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Child Protection Issue...

(40 Posts)
CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 13-Jun-14 22:15:19

Apologies if this is in the wrong section but does anyone have experience of this very sad situation? I can't provide too many specifics for fear of identification. Teenage girl (under 16) reported missing after school to the police by parents, but quickly located safe and sound at the nearby home of a relative. Very upset, she tells the police officer that she has been subjected to violent behaviour by her parents . The police officer takes her seriously but escorts the girl back home.

What happens next? Will Social Services be automatically involved?

EssexMummy123 Fri 13-Jun-14 22:27:37

I wouldn't count on it - i think she needs to tell a teacher or possibly a social worker directly.

Is it true? are you relative and if so, if you believe her then why are you allowing the police to take her home?

TheDudess Fri 13-Jun-14 22:34:32

Never assume someone else will do it. If you have concerns then I would advise that you raise them directly yourself. You can do it anonymously.

Flisspaps Fri 13-Jun-14 22:36:22

I'd be on the phone to social services.

MaryPoppinsBag Fri 13-Jun-14 22:37:17

Phone Social Services out of hours.
I reported someone this way, and they went straight to see the family as they were already known to them.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 13-Jun-14 22:38:07

It is true and it's happened before but the police were not involved. I'm not the relative but a friend of the relative. I am very surprised that the police officer took the girl back home and my friend is distraught and doesn't know what to do. I suggested they contact the school but that's really why I was asking the question. Does there have to be a separate call put into Social Services or would they automatically be notified now that the police have been involved?

Dontlaugh Fri 13-Jun-14 22:41:09

My sis is a police officer and always reports this type of episode to SS.
However I'm not sure how it's prioritised so if I were you I would consider asking friend/relative to also phone. Plus would consider checking on child in question and offering sleep over etc.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 13-Jun-14 22:44:48

I'll definitely tell my friend to contact SS separately, thanks all. They desperately wanted the child to stay over but were told by the police that wasn't possible.

unrealhousewife Fri 13-Jun-14 22:45:28

The police should have contacted social services as abuse was disclosed, however the police can decide whether the child is in danger and it may be that the girl has played it down. The police like to have evidence and if there wasn't any it's going to be very hard to pin down what's happened.

You should definitely get your friend to call SS.

Dontlaugh Fri 13-Jun-14 22:57:41

It's a tough one really. Was "abuse disclosed" as mentioned above? "Subject to violent behaviour" is a catch all, can mean witnessing a violent row or being assaulted and everything in between. What the child said to police would be key, they made a judgement call I'm guessing, based on their assessment of level of risk to child.
A terrible and upsetting situation to be in, Cog, hope it resolves.
I'm grasping on fact that parents reported child missing as a good thing but accept motives may not be pure for doing that. Accept you cannot tell more.
Very best of luck.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 13-Jun-14 23:22:49

Abuse was definitely disclosed. I can't really give more details but she was consistent in what she told me, the police and the relative. There was definitely no need to involve the police as a message had already been sent saying where the girl was. However, I'm glad the police are involved as the poor kid needs an intervention.

Dontlaugh Fri 13-Jun-14 23:27:41

Very complex situation, clearly. At least now it's on record.
What tangled webs we weave.

wafflyversatile Fri 13-Jun-14 23:31:49

I agree that your friend can and should contact SS separately rather than trust that it will be passed on by other agencies. The worst that will happen is the SS have two reports instead of one.

I hope she gets the help she needs soon. Is your friend happy/willing to have her live there?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 13-Jun-14 23:35:46

My friend would like nothing more and so would the girl. That's why I suspect the missing person drama was malicious.

CaptChaos Fri 13-Jun-14 23:37:12

If the abuse was also disclosed to you, you could also refer her to SS.

The more reports, the more likely it is they will follow up properly.

I hope the child is safe tonight.

By listening and not judging, you and your friend have done a good deed today. Too many children disclose and it is minimised and nothing gets done. You will have validated her, and that goes a long way toward her healing in future.

