Is my DSD being neglected?(35 Posts)
New to mumsnet so bear with me!
My partner has a 9 year old daughter - he has no formal arrangements to see her so gets her as and when he can (we live an hour away and he works shifts), he sends money to his ex everymonth.
Im so fed up of what I can see happening and how it isnt right and that NO ONE says or does anything about it.
These are the main problems I can see;
Her mum has married a turkish man, so DSD misses ALOT of school to go over there (even though she doesnt like going and likes school). Ive worked out shes missed around 7 weeks of the school year.
DSD is always scruffy when she turns up at ours - dirty, scruffy and tatty clothes. Not once has she turned up with clean clothes, change or underwear, pjs or toothbursh (obviously we (I) provide all of the above but still! I recently even took her shopping and spent £75 of my own money on clothes for the summer all of which have now dissapeared to her house never to be seen again.
She turned up this week on Sunday afternoon filthy long nails, greasy hair, dirty socks. her (dirty) school uniform shoved in a carrier bag with bits of food in the bottom - no socks, underwear or shoes or raincoat - just a dress and cardigan. and no school bag. when i asked DSD where her shoes are she said she wears trainers now cause her shoes are too small !!! I know for a fact school wont allow that!
Shes 9 but is now getting too overweight for age 14 clothes - her diet is appauling and gets whatever she asks for.
No set bed time - we frequently get facetime calls from DSD at 10.30pm onwards on school nights!
whats frustrating is that my partner will NOT say anything. says hes tried in the past and nothing changes and if he argues his ex will stop him seeing her. He wont agree that his ex is a scruff and just blames her family, although his family agree with me.
Im at the end of my tether with it - its just appauling to me and Im struggling to keep a lid on it now which is bound to cause rows between me and my partner!
I think the school issues will be dealt with by the school. If she really has missed all that time the school will be hot on it already..
They also won’t fail to notice a lack of school equipment or dirty clothes.
Unfortunately some people’s standards are lower than others where things like that are concerned. Also the weight issue should be picked up on at school nurse appointments.
If her mum is possibly struggling to buy what she needs such as new shoes maybe your partner could buy her some? Seems unfair if she goes without.
It sounds not an ideal situation but if your partner is not getting involved I don’t think it’s your place to either really.
he did take her on Sunday afternoon for new school shoes and new school dresses as a result.
I know its not my place - but when she's at ours shes in my care, I provide alot for her and also its hard to watch when you care for the child!
Also shes hardly struggling for money - she manages to afford 4 months off average a year so it cant be that tight that she cant afford new school shoes
It does sound like both her parents are being neglectful.
Why hasn't your partner got court ordered contact if he gets stopped from seeing her? Why haven't you called social services if you truly think she is being neglected?
He could start by calling school and discussing his concerns.
If you're truly worried about her being 'neglected' then your partner needs to step up and get professionals (social services, solicitors, teachers..) involved.
Although, if she's turning up to school looking so poorly kept (dirty, unhygienic..) and tired then I wonder why the teacher hasn't picked it up already.
Also, if she has missed 7 weeks of school then mum will start receiving fines and intervention at some point soon.
Honestly, your partner really needs to step up. You physically can't do anything (apart from calling social services.)
Sounds like time to see a solicitor about full time care of dsd.
There is so little you can do about this situation. The only thing you can ask yourself is what kind of man your partner is for not fighting for his child. Is this someone you want to be with?
Lunar1 i think youve hit the nail on the head. I think i do wonder this but dont want to admit it!
He doesnt get stopped - he thinks it will happen if he starts arguing with her mum
You need to talk seriously with your partner. If he won't do anything and if you genuinely feel the child is at risk you should contact social services yourself as you do have a duty of care as an adult with contact with a potentially neglected child. There might be fallout but if it was happening to my stepkids then I would feel I had no chocie.
Her father needs to step up and fight for his child. I would have no respect for someone that didn't, he can go to court and get formal acess arrangments.
