To call social services on a friend?

(98 Posts)
MiniTheMinx Thu 07-Mar-13 10:44:13

I have been holding off on this for some time, 9 years if I'm really honest. My friend has struggled for years. Three DC at home, recently dispatched her DH because of domestic violence and because he attacked one of the children. Social services involvement and courts.

She has been struggling to cope on her own, if anything the situation for the children has become worse. The children stink, there is no food in the house, they do not have coats, their shoes do not fit, there hair is matted. One child is refusing to go to school and has started smashing the house up. When we visited last week there was old food and rubbish all over the floor in the kitchen, no bin, piles of wet washing, no cloths, no clean dishes, cigarette buts all over the sitting room floor, glass smashed....

She has had her benefits stopped and has about 2,500 rent arrears and yet she is running around with an iphone on which she has run up a bill just short of £500 this month.

She is taking men back to the house, sometimes two in one day for hook ups, spending social services loan on travel to meet men.

The final straw yesterday, she rang in tears threatening to leave her children to move in with some man. She had no food for the Dcs and her money had not come through. I offered to feed the children and offered her the use of our phone/pc to try and sort of TCs. She turned up at 6pm, dressed up with an overnight bag. She left her son aged 11 roaming around the streets whilst she got on a train to meet a "date" in London.

I am very concerned about her and them and I don't want to go behind her back. So do I tell her what I am doing or just ring SS and then back away?

Any opinions?

CalamityKate Thu 07-Mar-13 14:36:16

God those poor poor kids.

You've done the right thing. I wouldn't tell her but by the sounds of it she isn't that bothered about her kids anyway. It's not like she's going to care much if the worst happens and they're taken away. It would be best for them.

littlewhitebag Thu 07-Mar-13 14:36:29

Given the information you have shared on here the SW will have no option but to act on it. Hopefully things will start to get better for the family now.

CocacolaMum Thu 07-Mar-13 14:39:15

When I was young my mums best friend called SS on her. From the POV of the child PLEASE do call them. This woman is clearly caught in a spiral of destructive behaviour and one day she will understand that you were just doing what she should have been - looking out for her dc's welfare. What kind of friend would you be if you didn't do that?

CheerfulYank Thu 07-Mar-13 14:40:01

You've done the right thing. I really hope things get better.

MiniTheMinx Thu 07-Mar-13 14:41:47

To be honest I think she cares about her kids as much as she is able or capable. She had a bad start herself and she lacks warmth when talking to people. She pushes the children away, no hugs, no warmth or kindness. You can see panic rise up in her face when they try to hug her.

I told SW that if they do not do something and things deteriorate further I will walk away too because I can't stand by and watch my friend destroy her own life let alone watch what is happening with the kids.

MiniTheMinx Thu 07-Mar-13 14:42:31

CocacolaMum

I hope everything worked out for you

Twattybollocks Thu 07-Mar-13 14:44:12

I did call ss for a friend several years ago now, the situation wasn't nearly as bad as the one you are describing, but my friend was struggling with work, money, and keeping the house clean/ feeding the kids. I asked them to remain anonymous, but some of the details I gave there were only a couple of other people who could have known them. Ss gave her a lot of help and she has turned the situation around and is now fine. She did ask me several months later if it was me who reported and I admitted that it was, and explained why I had done it. She was fine with it and acknowledged that she needed help at the time, and ss had provided that.

lougle Thu 07-Mar-13 14:49:39

Well done, OP. In this case, it was the only thing to do.

CocacolaMum Thu 07-Mar-13 14:52:09

Honestly? Shes still very unwell mentally and is Queen of all manipulators but we are adults now and what the call to SS did was to bring her behaviour to the attention of our wider family which meant that the support that we all (including her) received was instant and ongoing. It may appear that the rest of the family are uncaring but it may be that they are just completely unaware.

Of the 5 of us, 4 have children of our own and we are all brutally aware of the importance of support and looking out for signs of depression in each other (because lets face it, very few parents would neglect through pure selfishness alone) and we have all agreed and promised in the past that our ultimate responsibilities lay with our nieces and nephews. I know that if my sister for example was neglecting her dc's I would call SS..and she would do the same for me, but only after trying everything else to help.

Funnily enough my mum met the best friend who called SS on her for the first time in a good 20 years the other day quite by chance and they are going for coffee this week.

Owllady Thu 07-Mar-13 15:01:50

well done, you have done exactly the right thing

SinisterBuggyMonth Thu 07-Mar-13 15:46:12

Well done OP you have definately done the right thing flowers. Hope you are feeling ok.

MiniTheMinx Thu 07-Mar-13 16:17:36

Thank you Twattybollocks that gives me some hope that if she finds out who rang she just might understand. I don't want to lose her as a friend. She was good to me several years ago when I needed a shoulder.

CocacolaMum what great siblings you have smile your right, I don't think parents neglect through selfishness. My friend has become totally self absorbed but she isn't well.

racmun Thu 07-Mar-13 16:48:59

Definitely the right thing to do. By the sounds of it if somebody had stepped In when your friend was younger then she might not have ended up the way she is.

I'm sure in her heart of hearts she doesn't want to be in this predicament and doesn't want to be looking after her children in the way that she does.

If social services intervene with hindsight she should be grateful and if she's not the her children will be .

You've got to try and stop the rot before its too late

Good luck

Keepsmilingsunshine Thu 07-Mar-13 21:23:48

Well done OP, I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to make that call but you have 100% done the right thing. I hope it all works out for your friend and her family.

MyDarlingClementine Thu 07-Mar-13 21:24:30

well done Mini, heart goes out to those children. Lets hope SS don't f it up.

isithometime Fri 08-Mar-13 09:11:35

Mini, would you normally have made contact with your friend by now after her overnight away and leaving the boy? If so, and if you are up to it, it might be better if you try as much as possible to carry on as normal?

quesadilla Fri 08-Mar-13 10:14:32

Call SS. No question about it. In my view it is verging on irresponsible not to.

slambang Fri 08-Mar-13 10:16:33

Er, read the thread, wont you? She has.

Mintyy Fri 08-Mar-13 10:20:47

I think you should tell her you have spoken to social services. No matter how disordered her thinking is she can't really believe that leaving her children to go to London for a night is acceptable? Nor that they have no food and live in filth. Deep down she will know this is not on and might even be grateful for the intervention.

Babyroobs Fri 08-Mar-13 10:25:59

Sounds like she has mental helath issues and needs help. I wouldn't hesitate to call social services, those kids need help soon .

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 08-Mar-13 11:15:06

You have done the right thing. Well done OP, not easy.

StanleyLambchop Fri 08-Mar-13 12:15:23

Well done OP, you have done the right thing. Do you know if the eldest son has been safely located yet?

MiniTheMinx Fri 08-Mar-13 12:56:35

Hi, yep the eldest is found, still don't know if he went to school though. I will ask later. I now have to try and keep things "normal" I am not good with deception and wonder how long I can keep it up. I am going to see friend tomorrow as I have some bits to give her.

I just hope that she will now get help. SW said that help had been offered and declined before. It seems that friend falls apart begs for help then pushes help away and only tells them what she wants them to know in order to elicit only the response she desires, ie money, cash card, food parcel or help with rent/paperwork. Now they know more perhaps they will be in a position to decide what help is more appropriate not just desirable to friend.

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