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Help. My neice has called the police saying her father attacked her. (sorry, really long)

(13 Posts)
Easy Tue 26-Jul-05 14:10:34

My niece is 16, has quite a few behavioural issues, largely due to her early years development before my Sis and BIL adopted her aged 5. She sees a counsellor regularly to help her with her probs (lying, stealing money, defiant, unable to get on with my sis, etc. etc.)altho' we think the counselling is making things worse. She can seem very mature and eloquent, but does have some major pschological problems, including being very immature (her new best friend is only 13).

Anyway, she went away on a PGL camp last week, came back tired and bad-tempered. When my sis went into her bedroom, found a packet of cigarettes, and one of BILs Zippo lighters (BIL doesn't smoke, has a lighter for lighting bonfires, barbaque etc).

They have asked (told) her not to smoke before, but definately not in bedroom, as she is very irrisponsible, and sis can envisage the house going up in flames.

When my BIL started to tell her off for smoking (and stealing money to buy the fags, which she admitted) she flew at him, hitting and fighting, broke his glasses, etc. etc.

When he'd fought her off (literally) he went to pack, as he felt he couldn't cope with her any more, wanted to just walk out (rough on my sis, I think, but not my business I guess).
So niece rings the police (999!!) saying she wants to report herself for stealing money.

Anyway, Police turn out 4 hours later (1 constable), by which time my niece has changed her mind, and tells copper that bil attacked her, held her by the throat, so forth and so on.

Copper spends about 1 1/2 hours with the family, and seems to understand the situation. persuades niece that she doesn't want to press charges.

BUT, he's told my sis that if neice calls them again, they have to come, and she could press charges, even if it's all made-up.

Worst thing is that my BIL works for a charity, supervising young men with learning difficulties in the workplace. One sniff of an assault charge and he could lose his job.

They are now really worried that neice will call out the police anytime they try to impose any discipline.

My Mum has tried to explain the consequences could be serious for her (taken away, charged with wasting police time etc), but she doesn't seem to care at all.

What can they do? How can I help? Any one with a social worker backgound out there to advise please? (or anyone else for that matter).

Nbg Tue 26-Jul-05 14:18:38

No advice really Easy.

I can understand the situation though. My dh did somerespite work with a girl who sounds exactly like your sisters girl. She too was adopted and had alot of problems. Her parents were finding it hard to cope particularly hen she became violent physically and aggressively. This was when dh came in and did the respite. It was just a case of taking her out for a couple of days a week, keeping busy so that mum and dad could get some rest and the girl could focus her attention on something else.


I hope they manage to work through this tough time. It must be very hard for your sister to cope with.

Easy Tue 26-Jul-05 14:24:21

Thanks Nbg.

They do feel like no-one else has ever had this situation.

The school hols are a nightmare now. She can't be trusted to stay at home on her own, can't go with Bil to his work as she disrupts thee young lads in their workshop, is going somedays with sis to her work, but is very stroppy, and talks to sis likee sh*t in front of her colleagues.

Some days my mum has her, but then she just watched cr*p telly all day, and is much more difficult at the end of it.
If she goes to her friends then she will be unsupervised, and sis is afraid of shoplifting etc.

She has had the most caring upbringing, but that early start seems to be irrevocable.

Nbg Tue 26-Jul-05 14:27:27

This other girl came from an appauling background. So bad that I won't put it on here but it's quite obvious that this caused her problems later in life.

Is respite an option for your sister? It would take alot of the pressure of them and they'd be safe in the knowledge that she'd be doing fun things and in a safe enviroment.

Easy Tue 26-Jul-05 14:32:30

How do they access respite please? It would certainly help. They had to fight for a long time to get counselling (which doesn't seem to help, just increases her anger), and would like to get access to a psychologist, but the GP seems resistant, so may have to do that privately anyway.

Easy Tue 26-Jul-05 14:36:15

I suggested they got in touch with the social worker again (haaven't seen one for years). But sis is afraid that a social worker will tend to see things from the wrong angle, and may remove neice from the home (which would releive my BIL, I think).