I think what I am questioning is, if I am over reacting and being to sensitive, or am I right and shes not being looked after properly?
Shes a very nice pleasant and well behaved child, no sign of upset or anything
Poor girl. Had the school picked up on this and her mother just hasn't made you aware of it do you think? If she has had 7 weeks off school I would be surprised If nothing has been done.
I dont think she would tell us if the school had kicked off - my partner is never told about parents evening etc (although if i was him i would make a point of finding out exactly whats what)
he is a very laid back natured person but I dont know... i think alarm bells are ringing now (
also DSD says that school let her have all the time off as its a "special circumstance" (she even does the " with her hands when she says it haha).
However my friend is a social worker and shes shocked that her mum is getting away with all this and said that it would never have been tolerated in any of the schools shes worked at!
Alarm bells - he's entitled to everything from the school as co parents. He needs to go in and ask in writing for copies of all letters. He needs to step up.
Regarding overreacting, only you know.how bad the situation is and I personally go with my gut.
He needs to be in contact with her school and find out what their experience of your DSDs care is.
I think I would struggle to continue a relationship where he’s content to let that happen.
If he was serious about doing anything I’d suggest keep a record with dates and times of everything you’ve said to use as evidence for a court hearing
He needs to get in touch with the school, request a meeting with the teacher and discuss concerns about time off and ask to be involved in any concerns about how shes doing.
Put £50 a month into buying her clothes and shoes, George and primark are cheap there's no reason for her not to have decent clothes and shoes, it doesn't matter if they stay at mums at least she has them, just keep some at yours.
Get him to speak to the mum about whether shed like to increase the amount of time DSD is at your house, it sounds like she's not coping very well.
Teach your DSD how to wash her own hair, and when shes next with you go to a shop and let her pick a shower gel, shampoo and conditioner she likes the smell of that she can take home.
Ask school to be notified before any more time off is approved.
Start doing active things when she's with you if you're not already, walk places rather than the car, go swimming, talk about healthy eating. Also get DP to speak to her mum about diet and how being overweight will effect her health and self esteem as she gets older.
Talk to her about it being important to brush her teeth twice a day, ask if shes been to the dentist recently and if not ask the mum if shes got an appointment booked soon or whether shed like you to take her when DP next has his appointment.
I'd mention to school about the bedtimes and ask if she seems tired so it gives them the knowledge to bring it up with mum, they may have noticed shes tired but not said anything as they're not aware how late shes going to bed.
She does bath and wash her own hair but like any child it takes a good old nag.
I’ve got her some kids shampoo and conditioner and detangle spray which she lashes on cause she likes the smell!
I’m also constantly stocking her room up with vests socks underwear and pyjamas. I don’t mind but I just think to myself what kind of person doesn’t even think to send a bag of things so you know for your own peace of mind that your child will be in clean warm clothes all weekend!
Depending on her hair type, detangling spray might not be helping with the grease. I use water in a bottle for my DD as the spray seems to make it greasy within a day, and also using adult shampoo and conditioner seems to work better on hers, using my conditioner her hairs not too tangly after even though its naturally very tangly and curly.
I wonder whether a chat to childline might help?
Scruffy is one thing, missing a lot of school and not having shoes or clean clothes is neglectful. Mind you, my DSDs would never come with toothbrushes, underwear, changes of clothes or even inhaler for asthma! EW lived near but never once helped them pack. I think EW enjoyed us having to go back for clothes as she saw DH
I’d second all those practical suggestions. Lots of primark clothes, lots of attention and help over appearance. I did this with my DSDs.
kind of person doesn’t even think to send a bag of things
Erm...your partner is also her parent and perfectly able to ensure she has what she needs whilst in his care. Plenty of children have clothes in both houses which prevents the ‘packing a bag’ making a child feel like a guest in one home and promotes the idea of two parents, two homes.
All I'm thinking is, thank goodness she has you OP. BOTH of her parents have a lot to answer for.
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