Child Neglect(36 Posts)
In a nutshell , I contacted SS about the welfare of two children who are at the same school as my child. After being friendly with their Mother, I noticed (over a 2 year period) various things which worried me .
She is always ill, she seems to thrive off illness and enjoy the attention / playing the victim . Also the children are always ill . They have missed lots of school and she rarely gets them there on time despite not having work or any other commitments. They only eat processed food such as lots of sausage , chocolate spread etc and do not wash on school days . There are lots more issues , both are very behind at school and have learning support . They watch television constantly , mother seems reluctant to support learning .
When one of them was 5.5 , they had diarreah, she put a nappy on the child and let them wee and poo in it like a baby which the child thought funny.
She puts them in clothes 3 sizes too small and the cheapest super market school shoes she can find. Doesn't buy coats and relies on the father to do all this despite her being a heavy smoker and drinker . Plus she already receives CSA.
There has been disturbing behaviour from one of the children , I can't go in to details . They are always lethargic and don't want to go out / do activities .
I was concerned about them for a while and asked advice on whether these were valid concerns to which I was told yes and asked for the details .
Now the mother has flipped and said she is getting a solicitor to find out who reported her . Do you think I did the right thing ?
It sounds like a bit of mixture of reasons.
Sausages and illness seem slight.
Some of the others less so.
But it's hard to convey the full picture sometimes.
She can't get a solicitor to find out who reported her so don't worry about it
If you were genuinely concerned for their welfare, then reporting is always the right thing to do.
The school should have picked up on some of these issues and may have passed them on too.
I'm talking never having a proper meal , at least one of them ill every week . Also unclean to the point of smelling/ greasy hair & black nails .
Thanks sweets I hoped as much .
Yes genuinely concerned and sick of fighting with myself over what was right as feel awful about it all .
Bit late now for second thoughts.
You just feel worried because she said she's getting a solicitor and you think you might be outed. You don't have to worry about that, cs will not give her your name.
If you still have the same concerns you should stand by what you've done I suppose. However, some of the things you mention don't equate to neglect in my opinion and if you were a genuine friend of this person you could have raised the issues with her, asked her if she was struggling, could you help etc. But, you probably did all that first, exhausted every possible option before you contacted them, right op?
Did raise the issues with her. She was not bothered and as I said I asked SS if it was neglect BEFORE I gave any details . They said it was and needed looking in to . This was not done maliciously this was done because the children don't have the life they deserve . Sounds like she has talked her way out of it from what I have heard on the grapevine.
You did the right thing. This is all you can do. If you have new concerns in the future, report again. The children are on the ss radar now if nothing else.
I agree it's worth mentioning. Everything in itself isn't major but combined could mean she is struggling even if not actual neglect and could do with some help.
I wouldn't mind if anyone ever reported us if they were worried, as would be glad someone was looking out for children's wellbeing if we were ill or something and were declining in doing so.
You did the right thing OP.
If SS are satisfied all is well for now, just keep an eye, but don't hesitate to report again if you're worried.
Id say you did the right thing as long as it was for the right reasons. If they do visit her, it may help spur her into action a bit so all the better for her DC's.
That was my hope , that it might sort her out a bit . I have done the whole taking her kids out , giving her clothes and cooking for them but to be honest she seems happy for other people to do as much as possible while she just looks after number 1. This is why I had to distance myself from her as I just don't feel comfortable with it all . There are lots of other issues I haven't mentioned but you all got the basic jist. Luckily the children do have a Father who does a lot more than most and that seems to maintain their hygiene / clothing etc although I can't understand why he wouldn't go for custody myself .
I think you did the right thing.
I've regretted not reporting things I've seen that I still regret 6+ years later (I know the person is okay, but wish I'd done more) so now I try to be more proactive.
She can't find out who reported her through a solicitor - it's just a threat.
