Should I call Child Services or not?

Anita - posted on 06/28/2010 ( 120 moms have responded )

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I know of a couple who have 3 children. Their 2 oldest who are around 2 and 4 years of age walk around naked most of the day. It is currently in the middle of winter here and it's freezing. I rug my children up in about 3 jumpers before they go outside. So to see these children walking around naked is heartbraking. I ask their Mum if they are cold and she just says no. Their house is also tiled with no carpet so you can imagine how freezing it is. I don't know if there is any other abuse going on so I don't know if I have a right to call child services or not.

There was an incident a while ago however when the 2 year old was found walking near the main road. Apparently the mother thought they children were over my house! The police were notified and came around but that was it.

The children also swear as if it's a second language. They think it's normal!

The children are well fed, they are actually quite fat for their age, so they aren't being starved.

The parents just have no idea really, it might be because they are young parents?

I don't want to cause any trouble. and the thing is if child services were called they would know it was us because we are their only neighbours and they don't see anyone else.

Not sure what to do.

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It is really disturbing to see how many people are so willing to accuse this woman of neglect and abuse. You have to remember, you only see a partial view. The neighbor downstairs from me wrote me a letter with a phone number to get "help" because she insisted that I was neglecting my kids. Her complaint was that my house was always messy, that my kids were always hungry (what kid isn't), and that I don't supervise them enough or take them out enough. She only had a partial view of my life. Yes, my house was messy, but it wasn't a health issue. 3 kids are going to make a mess. Even when your home is spotless 1 day, the next it can be trashed. Food... they are always hungry, until dinner time. If a kid goes to someone else’s house and you ask them if they are hungry, they always say yes (or usually). And unsupervised... Just because she didn't see me didn't mean I didn’t see them. My kids were restricted to the back yard where I could see them from our Balcony.

I chose not to explain things to her because of her attitude towards me, and the fact that I knew she already had made up her mind... but this is what I did say to her.

My doctors say that my kids are average to above average in their development, and that they are really healthy.

My family (in-laws) come over and visit often, know how I am with the kids and they aren’t concerned.

And my close friends who we see bi-weekly see no need for concern.

If their Doctor sees no problem, if our Family sees no problem, if our Friends see no problem, and if our kids are Happy, Healthy, and well behaved, then she really shouldn't worry either.

There is no rulebook. There is no way to raise your kids perfectly. Every child is different, as is every parent. Everything is trial and error. Yeah there are some great programs out there that work great, but they need to be personalized to fit that family as well.

All of us neglect our child at one time, whether it’s we step out of the kitchen to get the phone while your 3 year old grabs the handle of a hot skillet on the stove and spills grease all down her side, or set down your 2 year old because she is getting heavy and you need to take your wallet out of your purse to buy a magazine, and you turn around and he's gone.

If your neighbors 2yr old was playing near a busy street all the time, I could understand the worry if it's neglect. Children slip away so quick that once in a while is one thing, every day is another.

As to yelling, how do the kids act? Are they afraid of their mom? Do they look depressed? Is this an everyday occurrence? And what is she saying when she yells. In a day and age where it is illegal to spank children, it's very hard to find a way to discipline a child in a way that works for them. Some parents get so frustrated when time outs don't work, or taking away their favorite toy, that you just can’t help but yell when you've had enough.

You also need to remember 1 more thing. You are in a much different stage then she is. Your kids are only 1 and 2. Things start changing as they get older and the more you have. Yes, it sounds like she isn’t perfect, and like she isn’t doing all she could / should, but that doesn’t mean she is abusing them. And I agree with Jamie. Talking with her mom is probably the best thing you can do. She would be able to coach her daughter better, especially if she could see what you have seen, and help out where needed. 3 kids are a handful, and her doing it as a single mom…. Even more so.

Magaly-Genevieve - posted on 07/03/2010

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Why are we arguing about it, the fact is as parents and mostly mother, seeing a child 2 and 4 years old outside with no supervision next to the road, should open our eyes on the neglect. Futhermore seeing them naked outside and with bruises......!!!!!! Why are we arguing about calling or not calling, How good of a mother are you if you let your kids outside, naked with no one....... There is no if and buts about it. YOU NEED TO CALL. We are mothers, and our job is to protect and care for the little people that we put on this earth. The world is bad enough if we don't watch over the needy where is the world coming to. We are MOTHER. Lets watch out for each other if it is the only thing we accomplish in this stupid little world. Let man do their wars and fight, lets us at least watch over our offsprings and the offsprings of other mother when they are unable or don't want to do it. Those kids right now only have you to protect them, so make the call. I don't know if she is a bad mother I just know that she is not doing what she is suppose to do.

