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to not report this child to SS?

(121 Posts)
ChickandDuck Fri 23-Oct-09 11:31:23

I appreciate this is quite an emotive subject, but after a conversation with a friend last night I wanted to see what the general consensus on this kind of thing is...

There is a child that attends the same nursery as my DC. I have noticed this DC a few of times, in nursery and whilst out and about, just because there's a couple of things that don't sit right. Both Mum and DC have been in unwashed clothes each time I've seen them (quite clearly unwashed and caked in dirt and muck), I've seen DC on the way to nursery in just a t-shirt (it’s freezing!). Granted, he's not covered in bruises (although he is always red eyed and looks tired/unhealthy?), but does the fact that he is not clothed adequately and washed constitute as not being cared for properly? She could be a fantastic Mum, but is a bit clueless with clothing/washing? My friend (whose job means she works closely with SS) thinks I should phone and express my concerns. It hadn't occurred to me before; I assumed that the staff at the nursery will as aware as I am...?
Plus, as I explained to my friend, the area that I live in neighbours an area that is full of children like this (whilst walking through the other day there was a child, no more than 2yo, half dressed outside the front of her house on her own. Another example would be a mother shouting and swearing at a child no older than 4yo because she asked for something from Greggs hmm) and if I contacted SS for this child, I'd be doing it everyday I go out?

I feel as if I would BU for phoning SS, I just feel it’s a bit dramatic?

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Fri 23-Oct-09 11:45:15

What have you actually observed? Dirty clothes are not evidence of neglect in themselves.
Basically, yes, the mum probably is neglecting her on some levels. SS probably won't pick it up. There isn't a lot you can do Maybe discuss your concerns with the nursery manager?

Oblomov Fri 23-Oct-09 11:53:27

I have to stay away from threads like this. << makes not to self>>
I have posted on alot of the other ss threads recently.
my feelings are clear.
YABU. neglect ? No. SS worthy ? No.

Makes not to self not to post anymore. Hides thread.

Firawla Fri 23-Oct-09 11:55:54

the nursery teachers would have prob made a note of it and keep and eye on the situation. don't think you need to do anything yourself

anonymous85 Fri 23-Oct-09 12:00:01

Probably just a lazy mum who can't be bothered with doing the washing.

2kidzandi Fri 23-Oct-09 12:01:04

Are you certain that they aren't already known to SS? There does exist a kind of high functioning disfunctionality with some families.

teameric Fri 23-Oct-09 12:14:29

dramatic? er yes I'd say, you haven't actually witnessed any abuse have you? just mother and DC in dirty clothes? a bit of dirt never hurt anyone IMO, if theres a problem then I'm sure the nursery will do something about it as they see the DC's all the time, think you should stay out of it tbh

ChickandDuck Fri 23-Oct-09 12:18:00

kat It's just a feeling really, the DC is just prooly clothed, looks a bit tired/unhealthy, quite skinny and pale. I hadn't considered ringing SS before this conversation with my friend, I just hoped that they we're already involved, if Mum does have problems. My friend has made me question this, she says SS's opinion is that if you have a feeling, then report it.

Oblomov I'm asking if I'm BU to NOT report this child to SS.

Firawla Thats what I thought...

motherlovebone Fri 23-Oct-09 12:20:46

theres a family round here like that.
theres lots of love, just no soap.

ChickandDuck Fri 23-Oct-09 12:22:22

teameric thank you, that is the kind of response I was hoping for. My friend did the whole "if you do nothing then you see something in the paper..." So got me a bit upset and confused, because like you say I haven't actually witnessed any abuse, but then I do have a strong feeling that there's something not right.

motherlovebone Fri 23-Oct-09 12:23:37

could you befriend them?

Ripeberry Fri 23-Oct-09 12:30:34

Sounds like you have to walk past the 'slums' Maybe they have a dog that jumps up on them everytime they go out? The nursery will be keeping an eye on this child as it's a very important and LEGAL part of their registration with Ofsted.
Neglect can be an indicator of abuse but unless there are other signs, its just that this mum needs extra help.
Why not try and befriend her? smile

ChickandDuck Fri 23-Oct-09 12:32:11

motherlovebone thanks, I hope thats the case for this family smile

I'm not sure how easy that would be, her DC is in a different group to mine, and they always seem to be late, I pass them walking home after dropping my DC off. Lovely idea though...

teameric Fri 23-Oct-09 12:35:39

ChickenandDuck it's a tough one but sometimes you just have to stay out of these things, if people decided to report everything that wasn't deemed right in their view then we'd all probably get shopped to ss for something!
If there was strong evidence of abuse then obviously you would report it.

Twinsmommy Fri 23-Oct-09 12:44:05

I don't think SS need to be notified.

I mean, there are several reasons why children could turn up to nursery in dirty clothes or in just a t-shirt. Child could have just had breakfast and thown half of it down themself. Not unheard of. Child could have simply refused to wear their coat, or a jumper, or whatever you feel is appropriate. Again, not such a strange occurrence, and certainly not a crime.

