To have confronted this poor excuse for a mother?

(553 Posts)
TeddyPickleStick Wed 24-Jul-13 13:58:12

So I'm sat at work, window open. I hear a commotion outside so get up and look out the window. There is a heavily pregnant woman with two small children - a boy of around 3 and a girl of maybe 4.

She is screaming at the boy .. ' you fucking piece of shit, what the fuck are you doing? ' and ' Come on you little prick ' etc etc.

I shout down ' Don't do that! Don't say that! ' in complete shock. ' Who the fuck are you? Fuck off ' she shouts back.

I then deliberated on what to do. I felt really angry so ran down the stairs onto the street but she had gone into the bank. And then I ground to a halt and couldn't work out what to do.

So did nothing more. I mean, what CAN you do? Only a bit of swearing after all eh? I have no idea what I would have done if I'd managed to confront her anyway.

I detest this, really hate it. If you swear at your children like this, in the street, then you are a shit parent.

Aren't you?

givemeaboost Thu 01-Aug-13 21:41:10

Opinions are a wonderful thing, especially coming from people who have no actual experience of the care system themselves!!! grin hmm

ps adoption isn't as different thing, sadly there is a 20% failure rate.

I obviously don't agree with your sw friends opinion and cant change that but until children are actually listened to and the above opinion is given a hell of a lot more thought there will always be a string of fatal abuse.

ps. as a hint (that i actually picked up on here) when dealing with ss- reporting someone/something, email children's services-so there's a paper trail and request a read receipt, also try and use phrases such as accountability/culpable- I had no response after my reports(s), I then emailed the chief exec in that area requesting to know who would be accountable if anything happen to the dcs and within hours I had a phone call from a sw!!

Pitmountainpony Thu 01-Aug-13 04:37:33

Oh I agree...it is horrid and shit and shocking and I would have probably have reacted in a similar way to you. But I think such parents clearly need support to try and help them be better parents as the alternative may not be preferable. Very upsetting to see whenever we see it as you did.

notanyanymore Thu 01-Aug-13 03:29:06

Children's services are way underclass IMO. I had to phone the police when a 3 yr old yet again turned up in my garden (this had been going on for weeks, she'd arrive poorly clothed and stay for hours without anyone looking for her, I had a vague idea of which house she came from but no idea who the parents were) I'd agonised over reporting as the whole situation crept up on me, I had called ss the week before, they were no help what so ever. But on this day, she turned up naked from the waist down, I snapped and immediately called police and hv. Hv were amazing. Police officer turned up, I'd dressed the child by then, he asked for her shoes and I told him she didn't have any as she had arrived half naked and I'd put the pants and trousers on her. He then walked to the gate and told her 'come on then'. I'd already explained to her that I'd had to call police to come and check her mummy was ok, the poor child was clinging to me crying "I don't want to go" I felt awful like I'd betrayed her trust. Whilst I was consoling/encouraging her the policeman said to me 'well you can't come anyway, shut the gate' scooped her up and took her off whilst she cried. He hadn't even gone to check the situation at her house first.
He came back not long after to say 'don't worry they're moving this weekend anyway'!! Like I was only bothered because there was a 'feral' child in my garden! Luckily I happen to know the DI in charge of the relevant dept and spoke to him direct. He assigned it to a DS who sent the PC straight back out to take a statement from me, during which he said 'oh she wasn't fully dressed, you see nobody told me that'. I bloody told him!
The thing that gets me is that if I didn't just so happen to be able to contact the DI direct, the whole thing would have been glossed over and another child would have fallen through the supposed safety net.

everlong Thu 01-Aug-13 03:01:45

But surely screaming and swearing at your dc like is shit whether some of the time you might be lovely to them?