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Amanda Believe it or not, it happens to a lot of people. I knew a girl when I was younger who grew up with bald spots on her head becuase while she was 3 or so, she was playing around her mom on the floor. She tripped and spilled bacon grease all over her (that was the first and biggest reason that I kick my daughter out of the kitchen if I'm not there or I'm cooking). Another lady turned her back for a moment and next thing you know she is rushing her daughter to the emergancy room because of the 3rd degree burns the girl had. As far as I know, no Social Services followed up on this mom to see if she was neglecting her daughter.
My point was it happens. I have heard many parents share stories of things like this. Things they did, heard, or that happened to them as kids. All you can try to do is learn from your mistakes and those of other moms you know too. I even heard of a girl who drank draino and burned/scarred her throat. You under estimate just how fast something can go wrong. A little boy playing with his toy truck under the kitchen table, nice and quiet. You slip out quickly to grab your planner to double check that thing that keeps coming to mind of "did I forget somethign", and 10 seconds later you walk into the kitchen to find the kid took the milk out of the refridgerator and there is now a gallon of milk flooding the floor.

Is it neglect? The mom made a judgement call. she saw him playing nicely, dashed into the other room just for a couple of seconds, and there he is, playing motor boats instead of cars. Thats a little thing, but the same scenario.

Somethings are just bad choices, or even bad judgements, but not neglect (yet). If you can't see from the mother's eyes, you cant understand where she is, her motives, her efforts, or how she is copeing, what she is trying to do, has done, or plans to do now...

Anita- thats why I think if you are really concerned and cant talk to her yourself, it is probably better if you go talk to her mom. Her mom will be concerned for her daughter, and her grandbabies. She will do what she thinks is best for the family.

People here can't give you good advice on what to do. None of us can see the whole picture, and our view is even more limited then yours.

Those of you who are thinking, "if in doubt, call"... DCS should not be your first choice. It is a system meant to protect children, yet if a child isn't really being abused and the kids go through this system, it can have a very bad effect on them. Make them bitter, angry, violent, repress emotions.... Even though the system tries to tell the children "you didn't do anything wrong," the kid still sees that "because I didn't listen, mom is in trouble". Even when all you're doing is talking to councelors. You can talk to them like a friend, but you don't want to say anything that could get mom or dad in trouble. (yes, I'm speaking from my own experiance here) It just shouldn't be your first choice. If a child needs protecting, dad is beating them, mom locks them in the closet to party, dad is touching them, etc, Then of course it is much better that the child be removed from the situation.

Charlena - posted on 06/30/2010

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my daughter use to love being naked cold or not , but then again people call cps on people for any little thing nowadays , and i cant believe these comments " call them now , take them out the home ! " ? like wow what if this woman was talking about you and your kids ? i didnt know there was one golden way to raise children ! also my daughter starting saying a few cuss words i just had to watch what i said around her and what tv shows i watched around her since she is like a sponge . and just because parents are young doesnt mean they are bad parents ! parenting doesnt come with a handbook .

Lea - posted on 07/02/2010

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I would ask the kids. Just casually ask them about themselves and their life. Usually kids like talking about themselves. If what they tells you seems like they aren't being cared for, I would call. I understand your fear but I was abused and neglected and no one called because no one wanted to get involved. Thats a horrible way to live.

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Amanda - posted on 07/06/2010

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honestly I don't know what to say, go with your gut I guess, it sounds terrible and like they could be being abused but It my not be them being young (me and my husband are young, 19 and 20 when we had our son, we are now having our second child and as you said, its a mothers dutie to make sure her child is dressed for the weather, eats right and exercises and watched to make sure their child is not in any danger, besides the love and affection that a child needs) but I do believe like you had said, its sounds like they just don't get it and it sounds like they are not going to get it either and maybe its just nothing or maybe it will get worse, not really sure what to tell you there but I hope those kids will be ok.

