Very worried about a friend and her children(48 Posts)
I will have to be a bit vague so as not to be outed but I'm very worried about a friend and her children and I'm not sure what to do.
I have posted about the conditions that they live in before but yesterday when I called in I was told by her husband that she was in hospital with a suspected stroke and can't be contacted as her phone is out of battery.
Just before she tells me she has a long list of health problems now identified and has persuaded the doctor to release her (she's done this a few times before)
My concern is that her dp (he has his own issues) is still going away to work tomorrow as he always does. He works away Monday at Thursday
She says she's very weak on one side and can't drive and yet he is leaving her alone in the house with 4 kids one of whom is a baby. They have no local family and last time I saw her she looked dreadful. I think her dp is so irresponsible. She needs some looking after and not leaving alone. I can't take time off tomorrow to help and she's not sure how she's going to get the kids to school.
She needs to behave like a grown up.
What SHE should have done is stay in hospital to make sure she's OK and then DP would have had to stay home and look after the children.
You are right to be concerned but she doesn't seem to be thinking of what's best for her or the kids.
Is her DP abusive? Sounds like he might be and she felt pressured to get back home?
Call SS. What if she has a stroke over the next few days with young kids in the house?? She clearly needs an adult to make the right decisions. Poor kids.
Yes I agree re coming out. He used me coming round yesterday to go out for an hour and left me with the 4 kids.
I have a contact in SS who said report anonymously but she will no doubt guess its me as I have said to her I think he's being irresponsible leaving tomorrow.
He has issues with social functioning and just doesn't see things as others do.
He's financially abusive yes and a massive hoarder also so the house is a death trap as well. Not good combined with illness from a safety point of view.
I've been trying to help with the kids the last few years but it's getting worse.
Sounds awful. Very tricky situation and of course calling SS might mean her falling out with you...which will be a shame as she clearly needs a friend. BUT on the other hand, it might give her a shock and SS can help her get her act together?
SS definitely can get her on the right track and sounds like a "tough love, Greater good" situation. Short term she will be angry with you, but her life and her kids lives will be so much better without this abuser calling the shots.
Surely the hospital would have checked she was ok and alerted ss if not?
Thanks affro this is what I'm thinking really
I feel like I have some responsibility as I know what's happening and how would I feel if (god forbid) something really bad happened?
In the normal run of things there it's kind of benign neglect imo.
They need help. My partner has been over there and too and was shocked at the house and the way the kids look (dirty and scruffy) although both parents are v bright and qualified. It's like they can't see it.
I wondered about that RJ
She's definitely not ok though. She was in hospital a while ago and discharged herself
I wonder if she tells them the truth or is she saying she has support at home which is not true.
Well that should be what happens but who knows?
I was very surprised that SS were not alerted by the health visitor when the baby was born also. I guess pressure of work maybe?
Whatever it was I think something has happened to be done
A while ago the baby was walking around with a big pair of scissors!! I grabbed them obvs but I shudder to think of it
Why don't you offer to help her out for a couple of days. Running errands etc. You might gather a better picture of what is going on, and can schedule help at times to dodge her OH. At a minimum, call her a couple of times per day and tell her she has to pick up or an ambulance is coming.
If you know where your friend is registered with a GP, you could call them and explain the situation. I suggest doing this to a GP secretary or practice manager, and not the receptionist who may try to fob you off. While they won't be able to discuss your friend with you due to medical confidentiality, they do have a duty of care to the family with regards to safeguarding where there are known-concerns. They have procedures set up for working with social services and the police in cases of abuse and neglect. This means they can report to social services, or ring the family to offer support (health visitor/ district nurse). As a minimum, her children need to know how to dial 999 and ask for help...mine do at the tender age of 5 & 9...we can all have accidents.
While calling social services might instinctively seem like the right thing to do, it maybe very stressful for the lady if she finds a social worker barging in her house when she is unwell and doing her best to muddle through a bad situation. The risk to the children and general environmental concerns may be highly valid, but correcting the problem might come better from a medical professional. If she finds out that you called social services, she may never talk to you again and then you will forever worry.
