to show people his private parts. his response may be telling.

It is true that children of this age are indeed curious about bodily parts. it may be that he has seen daddy in the toilet and is wondering if any of his friends have pubic hair, or something equally innocent.

I would tell you to trust your gut instinct. if you are a teacher and have many years experience with thsi age group then you yourself will know whether this is typicla or not.

You are right in thinking that an exagerated interest in genitalia could be indicative of abuse though.

Further investigation is needed i think.
Have the chat with him and see if it helps ease yoru concerns. if not then yes, call SS.

colacubes Mon 15-Sep-08 23:40:45

The showing willys can be normal behaviour for some children, but I think your instinct is stronger than the willy flashing issue.

If your gut says something is wrong, go with it, your instinct will be drawn from all your experience with this child, some of which you may not even be aware of.

I would make a call, if your wrong then, at least you gave a shit enough to put the child ahead of your embarrassment at being an over zealous do gooder, if you are right you will have helped out a little person who cant help themselves.

Always go with your gut, it wont let you down.

debzmb62 Mon 15-Sep-08 23:48:09

trust your instinct although in somecase its normal for kids to be like that, but on another note it seems to be going a bit far now the child in question could be a victim somehow i,d call ss and just go through exactly what you,ve said to cover yourself what if he was being abused and you did,nt do anything about it ! if things are ok at home for him surly he,s parents would'nt mind being told that it can be normal for kids to be like this dykwim

Reginaphilangy Tue 16-Sep-08 00:11:30

I know some here are saying its an over-reaction, but i would always prefer to over-react than to do nothing.

Surely its better to over-react and to find out that its all innocent than to leave it and (God Forbid) there be abuse there and it be allowed to carry on?

Go gently and sensitively and always keep it mind that it could be something and nothing. Good luck.

fortyplus Tue 16-Sep-08 01:11:30

I think it's very normal for 6 year old boys to show each other their genitals. However, it's always in a giggly, slightly furtive way - maybe in their bedroom or something. I think you're right to be concerned about a child who exhibits this behaviour so persistently and publicly.

wahwah Tue 16-Sep-08 08:29:37

You would be on very thin ice if you called social services as to make them understand your concerns, you would need to tell them your role and then you cannot be anonymous (quite rightly, as you are a paid professional).

You really need to go back to your boss and thrash out why you are so concerned and they aren't. perhaps you could them agree to seek advice from social services about how to proceed eg a CAF assessment.

traceface Tue 16-Sep-08 08:55:58

does your place of work have a 'named nurse' or child protection officer or a way of contacting one? there should be someone available who you can talk to about this - discuss your concerns and receive guidance from them. There are people who are paid and trained to help in these exact situations. From what you've said, I would also have concerns about this family. I think if it ends up being investigated, then any loving parent would cooperate because if it means that people are doing their jobs and looking out for the welfare of children then that can only be a good thing.They tend to get angry if they have something to feel bad about.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Tue 16-Sep-08 09:00:38

It's more than just showing bits though isn't it. It's sexualised behaviour that you need to be on the look out for- which is different.

I do think you are extrapolating wildy with the elder sibling stuff, plenty of kids can be a bit morose.

Why not talk to the boy about appropriate behaviour first.

cornsilk Tue 16-Sep-08 09:16:42

I think you need to let the named child protection officer deal with it.

bloomingfedup Tue 16-Sep-08 10:09:29

If you are worried then contact SS or NSPCC. At the end of the day, the protection of a child is more important than you getting in trouble. Is your manager the designated child protection person at your work? Surley she/he should be listening and taking your concerns seriously.

From what you have said I am not sure that there is a child protection issue BUT that does not mean that there is not.


bloomingfedup Tue 16-Sep-08 10:11:32

You could always phone anon. for advice ie SS or NSPCC. Please don't let other people put you off doing something if you are worried. When you are in any sort of contact with kids it is your duty to protect them.

TheRealMrsJohnSimm Tue 16-Sep-08 10:17:14

I think one of the key points in this is that another child was clearly upset by his behaviour. Agree with others who say you need to talk with your boss/supervisor and take action from there.

Whilst playing "show me yours, I'll show you mine" isn't in itself an absolute indicator of abuse, what would concern me is the extent to which this child plays at this game and the locking the other kid in the cubicle in particular.

Hope you can resolve your concerns soon. Its a difficult situation but you need to trust your gut instincts. Better to be something over nothing than ignore potential abuse.

2beornot2be Tue 16-Sep-08 10:34:25

I would contact SS. I know a boy who was the same and things went a bit far with another little boy and it turned out his Dad had been abusing him from a very young age he was 6 at the time.

bloomingfedup Tue 16-Sep-08 10:39:30

2be - Thats really sad. Poor little love.sad and angry

2beornot2be Tue 16-Sep-08 10:51:59

It was really horrible and the way it was all found out was worse. Unlucky for him his mother just thought he was badly behaved and didn't really give a toss would pass him off as often as possible to other people and it was when he was at my friends house that we found out he was being abused, My friend was heart broken as the little boy abused her son also 6 thinking it was normal behavior. Thats when it came out that his Father had been doing it to him. So yeah OP if you feel that it needs to be looked into I think you should go with your instinct

wb Tue 16-Sep-08 11:04:24

I think you should follow the child protection policy that is set up at your place of work.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 16-Sep-08 11:07:59

I aggree with wb. If you work at a child care facility you will have a child protection policy and you must follow it. If you have concerns, report them to the responsible person.

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