Anita - posted on 07/06/2010

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Kirsty, sorry to hear you have had a rough time. Yes, I agree kids have accidents all the time, just the other day my 2 year old shoved foam bits up his nostrils so far up that we had to go to the doctors to get them out. BUT there is a big difference between accidents and pure neglect. I don't appreciate you saying that I haven't helped her and am bitching about her. This is the FIRST time I have ever stepped into a situation like this, usually I keep to myself but it's a bit hard when we are the only neighbours on an Island. and YES I have tried to help herr, but I also have my handsful with my own 12 month old and 22 month old (they were only 4 months old and 14 months old when we moved here...so I am sort of flat out myself lol ).
Look every situation is different and yours is different again. I don't want everyone to compare it to theirs because some situations are entirely different. I know people are going to get heated over this because they have had it happen to them and it's understandable that thye are on the defensive. BUt I really don't appreicate you saying that I am bitching about her. I talk to her everyday and am really nice to her, I give her clothes, food etc. I got on this forum to ask for help in making a decision. I thank you very much to everyone for your opinions, but I think this is getting to heated and I really don't appreciate it, I have enough stress on my plate to deal with. My 2yo still wakes up every hour (better than every 20 minutes like he use to) but things are hectic for me. Anyways thank you again for sharing your story. sorry again that you have had a rough time. Parenting is very difficult (at any age!), my nanna had 14, God knows how she did it lol. I had my two 10 months apart and 2 years on it is only just getting easier.
You are right in saying to help her but I do.
Anyways I don't want everyone to think that I am some self rightous do gooder who does no wrong lol. Because I have my bad days too. I just see a big difference between small accidents and pure neglect. Your little one obviously had accidents but not a result from you sitting on the compuer or on the phone all day ignoring her (which is what my neighbour does). Anyways like I said I am NOT making the call to child services, I was just hoping there was another avenue where someone (other than ME) could talk to her. Thanks again everyone.

Sharon - posted on 07/06/2010

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Anita I understand about the termoil you are in. You have had a lot of opinions thrown at you. I will keep your family and your neighbors kids in pray. I know that you don't need any more opinions. Thank you for recieveing all the opinions of the previous people. Thank you for being the angel for those kids even though it has been hard. GOD wants you to follow you heart. If your kids were the ones in those kids shoes would you help them then regardless of the out come? Have you addressed the dad with your concerns? I know that it is hard when you are the one in the middle. Give your concerns to GOD and seek his plan for why you are already involved. And what he wants you to do. I just want to Thank you again for being the angel next door. You don't know how lucky those kids are that you care for them this much to look for advice. But in your heart you have already made the choice. Thank you again, Your friend in Christ.

