Child protection issue?(4 Posts)
I regularly see a family on the bus and am concerned about the children but not sure if it's a child protection issue. There’s mum, dad, boy (about 2 or 3) and girl (about 4). The children look very dirty – I don’t mean like children who’ve been playing in the park and got a bit muddy, I mean extremely dirty clothes and sometimes dirty faces (although that could be the chocolate they’re eating!) The little girl has a coat which is coming apart at the seams and was probably once a pale pink but is going grey with dirt. One time I saw her and it was smeared all down the front with dirt, it was actually shocking how dirty it was, and I am not the sort of person who thinks children should be pristine all the time. The boy’s jumper is going threadbare at the seams and the sleeves look very grubby – the fabric is going a sort of grey colour with dirt and wear and tear.
Also the parents are constantly telling the children off – I mean during the 15 minute bus journey there is literally not one positive interaction. They are constantly telling them off in a really snarling, aggressive manner, for what does not even appear to be misbehaviour, e.g. the children just wanting to look out of the window / press the button on the bus / play with the seat that folds down – just the usual stuff children of this age would do on a bus particularly if no one was engaging with them. When the parents are not telling the children off they are ignoring them – e.g. both parents engrossed in their phones and only looking up to tell the children off or shout at them. It is very uncomfortable to watch but the children don’t seem particularly distressed by it, I get the impression they’re so used to the telling off they hardly register it.
I don’t know whether to interpret it as poverty and poor parenting, or actual neglect. If it’s the latter, what could I do? I don’t know anything about this family except which bus they get and the children’s and dad’s first names.
Do the parent look dirty and dishevelled too?
where are they going to, do you know?
it's just that if it's a nursery then the concerns you have will probably be shared by the staff and they will have (hopefully) done what they have to, in regards to safeguarding
I'd say the parents look poor but not dirty. I don't know where they are going. The most recent time I saw them it was just the mum and she told the girl that she would tell the father about her misbehaviour which suggested to me they were on their way home but I could be wrong. They usually get on in the town centre at about 9.30am with a few bags of shopping. I don't see them every day so it could be they're in town for a weekly appointment (job centre and doctor's are both nearby). I don't know where they get off the bus but it is heading out of town, towards (quite deprived) residential areas. I have emailed NSPCC to ask advice too.
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