When to call child services on an extremely neglectful parent?

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
Member
233 posts
Helper bee

@TexasSpringBride:  You sound like an amazing,kind and caring person.

Could you contact the boys school to let them know about the situation and see if they can help? Im in the UK so things are very different here. Health care is free and there are health visitors who’s job it is to support families. I would report her to social services ( child services). At least then your conscience will be clear if anything happens.

Post # 4
Member
975 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta

Did you hear about the child who died recently who was in a situation like this? There is a petition to make it a law if you have a large role in a childs life, teacher, doctor, etc, that you need to report it or you will be breaking the law. Since you are leaving who knows what will happen to the kid. Call child services. 

Post # 5
Member
1233 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

What a tough situation. Bless your heart for doing so much already. Honestly, as hard as it would be, I would report it. She’s neglecting her children and acting selfish. Her children should come first. I’m sure once CPS shows up she’ll straighten up her act. It’s not like she doesn’t have the support to get her life going again, she’s just stuck. Somebody needs to give her a wakeup call.

Post # 6
Member
293 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I’d report it to child services. The kid has gotten sick from his mother’s neglect. And I’d also see if I could talk to the school about it. Not necessarily his teacher (because that’s a hard enough job without people thinking that teachers should be essentially raising neglected kids) but definitely the counselor and maybe the principal. They have more power and the same responsibilities as the teacher. Also, maybe you can let a local church or other charitable organization know? Just say the mom’s having trouble and tell them what you’ve been doing – they might be able to help some, too, and keep an eye on the kid and make future reports.

But, basically, you have a responsibility to report, IIRC. These kids’ mother is putting their lives in danger with her actions.

Post # 7
Member
2831 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

i would have called long ago.

please call. for the safety of those kids.

Post # 8
Member
845 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@TexasSpringBride:  Did you tell your physician about this child’s situation? Physicians are mandatory reporters as are teachers.

Regardless, this family clearly needs more help than you and other neighbors can provide. You should file a report. CPS is experienced in working with kids in tough situations and you shouldn’t hesitate because you worry how the kid will respond. He needs an advocate. 

Post # 9
Member
753 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

Call them now. It sounds as if you have done literally everything you can- at this point, it’s cut and dry. Tell them what all you’ve done for them. They don’t need the kids to corroborate your story, necessarily- no kids will willingly report their parents. They’re used to this. 

Post # 10
Member
1373 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Call child services. He won’t be the first kid who lies for his neglectful parents but a thorough investigation will reveal the truth. You and your friends who have tried to help her all have evidence, between everyone they cannot ignore the problem. I know that where I come from, child services only needs a notion of neglect or abuse and they WILL swoop in. It’s almost over kill, but I seriously doubt they will ignore a problem of this magnitude.

 

These kids need you to help them because their primary caregiver, their voice in the world, is NOT giving them what they need.

 

Post # 11
Member
1464 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Call – it doesn’t necessarily mean he will be taken off his mother, they do everything they can to keep families healthy, safe and together. Also, even if the boy doesn’t back you up, you and your son, as well as the other army wives and the doctor can make statements. There are also medical records showing malnourishment. As a pp said, it is normal for a child to lie or downplay things to defend their parents, CPS will be used to it.

 

Thank you for being such an awesome support and advocate for these kids, by the way.

Post # 12
Member
1583 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

When you took him to the doctor, they should have contacted CPS. You can definitely call CPS yourself too, and do it asap.

Post # 14
Member
603 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

This is a situation I had a lot as a NYC public schoolteacher.  Part of the problem is that there aren’t enough foster homes for teenagers, and the group homes have kids in them whose parents have relinquished custody to the governement since the children were too violent to control (some of the kids who get out of Rikers Island are sent to foster care, since the parents are worried they might hurt or corrupt younger children).  The violent kids force the group homes to have draconian rules, plus there are dangerous children in them so kids who are sent there because they are abuse victims at home are targets for further abuse.  So unless CPS sees that these children have good options for placement, they aren’t going to want to pull a kid from their home unless they think the child is in a  life threatening situation.  Things might be better in TX, I don’t know (and I hope so).  

You can certainly call CPS again, and your doctor may have, as he is a mandated reporter of child abuse.  Calling a school counselor might be useful, since some schools have special programs to provide hungry children with food for the weekends or during the summer.  CPS or a school counselor might also help guide the mother through the application process for food stamps or welfare, since it sounds like she might be eligible.  The mother might be too lazy to shop, but a 12 year old would be able to purchase groceries if there are stores within walking distance.  You can also contact the 6 year old’s father and offer to testify on his behalf in the custody dispute, and provide him with the contact information for your doctor, who can discuss the older child’s diagnosis of malnutrition.  Honestly, if the kids have already been pulled from the home by the state once, and the father is anything close to stable, she might lose the younger kid anyway.  

I realize that you are moving and can’t help the 12 year old anymore, but try to speak to the parents of his other friends to see if you can create a support system for the poor kid while waiting for the state to find a good home for him.  See if people can work out a schedule in which they consistantly feed him or drop off food for him so they can get him through high school.  Also, see if someone can drag the mother to the welfare office to apply for food stamps – she might just sell them, but there is a small chance she’d give the card to the 12 year old to buy groceries, which would greatly improve the lives of her kids.

Post # 15
Member
603 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Also, the mother might change her mind about signing a limited guardianship over to you if CPS tells her its either that or losing her son to foster care.  

 

Post # 16
Member
4218 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think if you call it would be best. They’re not out to punish the mother, they’re going to support her and help her through it as well. You’ve done so, so much for them. I think they may have more resources that may help long term. Talk to them about the boy staying with you as opposed to an emergency shelter or foster family if that’s something you’d like to do. We did that for a friend of mine growing up and it was a lot less hard on her for that time. Calling will take the burden off of you and the rest of the community somewhat. They will provide care going forward and likely help the mother with the child support issues etc. She likely needs some counseling and such as well and they should be able to help her with that too. Truly, you are an incredibly selfless person and community for what you’ve done so far. 

Sorry just saw your update

 

I think eventually this mother is going to be more compelled to give up some control of the situation as she is pushing back. Keep the door open. I think you did the right thing for those kids. 

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