Kirsty - posted on 07/06/2010

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i was 16 when i had my first i made mistakes i had social workers and it made it a million times worse for me cos i felt like everyone was out to get me. my daughter pulled a scolding hot cup of water off the side which i didnt put there, i went to get some washing from my bedroom and my friend that put it there was sterilising a dummy she went passed thought it was a drink the mug was hot she dropped it and scolded her arm, the day before that she fell up the stairs and hurt her arm i paniced took her to hospital they bandaged her arm. because i was young they assumed neglect and assumed it was broken they assumed wrong nothing was wrong with her arm when i took her in the next day with burns i was crying my eyes out convinced they were guna take my baby away they didnt. the week before that i took her to a walk in clinic before i thought she had swallowed a antihistamine she found the packet under my bed a friend helped me tidy up i didnt put them there she didnt have children at that point and didnt think. the other day my just turned 4 year old had climbed up and opened a window we didnt know til she told us the next day when we realised it was open we thought she was asleep. my 10 month old has fallen off the bed a couple of times through misjudgment my oldest has loads of bruises cos shes accident prone like me 2 days ago i stabbed myself in the knee while trying to cut carpet tiles the day before that i walked into a stairgate iv got a massive bruise on my thigh my youngest is pulling herself up on furniture and walking around no bruises yet but theyll be here soon shes very chunky it looks like her legs are stuck on because shes burned off the fat on her belly and i dont over feed her shes just a big baby. my oldest tells people i starve her to try and get biscuits and crisps because i dont allow her to have the amount she wants. when i put her to bed earlier she was pretending her bed was a trampoline and head butted the wall shes walked into door frames and got black eyes from it. things happen i will admit i did neglect to check the kitchen for anything dangerous but it was a small flat and the kitchen was in the hallway with a bedroom and a bathroom on one side and the living room and another bedroom on the otherside not safe place to live so i left i found somewhere else to live. i was in town a couple of years ago and i turned by back for a spilt second to pick up a drink and my daughter vanished luckily enough i found her feel free to call child services on me the exact answer you will get is we know she has told us and accidents happen maybe this mother does have postnatal depression which means she needs help immediatly yes she probably is crying out for help so help her if her house is messy help her tidy it and give her ideas on how to keep it tidy as for the bruises have you ever thought about sibling rivalry i still fight with my big brother now and the last time i bit him was a couple of years ago kids fight kids get bruised kids like being naked they dont care about the cold this poor girl is clearly having a rough time and instead of you helping to guide her ur sat on here bitching about her and slagging her off fair enough being concerned but u didnt tell us all info in the first message u told us an extra bit each time sum one said dont phone them how do we know your not exaggerating it all as she taken the kids to hospital when they have seriously hurt themselves if she didnt could she have got there does she have any transport. kids are hard work are there parks very close that are fenced off. if the children were being beaten dont u think she would be doing a bit more to hide the bruises does she have a boyfriend is the kids father around maybe she puts on a brave face when her mum comes round sit her down and talk to her about what youve seen tell her your concerned maybe she needs someone to offload to about something thats bugging her instead of critisising her whyy dont you make use of ur parenting skills and show her how its done.

Anita - posted on 07/05/2010

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ok, Kirsty, LIndie & Amy... I don't think you have read all of my posts as there is a LOT more going on than just being naked. Plus being naked when it's only 1 degree celcius outside is abuse to me. Sure all kids get naked (mine love to) but not when it's freezing. Sarah, do you let your kids out in the middle of winter (as it's winter here in Australia) naked?
Kirsty... please ready my last post as I corrected myself with regards to the young parent thing... sorry I should have said 'niave' because young has nothing to do with it.
Amy... ok if you were witnessing all of the things I have mentioned in my posts (please read all of them.... ) would you just ignore it?
I am in Australia too so I am not sure how the system works over here, but the last thing I would want is for the children to be taken off them, that's just horrible, all I want is for someone to talk to the mother to teach her better parenting skills but she won't listen to me and her mother is no good to talk to (she had her daugher when she was only 16 and teaches her daugher how to scam everyone and how to steal things etc...great role model huh!). I still havne't made the call and probably won't know as the majority of you are against it.
Maybe I am overreacting but I just thought that having a chest of drawers fall on your 2 year old, your 4 year old falling out of the window, your 2 year old 2 streest away walking along a main road, your children naked in the freezing cold, your children sitting in kitty litter, your 6 month old falling off the bed becuase your 2 and 4 year old were looking after him (alone) etc etc is not normal? I dont know what do you think?

Lisa - posted on 07/05/2010

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Thats along time to see all this happen thats sound the parents need help. you really need to speak to someone they need Help and for the kids It is hard to be Parent at any age. But with the Right Support/People It can be done I am not perfect My kids are not angels but it does start at home and the parents are the role model For them so that may be All the parents know So They really need Help and support. Hope you Can Find the answer. Its Blessing to be a Parent























Lisa

Dorothy - posted on 07/05/2010

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Oh wow. that certainly is a dilemma and I certainly can understand your concern and the fact that you don't want to cause in trouble. I really don't know what to tell you to do. Perhaps you can go over to the house and talk to the young parents and voice your concerns to them. Maybe they will listen to you. Or maybe you can have someone else go with you and both of you can talk to the young couple.

Jenn - posted on 07/05/2010

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I disagree with child service unless they are physical or mentally abused however if they are walking to your house NAKED when its cold out something needs to be done !

Amy - posted on 07/05/2010

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Ok so have you thought about the ages of her children? What a handful...6 mo 4 and 2 she could be changing the baby and the two year old pulled out the drawer while the 4 year old climbed out the window...it is probally totally mad at that house most of the time because of the age of the children and maybe just maybe mom at some point says fine run around naked, I need a little break.