I can say CATEGORICALLY that she has not been abused BTW, altho she does remember seeing her birthmother being physically abused in her early years.

Nbg Tue 26-Jul-05 15:16:08

Hi
Sorry for delay in replying.

Your sis needs to get in touch with their social worker and she will then call the relevant people to arrange care. Dh has done alot of respite work for the company we work for and I have been asked to do some before so the people they will send will have some good experience.

She shouldn't worry about them taking her away. There is no reason for them to do that. 16 is a difficult age I think, regardless of where you come from or your background.

Easy Tue 26-Jul-05 15:30:33

Sorry, spelling is pretty awful today for some reason.

Nbg Tue 26-Jul-05 15:41:40

Let me know how they get on.

Easy Tue 26-Jul-05 20:25:52

May I bump in case any teenager parents are on this evening.

Tortington Tue 26-Jul-05 21:18:45

not the same situation but i phoned social services to take my lad away and they said they wouldnt - so i think its rather a long deliberate process rather than a knee jerk reaction.

imho - she pushing her luck - teenagers do we know this however i would deal with it this way.

sit her down at agree rules - coming in drng the week and coming in at weekends - my son agreed 8pm during the week and 10pm at weekends - he suggested this much to my surprise as i was much prepared to haggle.

lay it out straight. you shoplift you will get prosecuted. you are not responsable for their behaviour outside the home when they are on their own.

shes 16 - ok so your sil and bil dont like her smoking but please - shes 16. ofcourse we would all prefer if everyone didn't but there you go shes legally old enough.

my lad smokes - instead of a great almighty row ( which we call a "thing") - so instead of having a "thing" about it - we agreed he can have a fag outside in the back garden - not upstairs.

finally instead of her stealing money for fags i would suggest she gets a job. shes old enough for a saturday job i suggest getting her mum to help her.

also i find i get a lot of " but xxxx is allowed to smoke weed" or "allowed to go out until 12.30"
to which i reply " well, you see their parents don't love you as much as i do. how do they feel really knowing their mum doesn't give a sh*it?"
he sees my point even if dissapointed.

think sil & Bil need to sit her down and have a long conversation about what it would be like in care. and why rules are in place. i lay it out like it is - youhave your won room, computer, ps2, etc etc - think they give you that in care all to yourself? thing is i cant wait til your grown up then you can come to visit becuase to like me - thing is, if we stop speaking now its not likley your going to like me when your 20 and that would be a shame becuase i love you so much.

hope things get better - tell your sil to get on mumsnet!

Easy Wed 27-Jul-05 09:36:44

Cheers custy.

I do want my sis to contact social services, explain what is going on, ask for support, as I feel it would be better if it came from tthem first, rather than because of police intervention. I don't think they wwould take her away either, but with it being an adoption my sis is unsure.

They have sat her down and talked rules until they're blue in the face. Sometimes they get a promise to abide by them, sometimes they get flat refusal to co-operate. But whatever her reaction at the time, the situation just deteriorates within days.

She went for an interview yesterday at a supermarket for a summer job. We'll see if that amounts to anything. Sis is terrified she'll be caught stealing. I think that if she is, it'll teach her a much needed lesson.

They have discussed saturday jobs before, but she is disinclined to take on anything 'menial'. She is the sort of girl who will carry out a task poorly if she doesn't want to do it, so any job is unlikely to last long .

A great deal of the problems are down to her poor upbringing in the first 5 years, we think she had malnutrition, which caused probs with mental development, also spent many hours locked away on her own, which has reduced her social abilities at that early stage. Sis thinks SOME of her behaviour suggests AS, altho' struggling to get a professional opinion on that.

They (and we) are just at our wits end.

Tortington Wed 27-Jul-05 09:44:22

actually easy - sounds to me like they are doing everything they can - they just need to contact social services now. i think our right in that if she gets caught stealing she will have to learn it has consequences.

best of luck - teenagers eh?

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