Too many of us have been that girl.

wafflyversatile Fri 13-Jun-14 23:39:01


You say she confided in you? I think you should also contact SS.

Tell them you are a much respected mumsnetter. That must count for something!

Dontlaugh Fri 13-Jun-14 23:40:17

Parents very clued in so, and not in a good way.
Get SS involved asap. Make call separately.
Hope it works out.
Child living in temp foster care with your friends would be aim of getting SS involved.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 13-Jun-14 23:41:10

That's a good point about me reporting it. I don't have the girl's current address but I know which school she attends. Would that be enough, do you think?

wafflyversatile Fri 13-Jun-14 23:44:05

I would think so.

Also, if you or your friend get the chance to speak to her again try to persuade her to confide in a teacher at school.

It all adds up.

Dontlaugh Fri 13-Jun-14 23:45:23

That is enough, yes. Where I work I have a statutory obligation to report disclosure, and it's then investigated. Based just on what you've said here, the bar has been met in terms of reporting.

cozietoesie Fri 13-Jun-14 23:52:25

I'd report it/ make sure it was reported to Social Service. Immediately. If the girl told a cogent story of abuse and was then returned directly to her house, it would seem to me that there's something quite wrong with the local procedures. I wouldn't assume any sort of inter-agency cooperation at all.

wafflyversatile Fri 13-Jun-14 23:59:45

It does seem odd that she was believed but still returned. Maybe she didn't feel she could confide so much in the police. Or maybe different officers would have taken a different approach. Their knowledge of what is the correct procedure is not necessarily correct. (Not that I know what correct police procedure would be, or if it is a judgement call on individual officers)

Not sure if you can phone SS tonight but I wonder if you can either phone the local police station or 101 and ask what would normally happen under such circumstances. I wonder if there is a special unit like the domestic violence unit?

cozietoesie Sat 14-Jun-14 00:09:19

Sadly, local perceptions of a situation are easily influenced by eg a well spoken and educated individual/someone well versed in the law/with standing in the community/with previous contact with the police and so on and so on. ('She's such a little drama queen, Bill - you know what they're like at that age, eh?')

So - she wasn't believed. Or not entirely would be my guess.

Dontlaugh Sat 14-Jun-14 00:35:11

There's a few possibilities;
She wasn't believed (inexperienced officers, plausible parents, no history on file).
Possible and very likely.

Child underplayed the situation, again very likely when the reality of dealing with uniforms are presented. If you were not there, you cannot be sure of the account that was given. That's not trivializing the incident btw, or diminishing the child's account but rather it's taking into account the fact there's no previous, so not used to dealing with the law, and age of the reporter. She's still a child and has been through a trauma. She doesn't wish to appear responsible for drawing more ire on her house and may have tailored her statement to reflect this, I don't know.

sofluffyamgonnadie Sat 14-Jun-14 01:15:04

It's late and I'm just off to bed, so hope this makes sense. But just my tired thoughts on options available to you

The Police will/should have a child protection team, Police Officers who deal with this on a daily basis, are more experienced in dealing with disclosures, CP issues etc. They will share any info with Social Services, so it might be worth you ringing them and sharing your concerns about the situation. (not sure of their "working hours" ie if they work weekends ) They also have the power to remove a child to a place of safety, if she's not safe at home.

Social Services should also have an out of hours team that you could contact - local Police should have a telephone number for them too.....Not sure if you can get in touch with them by ringing the local area office.

If you are really concerned for her safety you could also ring NSPCC who might be able to point you in the right direction as to how to contact local team. They will also refer on to local SS ie fax any information/concerns they receive. Child line might be another option for advice and information.

If you think she's safe this weekend and you and your friend ring Social Services and make a referral on Monday, knowing the child's name, ie first name, surname, rough age, and school should be able to pinpoint which child, and get the rest of the information Child Protection Team need, plus any concerns/information school may or may not have.

Hope it works out ok Op

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