Amy - posted on 07/05/2010

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I truly with no ill will think that you should mind your own business. Not because your heart is not in the right place but without proof of neglect or abuse your aligations hold up to a bunch of nothing. If you think your neighbors will not figure out who called on them you are mistaken as well. Just leave it alone, so she does not parent like you, and her kids run around naked, oh well. Unless she is beating them or not feeding them cps is not going to do anything and even if that stuff was going on chances are that they still would not do much cept visit again and check things out. You gotta ask yourself would you want someone to take your kids away from you over a little naked run through the yard? If the answer is yes then I think you are the one with the real problems.

Lindie - posted on 07/05/2010

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unfortunatley it is not illegal to be a bad parent, it doesn't sound like actual harm is being done and neglect is possibly a streach. they don't sound like great parents or neighbours and I can understand that their standards seem completley unacceptable to you (and me) . If you are genuinely concerned for the childrens welfare, call social services. If you are shocked by someone else's lower standards, well, then that is a problem you have to sort out with yourself

Sarah - posted on 07/05/2010

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That is crazy to accuse people of being bad parents. I am sure we all make mistakes. Children running around in diapers is totally normal.

Kirsty - posted on 07/05/2010

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im a 20 years old parent with a 4 year old and a 10 month old they both love being naked as soon as my 4 year old gets the chance her clothes are off we go round friends houses and my 4 year olds clothes are off we dont go out the house unless they have clothes on kids just love being naked it doesnt matter how old the parents are if i was in your situation i would phone them and ask for someone to out to them to support them but let her know first just say that you can see shes having a bit of trouble and u hope she doesnt mind but you phoned up someone who can help can peole please stop accusing young parents of being shit were not its not fair on us permanently having a bad name my children are fit and healthy its not all young parents

Sam - posted on 07/05/2010

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just call and see if you can talk to a social worker by yourself, ask what you should look for and what are signs you need to call. if you still feel you need to then just call them , it would be better to stop some neglect, then let it go on. but beware, the system of child welfare can be scary and just plain bad, do what you can to see that the parents are given a chance to be scared into cleaning up their act. everyone deserves that chance

Christiane - posted on 07/05/2010

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This sounds like a very sticky situation. I would stay put for now. Should protected services is a little bit drastic for this situation unless their is physical abuse involved.

I feel bad for the children involved. All I can say is pray for wisdom.

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Before calling child services I would speak to the mom first. If she is young maybe she needs guidance, offer to have sleep overs at your house where you can make sure the kids have clothes on and you can see for yourself if they take them off right away,.

Louise - posted on 07/05/2010

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I woul dlike to say to Bella- is being clothed, fed, well etc the most important thing really? yes fed obviously but a child doesnt need material things, sure a bit of dirt never hurt any child, now i dont know them personally so i cant comment on them in a personal way, all i know is what i have read and what i have read is apaulling, as i said before the mum probs isnt hurting them on purpose, but letting the child fal out the window and a chest of draws fall on the child COME ON! where was she this raises a question where was she why isnt she caring whats happening to these children? So whats happening with her, is she depressed, sick of her life, or is she just in need of some parenting skills? From what ive read she really needs something!! Someone should help her, for the sake of those kids.

Jennifer - posted on 07/05/2010

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Being an adult is very difficult when you come across a situation like this. But think of it like this, "it takes a village to raise a child" I believe that this is very true. As an adult you have a responablity to any child that you come across, (neighbor, family member, church child, whoever) to make sure that they are being taken care of, if you are witnessing something that you feel isnt in the best interest of the child, then by all means dont hessitate to call. In my eyes, I would much rather have CPS take a look and see whats going on, BEFORE something does happen. Because if something did happen, and you saw something that could save these children, it would dewell on you forever. I'd much rather have my neighbor not like me for calling than continuing to witness such horrible parenting. Good luck in your decision! ♥

Anita - posted on 07/05/2010

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Bella, we aren't friends we are neighbours so no we have't had a 'falling out'. They are our only neighbours and we live on an Island so you can understand my concern about getting involved. They would (*&probably will now..) make our life a misery after I call. I have been contemplating this for about 9 months now. I am not sure if you have read my other posts (I know most people just read the first one) but there have been so many incidents that I just wrote about one or two. Can I ask you if you children would walk around naked in freezing cold weather outside? Becuase that is what happens. The latest incident is the 4yo fell out of his window and ripped his lip open. The one before that was a huge chest of drawers fell on top of the 2 year old, the one before that was the 6 month old fell off the bed (while the mother was over here standing in our front yard yabbering on while her 4yo and 2yo were looking after him). Then theres the case of the 2 yo wandering the main road a few months ago. All of these incidents have happened in the past 7 months AND I understand about all kids getting naked, my 1yo and 2yo would love to walk around naked BUT not when it's freezing cold, it is my duty as a mother to clothe them and make sure they are healthy.