Thank you . I think the children's father has lied for her which I find so bizarre so sounds like my massive decision won't be having any positive impact . It's upsetting as I know people who have had social services involved due to false allegations or a fight neighbours have heard yet I raised this out of genuine concern . I don't understand how on earth people get away with doing the bare minimum for their children and no one bats an eye .
You say you raised the issues with her and she didn't seem bothered and yet she hasn't asked you if you were the person who made the call. You must have been close at one point to know such exact details. That suggests to me that other people must've have said similar things to her. While I don't agree with you anonymously reporting her, (I think that you could've said to her that you were so worried for her children that you would be contacting ss if she didn't make changes; especially as you've gone on to distance yourself from her anyway) something clearly needed to be done. You say the father does a lot but didn't he notice all the things you wrote about? Do you think he had concerns of his own?
Even if they don't take it further hopefully she will make positive changes but it sounds like she is struggling and/or depressed so I hope she does get the support she needs.
Lastly, why did you post on here after the fact? Everyone has agreed you did the right thing but if they hadn't,would you have felt differently? Not being goady, there were children who needed help and you did something about it.
I would report again if things don't improve. Also consider speaking to the headteacher or safeguarding Governor at school if things don't get better for them.
You absolutely did the right thing.
NC1 your non goady questions / comments are pointless really ? I wouldn't personally feel right going up to someone saying I'm reporting you for neglect, it's not likely to end well is it ? Plus she would probably punch me as that is her nature.
I have been there with her when the father has gone mad at her about their clothes hygiene etc she just laughs it off she's not bothered . As the SS said if they didn't facilitate the option to report anonymously then many cases would never be discovered because of the fear of reporting .... common sense really .
I asked on here after because it was on my mind .....
Thanks LTB I seriously hope things improve but I am not really in close proximity now to spot anything it's down to the school I guess now .
I had a friend where I tried to help and also thought about reporting to ss...but I decided not to...it was dirty unwashed uniforms /kids...I thought if I've noticed then the teacher will off as well.and they will look in to it..I didn't think just dirty unwashed kids and messy greasy hair would warrant a ss visit...also the house was filthy stains on the sofas and carpets ,dog hair everywhere..even so I don't think they would of offered any help.
Obviously dog hair everywhere isn't a cause for concern..don't know why I put that actually
They are unclean often smelly but the main concerns were their health and how lethargic they are / diets etc . She does not take them anywhere ever not the park no where. Yet spends money on various electronic devices to occupy them . Apart from the electronics she doesn't spend anything else on them such as clothes, days out nothing it's just all really unbalanced and inconsistent and I found it worrying for a long time before I did anything about it . She has even dressed the DS in DD's old clothes and does all this so she can get hand outs off people and the Father buys clothes . The pleading poverty thing is a bit off key when she gets CSA , smokes 20 a day and goes out pretty much every week plus drinks regularly .....
You did the right thing, OP.
Neither you nor us can know if the children's lives warrant further SS involvement- assessing that is the job of SS themselves. The threshold for removing children is extremely high (too high sometimes), and they will work with the family where possible to keep the kids at home. If the children cannot remain at home, they will explore the wider family and place the children with a family member if at all viable. Taking the children into long-term care is only considered once these possibilities have been exhausted.
You posted on here asking "do you think I did the right thing?" Everybody has responded positively to you, yes those children were not being looked after as they should be and you decided to help them. My point was that if you are a close enough friend that you have been in this woman's house, know what she feeds them, what size clothes she dresses them in, what money she is in receipt of etc then surely you are a close enough friend to say "what are you doing?!" Or even "do you know that if children's services saw x,y and z they would consider you neglecting your kids?" That is all. I didn't mean to upset you it's just that I feel things like this should be out in the open.
If a friend of yours had concerns about the way you were raising your children would you not rather they told you before contacting children's services? I know I would.
Obviously anonymous reporting is a good thing, I can think of a 100 scenarios where it would be preferable and if you had mentioned in your op that she was prone to violence I wouldn't have said anything.
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