Pitmountainpony Thu 01-Aug-13 01:23:02

Givemeaboost.
I am not a social worker who has worked for a decade with children at risk. I am not a psychiatrist who deals with Adults who were raised in care. Both said the same thing. Believe me I was shocked but when someone who has more experience of something says something, even if it different from my pre conception, I listen.
Adoption is a different thing as you have a permanent home where people have chosen you and presumably develop a loving relationship.
Sadly children over 5 have a low chance of being adopted..as pointed out here.
My husband today would have been taken into care due to neglect....he is so grateful that did not happen. His parents loved him so he was lucky. They just did not care for him in the way we think is necessary and he has turned out very well....not sure if he had gone into care....who knows how that would have impacted him. Just an example and he did not suffer abuse which is a dreadful thing, but maybe there is worse than abuse by your family.....being abandoned in a care system with little chance of having a loving one to one relationship again.....

givemeaboost Wed 31-Jul-13 23:41:16

And reinforces the fact I could never do SW, id be constantly disagreeing/auguring with colleagues like your friend!

givemeaboost Wed 31-Jul-13 23:08:01

pitmountainpony I disagree with your friend and repost what I said upthread

sadly there will be a string of victorias, and peters for the foreseeable future until SS take a hard look at their practice of "child best at home if possible" as someone else said unthread, rspca take dogs away when they've been neglected/starved/mistreated, why the fuck do we then not give our precious children the same opportunity!??.............its all down to money.........average £1000 to keep a child for a week in a childrens home, less for a child in foster care......they don't want children in care, because it costs to much.

No way on earth is it down to the fact kids are in fact better off at home, its about money and the fact SS can only afford for a small % to be in care at any given point.

If you have concrete studies that show kids are in fact better off at home despite serious abuse, Id love to see them!!!!

what a load of guff

givemeaboost Wed 31-Jul-13 23:00:18

A lot of it boils down to no/inadequate communication between agencies, if they don't communicate problems/risks then the problems/risks aren't known. a minor thing may be reported to other agencies if they know a child is at risk, whereas if they don't, its more probable something goes unnoticed.

GameSetAndMatch Wed 31-Jul-13 20:19:30

Daniel Pelka.

how the hell did the school/ss anyone else not see this?

if OP had been there shed have said something.

GoshAnneGorilla Wed 31-Jul-13 19:52:48

MrsKeith - why such an arrogant attitude? Are children services all that they could be? You and I both know that the answer is no.

I work in a location where the children's services have repeatedly been rated inadequate. Surface alterations to systems and processes are made, yet nothing improves. Why? More to the point, why is that acceptable?

I'm not just getting at SS, many of the services for children fail them
and we need to ask ourselves how and why this is happening.

handcream Wed 31-Jul-13 18:18:46

I have heard the sad fact that after 5 it becomes difficult for a child to find a long term home. More reason then to have a drains up on why those children are left so long in the care of people who clearly dont know what they are doing.....

MrsKeithRichards Wed 31-Jul-13 17:50:41

Not as many as your think. There's a small window where a child is at their most adoptable. Again it is one of these things that's horrible to think about but the harsh truth is that once a child is over 5 the prospects of finding a long term placement diminishes rapidly.

ageofgrandillusion Wed 31-Jul-13 14:40:50

But foster is only temporary. How many go on for full adoption? And what are the outcomes for those that do? The handful of adopted people i have met in my lifetime have been fairly well rounded people.
Maybe the whole system needs changing so it is easier, and the criteria lowered, to remove children - permanently - from these scumball families.
Oh and mrsrichards - great last post wink

Davsmum Wed 31-Jul-13 13:06:47

Sorry - I haven't read all the thread - I just saw this.

I can't think of ANY excuse for treating a child like that.
The woman may have been stressed to her limits - and that language and way of communicating may be 'normal' in her family. Its ignorant and damaging.

Perhaps if enough people intervened or commented every time the silly woman does this, she may eventually get the message its not acceptable.
At least you confronted her in some way,.. I can't think of anything else you could have done in those circumstances.

MrsKeithRichards Wed 31-Jul-13 13:01:11

Difference is I know know what I'm talking about.

Goldenbear Wed 31-Jul-13 11:39:58

Yes exactly and this is why cries of 'go and retrain as a Social Worker if you think you can do a better job' are not the answer. If you want to have an impact you need to be influential in making policy and applying it to change a whole generation of thinking. Fundamental changes at a political and societal level are the only solutions.