THe 4yo was just over here playing with my 2 yo today and he was calling him a 'bastard' and then saying f&%$ and all these other swear words as if it's a first language for him (that's how his parents talk). Then he was kicking my son and pulling him around the yard, I just told him that we don't swear here and to go home. I have just about had it. I am not a fussy mother as I grew up in the bush myself but I can tell that these children are being neglected. The mother sits on the computer all day or is on the phone and her children just do what they want. (I see all of it out of my kitchen window). They were sitting in the kitty litter the other day, then the day before that they were climbing in an dout of a maggot infested garbage bin. Not sure if this is normal for you but it's not normal for me.

Of course they are well fed (they are fat), not too sure about healthy though. And I am not sure why you told me to move WHEN the issue is the children being neglected????? I am not fighting with them if that's what you mean??

AND I don't let them over to my house, they just come over UNINVITED.....



Sami, I noticed that you were offended by me saying that these parents are young (I think you made 2 posts about it).................sorry, I didn't mean to offend anyone because I personally know of a lot of very responsible young parents..... I should have said that they are niave because being young has nothing to do with it. The mother thinks she knows everything (I usually can't get a word in when speaking to her, no joke) and she won't listen to advice.



Thanks everyone again for your replies. Much appreciated :)

ERICA - posted on 07/04/2010

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I WOULD JUST STAY OUT OF IT BUT AT THE SAME TIME I WOULD WANT TO CALL SOMEONE FOR HELP BECAUSE IF IT WAS ME THAT SAW THEM I WOULD CALL CHILD SERVICES BECAUSE IF SOMETHING BAD WAS TO HAPPEN I WOULD FEEL LIKE ITS MY FAULT!!SORRY AM NOT MUCH HELP BUT GO WITH YOUR HEART!

Kristen - posted on 07/04/2010

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I believe it is the best thing for the children to notify child services as their health and wellbeing is being compromised, I am a young parent and my child does not swear or go without clothes, the parents sound like they need a tickle up and that may be the best way to do it.

Bella - posted on 07/04/2010

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i think that is terrible that anyone would want to get involved.. sounds to me like you where friends and had a falling out or something..
Are the children being physically or mentally abused, because for crist sake i use to run around naked all the time when i was little no matter how much mum put clothes on me.
if they are fed well and clean and healthy that's the important thing..
but you dont go ringing services cause there not clothed.. gosh.
maybe you should just move or just not let them over to your house would prob be a good start..

Misty-Dawn - posted on 07/04/2010

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louise is right. it's time for you to step aside and let the law and the courts deal with this. you've done your job, let the proper authorities handle this now. if not those poor children are going to see nothing but a pine box soon. and god please forgive me for the idea but it's the truth

Louise - posted on 07/04/2010

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the child fell out of the window and nearly ripped his lip off i mean my god does that not just scream something is wrong wrong wrong, if the mum cant manage she needs help, she may or may not be meaning to hurt those children but clearly she is, you dont have to hit and punch your kids to abuse them. i would always say the kids are betteroff with their mum than in care where life can be worse, but that cant be left to go on ignored, im glad to hear your going to call, you could be doing those kids a big favor and hopefully she will get help a social worker or something.

Misty-Dawn - posted on 07/04/2010

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Normally i don't post stuff on pages like this but this is way to much. Anita. It seems obvious to me that you have done your part as the friendly neighbour and now it's time for you to step aside. As a previous law student what you are describing in detail is neglect. Unintentional or not it is neglect. You have reached out a helping hand in the advice department and have been slapped away. If you are truely concerned with the children's well being and safety call it in. i have been stuck in many situations like yourself and am also a mother of 2 young children 3 and 23 months. But I could never dream of allowing my younger daughter who also loves to strip to nothing run around with her limbs being ice cold. there is such as thing as putting your foot down for your own childs health whether they like it or not. it's part of parenthood. abuse happens in many forms and none of them are acceptable whether it's physical or emotional it's still abuse and should be stopped. no child deserves to live like that and if i could i would probably call it in but it wouldn't be accepted because it would be seen as hearsay and that's not an admissible form of evidence.