If you are still concerned and feel you need to do something, couldn't you have a quiet word with the nursery manager?

junglist1 Fri 23-Oct-09 14:34:25

YANBU but your friend sounds really judgey. I hope she never falls on hard times, or gets depressed and maybe lets things slide.

LadyEvenstarsCauldren Fri 23-Oct-09 14:40:42

WOW OP if your friend saw DS2 should think he was neglected......he cannot stay clean for longer than 2 minutes.....and you know what tbh i have given up trying with him lol.....

Ewe Fri 23-Oct-09 14:46:27

My DD sometimes goes to nursery in just a t-shirt, even when it is cold as I am less than a five minute walk away and it's not always worth the battle of getting her coat on - I have a train to catch.

I don't think you should report her to SS, she might just be having a hard time at the moment or not be that fussed about clean clothes. It's hardly the end of the world.

As for looking tired/unhealthy, he might have a chronic health issues, allergies, any number of things causing that. You don't have enough information to make a true assessment of the situation, nursery probably do however and I am sure they would make contact with SS if they felt it appropriate.

claw3 Fri 23-Oct-09 14:46:57

Does the child have any special needs?

My friends son, has ADHD and often looks dirty and disheveled within 5 minutes of being dressed.

My own ds has a disorder, he is anemic and doesnt sleep much, and is always rubbing his mouth and eyes so he is deathly white, with red sore eyes and mouth. He also has sensory problems and wants to wear inappropriate clothing. I also look like ive been dragged through a hedge backwards some mornings because of lack of sleep.

Talk to nursery staff if you must, before reporting to anyone.

ChickandDuck Fri 23-Oct-09 14:48:35

See, (I'm going to confess to a white lie hear, done to try not to give anything away about me, but I doubt it will make a difference, he's unlikley to come on here anyway) HE said that if she was having a hard time, or wasn't coping then SS could help her, I'd be doing her a favour. He also said that if SS are aware of her and perhaps she had moved without telling them I'd be doing them a favour.

Twinsmommy I know that it's not unheard off but EVERY time I see them their clothes are litterally caked in dirt, like they haven't been washed for days, weeks even. And I've never seen him in a jacket, just a t-shirt, when it's absoultely freezing! I think it's their whole appearance that worries me, I don't think she's educated enough in general hygiene, and maybe SS could help. I don't know, it had never crossed my mind before this chat...now I can't stop thinking about it sad

Pogleswood Fri 23-Oct-09 14:48:41

The nursery see this child regularly,and have a better chance of seeing if anything else seems to suggest problems at home.
I agree dirt isn't necessarily a sign of neglect,and I've been waiting for school to query DS as he will not wear coat,or sweatshirt,and if I wrestle him in he wrestles himself straight out again.
In this case I would trust the nursery to have a fuller picture of him.

SolidGhoulBrass Fri 23-Oct-09 14:52:18

As others have said, being grubby and a bit pale are not necessarily indicators of problems. My DS is a right dirt magnet despite frequent washing, and I am a bit non-designer scruffy myself, especially first thing in the morning when I can;t be arsed to brush my hair just for the school run. Remember that SS aren#t necessarily an improvement on a home that's mucky but loving.

ChickandDuck Fri 23-Oct-09 14:53:43

Perhaps DC does claw, but it is every aspect of both their appearances. Both their teeth are really bad etc. I feel really horrible saying all this... and having 2 young children myself I understand thats it's hard to keep on top of everything. I think I'd feel really uncomfortable talking to nursery staff TBH.

LadyEvenstarsCauldren Fri 23-Oct-09 15:00:57

CaD,you say their clothes are always dirty and their teeth are really bad...you must have been pretty close to see their teeth!

This doesn't mean a lot tbh.

as for paleness ds1 is so pale he always looks ill...its just his skin tone.....the only way i know if he is ill is because he gets rosy cheeks when he is.

DS2 is an urchin! he has wild curls which will not tame!, i can bath him get him out the bath and by the time i have got his pjs ready for him..well he looks like he needs another bath. on the day he was baptised i left it until we were walking out the door to dress him, we went from the front door to the car and he had got his white shirt dirty in exactly 30 seconds!!!

ChickandDuck Fri 23-Oct-09 15:01:13

"Remember that SS aren#t necessarily an improvement on a home that's mucky but loving." What do you mean SolidGhoulBrass?

Say, for example, I phoned and voiced my concerns, my friend says they would put DC's details onto their computer system, which would then show all relitives, any past contact etc. then they would probably visit the nursery, and posssibly their home. If she is struggling they can help/put her in touch with other organisations.

So then I think, well theres no harm then. But then I think about how I'd feel if SS came knocking on my door because of someone reporting me, and it wouldn't be very nice, but at lease I could show that there was no need for them to be here, or if I was struggling I might be grateful for the help...

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