It's not that foster carers are doing anything damaging (the vast majority of the time) it's more that the trauma of separation from family, the stigma of growing up 'in care', the insecurity of living with paid carers rather than family, placement moves and breakdowns, poor matching, lack of identity, low self esteem at being 'rejected' etc etc all compound the damage that is done by early abuse in the family.
We do our best to mitigate against all of this but it is unavoidable in many cases. It's a lesser of two evils choice. And when the child is clearly and unequivocally being harmed then it's an easier choice. But emotional harm, potential future damage, it's grey. That's why courts often refuse to grant care orders for emotional harm, because it's hard to prove, often speculative as to future damage and also sometimes the lesser evil than going into foster care.

GoshAnneGorilla Wed 31-Jul-13 11:29:43

People keep on repeating "the child is better off with their parents line".

This is because our care system is atrociously underfunded, not fit for purpose and has all too frequently been a haven for abusive adults to access children.

This is why outcomes from care leavers are so appalling, not just because any parent is better then none.

We as a nation are currently failing our children and we need to be honest as to exactly how that us happening.

handcream Wed 31-Jul-13 11:24:46

Maybe we need to think about changing the foster system then. I cannot believe that a child being abused mentally or physically will be better off staying where they are.

What are foster carers doing to them that would be worse than this.

Goldenbear Wed 31-Jul-13 11:18:55

Care homes in the UK are not the answer but that's more because they are the lesser of two evils in the current system. I think it is a bit simplistic to conclude that children are nearly always better off with their family on the basis of 'love' being ever present. It is a good start if other support systems are in place but it is not the case in the UK. The damage done to children left in these predicaments is surely just as profound if their needs are not met because of some tenuous notion of 'love' being present. My Father was adopted and found his biological mother and some siblings. One of the siblings told him that my Father that he had had 'a lucky escape' this was because their father was abusive. My Father has had a very enriched life, was afforded lots of opportunities that he most likely would've been denied if he had lived with his biological Mother, who no doubt did 'love' him but it would not have been enough, as it was not enough for the other siblings.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 31-Jul-13 10:19:42

Hello there

Please remember the Talk Guidelines, particularly those about personal attacks. Robust disagreement with other posters' opinions is fine; attacks on other posters are not.

Trigglesx Wed 31-Jul-13 09:13:16

To be fair, the OP herself asked "What CAN you do?" in the first post. So discussing the option of trying to understand the woman as well as discussing social services is a fair progression for the thread. The fact is that social services was brought up long before MrsK posted on the thread, so it's hardly right to blame her for "hi-jacking" the thread.

This type of thread has the possibility of being helpful, so that people understand what limits are on social services and the possible dangers of confronting abusive parents - both to the person who confronts them and the child afterwards when the parent may then take their anger at being confronted out on the child. It also gives people a chance to think about the fact that one small snapshot in a day does not equal the entire story, as well as pointing out that putting a child into care is not always the best solution. I think it's pretty common knowledge that there are laws on the books regarding child abuse, and that they are acted on and people do get arrested and jailed for these offences. However, less people are aware of the supportive work that social services do in the community and with individual families when the situation warrants it.

I'd like to think that some people that perhaps were not familiar with these things got more information from this. Obviously there will always be some posters that do not take in all the information or are unwilling to accept it, and that's just life. But it doesn't help anyone to have the thread derailed by personal attacks or upbraiding other posters.

missmarplestmarymead Wed 31-Jul-13 08:57:27

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

ageofgrandillusion Wed 31-Jul-13 08:55:10

I'm sorry, I forgot how frustrating discussing something with someone who has effectively stuck their fingers in their ears and is going la la la I'm not listening, can be.

The thing is mrsrichards, you come over exactly the same way.

PolterGoose Wed 31-Jul-13 08:28:14

Well said Pitmountainpony I really don't believe most people understand the extreme damage done to children in the 'care' system.

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