Monique - posted on 07/04/2010

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maybe she doesnt have winter clothes for them before calling maybe try talking to her about the way they are dressed or the way they are not dressed

Misty - posted on 07/04/2010

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I am a mandatory reporter and what I suggest is calling the DHS hotline and just tell them what you have observed. this will not go on record yet. They will tell you if you need to report it or not. So no worries there. But I don't think it's abuse. I think it's bad parenting. Even though the children may be uncomfortable, I would think until you feel they are in danger of hypothermia they won't be pulled.

Nicole - posted on 07/04/2010

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I say call them.. If i saw a child walking near the main road to me thats neglect.. They chose to have the children so they should take responsibility and if they cant do that then i say let someone else do a better job..

Morgan - posted on 07/04/2010

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first of all being a young parent doesnt mean we dont know how to raise children so that is very rude, and second you need to call child services

Shelby - posted on 07/04/2010

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why didn't you mention the bite marks and bruises at the beginning?!? that's more concerning that naked kids... i wonder if maybe you're embellishing or over-reacting.

Annery - posted on 07/04/2010

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call child services and ask if to them it is considered sum sort of child abuse or neglect. Ur neighbors might not like it, it might cause sum trouble but in da long run ur looking for the children's best interest and care. Those children can't fend 4 themselves and they think the way they are living is normal when to us it is not..who knows u might stop the future hoodlems of the neighborhood. I would call and ask sum questions b4 u report them and see if u reporting them will actually help them out.

Sarah - posted on 07/04/2010

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I know how hard it is to call when you know they will know it was you. I struggled for months over reporting my sister-in-law, but am so glad I finally did! She was overstressed and frustrated with her situation, and took it out on her daughter without even realizing how neglectful and abusive she was being. She still won't even look at me, won't talk to me unless absolutely necessary, but her daughter is so much happier now! Instead of worrying about how she will react, remember: It's for the kids.And even if the social worker finds no reason to be concerned, you will be able to relax and know that you did what you could. Imagine what could happen if you let this go. I cast off my suspicions about a little girl in my class at daycare, and still can't think about her without my chest closing up in dread. I don't know where she is now, or even who she's with, and it KILLS me that she was in all likelyhood being abused and I let it go. So, please, if you really do have any suspicions about these parents, CALL! Every child deserves a chance to have a good life!

Pat - posted on 07/04/2010

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Are you friends with this couple? Maybe you could drop in and bring a plate of cookies, etc.. and see what's going in inside the house. You can get info off your state's website about Child and Family Services. You can also check with the local school system if they are members or not, and they can take care of it through the school. If home schooled, be particularly vigil yourself and you may want to report anything you see. Take pics if you are really concerned. I am an Early Childhood Educator.

Claudia - posted on 07/04/2010

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I would call. I am from Brazil, and because am was not used to the cold, my tendency is to over dress my children. Second language is not an excuse.

[deleted account]

Hi Anita,

I know you've already made the decision to ring DoCS and I hope you do for the sake of those kids. We have had a couple visits from DoCS (psycho ex-gf issues) and I know from them that you can call anonymously and they are obligated to investigate whatever claims you've made. They will not reveal who rang them and they will not take the children away unless they find evidence of serious (and I mean SERIOUS) abuses happening... even then, they don't necessarily take them away.

You should let them know of the different incidents you know of, but rest assured your neighbour will know it was you that called... especially if you are the only neighbour. However, you've tried reaching out with parenting advice and it may not be enough to get them to take action. Perhaps DoCS can motivate them further.

Once DoCS visit, your neighbour will then have to wait for a letter telling them of any decision reached... and that takes about 10 weeks to get! In that time hopefully things will improve for the kids.

This winter has been much too cold for kids to be running around naked! My boys tend to run hot and dislike clothing a lot of the time, but there's no way I let them do it when the days have been hovering around 19 degrees.