I'm self employed with lots of clients and I'm a teacher of too so v difficult to take time off in term time
The GP thing is a good idea
I've been keeping in touch tonight texting etc.
I will try and find out which GP shes with
From what I understand SS in reality are too rushed off their feet, have too large caseloads, not enough staff and wouldn't be any use unless there was an imminent threat of danger to the dc.
But even knowing this I would definitely report because if anything bad happened I would not forgive myself if I hadn't alerted anyone.
Put the dc's interests at heart, find out which school or nursery they go to and ring them on Monday, find out who the HV is and contact them or the surgery. There is a lot you can do op, ring the NSPCC, MIND.
Could you drop in after work and may be take home some laundry for them/give them a bath/hot meal?
Do your best op they need it x
Mrs SS might possibly be able to fund home carers coming in for a period of time.
I'm not sure the policy's on children as my clients are mostly older but it's possibly worth asking.
Oh don't worry I will do something
I've just been a bit shocked this evening by what's going on.
She's also told me her car has broken down and is in the garage so now she has no transport to top it all off. And he's going to away in his car. I'm so angry about it all.
The kids deserve better they are fab
I will juggle my clients about to get over there tomorrow. I will have to feign illness
I'm angry that the kids father thinks it's ok to bugger off.
If he has MH issues then he is probably overwhelmed/can't cope.
Often people with mh ignore rather than confront issues. They both sound as if their mh has got the better
Well done op, you sound fantastic and good luck!! Those dc will grow up one day and they won't forget how you've helped them and even if the parents are too ill to appreciate you, they certainly won't.
There are definitely mh issues and a lot of denial that there is an issue in the first place.
New to this but am a QSW- working with adults.
If she's struggling to manage day to day tasks including looking after children... rather than an anonymous referral to children's ss could you discuss with her a referral to adults services. Sounds like she would be entitled to an assessment under the Care Act 2014. They would raise any concerns to childrensee services if they felt necessary. She might be able to access temporary care services for herself which would help her manage her parenting responsibilities also. You might be able to do all this with her consent as a supportive friend.
Not sure if this helps. Sorry if not
Just to add if you're really concerned about children personally I would refer to children's also... but appreciate you're finding this difficult
That's helpful thanks Sylv
I will have a think once I've been over there today
Hmm...sounds like her dp might have something like aspergers? You say he doesn't see things as others do, has problems socially and is financially controlling & a hoarder...sounds like he himself has something else going on?
Op if you're her friend help her build a support network. Talk to her about her DP not pulling his weight around the home & really push the idea of a regular cleaner if the state of their home is of concern. I doubt getting the SS involved will help her or in turn the kids. She's obviously unwell & too weak to handle what she already has on her plate, the stress of SS isn't going to help. What she needs is support to help do the best for her kids (albeit without her partners help unfortunately). Maybe she has a far away relative that could visit for a few weeks to help her out? Or Adult services as another poster suggested?
I think yes to the Asperger's or similar.
I've had a chat with her today and she says he has absolutely no empathy for her and doesn't see that leaving her is ok in the least (sorry if that's offensive to other people with this I'm not an expert) She also admits he's abusing her financially by hiding money in his company so she has no idea what he earns and he takes the minimum out.
I don't know if its the right thing but I did say I was worried about her and the children. I think she's kind of trapped now as she's given up work in a competitive field which may be tricky to pick up and needs to travel and work long hours which is hard with 4 kids.
A cleaner started and left after a week as it's so cluttered she didn't know where to start.
I'm thinking adult services now. I went and did some errands for her today and will do more over the next few days.
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OP please tell your friend about a website called Different Together. It was set up by a MNer to support people with AS partners
What are you talking about princess? I've not reported her to anyone
I've been round trying to help her.
And learn to use sentences.
Thanks cheap I will tell her.
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