Good luck!

Tabitha - posted on 07/04/2010

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Hi,
My husband was taken away from his parents when he was 4 years old. For four years people kept saying that they didnt want to get invovled. At 4 my husband had been burned with cigar butts, placed in ice cold water for punishment and left naked running around an auction. If you think there is a problem you as a mom and as an adult have to resposibliy to proctect these children by calling CPS.

Merry - posted on 07/04/2010

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yes katrina i am abit dramatic when it comes to child safety. Its unimaginable the amount of children killed every year due to neglect and abuse. I hope we all can try to become advocates for children who are in harms way. If she is just misinformed about child raising she will get parenting classes. If they are in danger then they will get safety. CPS has come a long way in the past years and although its not perfect, it is much better at recognizing truely harmful situations.

Melanie - posted on 07/04/2010

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It sounds like you've already answered your own question. You know you should call and you are right. If you suspect abuse or neglect, you absolutely should make the call. Let the professionals assess the situation and make a determination.

[deleted account]

Make sure to include all the details that you can remember, and about when it all happened. It will give them a better idea of what they need to be looking out for when they follow up on the call. All the best.

Anita - posted on 07/04/2010

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Thanks everyone for your advice. I know it must seem like I am procrastinating about this when a lot of you think I should have already made the call. It's a very hard decision. I was actually talking to the mother today and giving her some parenting advice, whether it sinks in or not is another thing. Her oldest (the 4 year old) fell out of the window the other day and nearly ripped his lip off. They have a ground floor house (lucky!!) and he fell out onto the verandah. There is a huge flap of skin hanging off on the inside of his mouth and half of his face is bruised. But apparently it was an accident, but I asked her why she wasn't watching them and she said she was in the loungeroom feeding the 6 month old. I know accidents happen but it wasn't long ago that a chest of drawers fell onto the 2 year old.

I suppose I forgot to mention that I am in Australia (Ifor the lady that said winter in June was wierd)...
and we have had the coldest winter in years, it was even on the news, PLUS we both live in a tiled house with not a scrrap of carpet.
Thanks everyone, think I will make the call. Not looking forward to it though!

Katrina - posted on 07/03/2010

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Your kinda DRAMATIC There Laura lol. Ok Well search your heart honey and pray about it and do what you feel is right. We are just out siders looking in and you know the real situation Good night

Heather - posted on 07/03/2010

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you need to get on the phone weather you want to or not and make that call. how would you feel if you opened your door one day and found one of them lifeless on your door step because they had gotten out of there house in the middle of the night and she didn't know. as for the bite marks we had to call on a mother who brought her kids to the daycare i worked at and when they went to the house they found out there was more than what we knew was going on. the children had been forced to do that to each other and if they refused to they were beaten. get off your butt and call

Erica - posted on 07/03/2010

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its very clear that the mother needs some help to keep the children
in her control not the other way round as it may be

Merry - posted on 07/03/2010

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but if letting the mom "live her life" causes the children to lose their life.............then what?

Victoria - posted on 07/03/2010

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There doesn't seem to be any real evidence of abuse in this case. If the children won't keep their clothes on, a lot of times, it's not the parents' fault, although it does sound like they could be more involved, and that the kids rather run over them, which indicates a LACK of discipline, but not abuse. Parenting styles are highly personal, and if you are that concerned about their behavior, you really should speak to the mother about it rather than trying to involve child services, which is hard for everyone, but especially the children. If they are happy and well fed with no physical or visible signs of abuse, you should just do what you can when you can, and let them live their lives.

Sarah - posted on 07/03/2010

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I would call because its not right for these poor children to be walking around naked in winter.You can always ask to be kept anonymous.You can call it in and let them check it out its best for the children good luck!!

Erica - posted on 07/03/2010

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i have a 2year old who is alway getting out and it always seems to happen when i dealing with the baby or the older kids aren't home to help im a solo mother and i always make sure that as soon as the get up they are changed and dressed warm its not hard maybe they need a little outside help theres places like super grans but there is two of them they need to get it together and need some help to get there so yes i think you should make the call child services are not just there to take kids they are there to help with the day to day care if that is what needed theese children need help and you have to do it your a MOTHER as well you know the need of little ones and being young is still no reason

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