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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120 Comments

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[deleted account]

Ask yourself the question: "Do I consider this to be neglect and/or child abuse?" Just listen to your gut feeling. I don't advocate everyone calls CPS at the slightest thing but I do think that from your post, this family has an issue.

Like Jamie mentioned talking to the grand-parents is a wonderful idea and letting the mother know that you are concerned about the kids is the starting point. If nothing changes, then call the resources needed for you to know what you can do... help line, children's advocacy, etc. Then if CPS needs to be involved do it. If those children are really abused/neglected, they need someone to stick up for them. I believe that if children are treated that way, someone needs to interfere regardless of the possibility your friendship with the mother will suffer.

Jamie - posted on 06/30/2010

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Anita- do you have a children's advocacy agency? In this situation you can stay anonymous and inquire what steps could/should be taken, also the Grandparents are down the block, take a walk and strike up a convo with the Gma, casually mention that the bebe's are naked and running amok. These are suggestions hopefully you find some empathy without the after math of loosing a neighbour, in the end though shouldn't we as a community try to look out for the best for all our children

Yvonda - posted on 06/30/2010

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I would say at 2 and 4 It's natural for a child to take her cloths off, all my children did, even in the winter, just because the floors dont have carpet doesnt mean it's freezing inside the house, (I have hard wood floors) and if you have children y7ou should know that they can get away from you in a second, I would use calling social services as a last resort, try talking to you neighbor, if shes close enough to you to let her 2 and 4 yr old come to you house, I'd say she would be willing to listen to your concerns, I hope you find peace and make the decision that you feel most comfortable with..good luck

Maggie - posted on 06/30/2010

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you said you've seen abuse, she yells and swears at them, leaves them unsupervised, she lets them run around naked outside in the cold, and they have bruises and bite marks...if it was just one or two of those things I'd say let it go but the combination of all these things makes it seem that something else is going on.
If you really care about the well being of those kids then you need to get someone involved. Maybe she can get help - parenting classes or something.

Evie - posted on 06/30/2010

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ok i have a 2 year old and a 3 month old an am a single mom, for one my kid always has bruises and i dont beat her she is a two year old she plays hard, matter a fact she just had a shiner from running into a cabinet door, maybe you need to tell her she needs to pull her head outta you know what or that your going to get someone involved, somethings like the naked thing is normal but the kids wandering in the road is not, tell her it is dangerous and not acceptable that if it happens again you will call for the safety of these kid, its neglect and i agree with charlena my daughter say oh sh@T from time to time from hearing other people say it, they mimic nothing you can do but correct them and say that its not nice, you need to be bold and tell her that you will call if she doesnt make changes, its beyond not starting a war you would feel horrible if one of those kids got hit by a car and you could have prevented it by calling someone

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 .

Candice - posted on 06/30/2010

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call. forget about yourself and whatever trouble this will cause YOU, and call for the sake of those kids.

Crystal - posted on 06/29/2010

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These young parents need to grow up and CARE for their children. This saddens me so much when parents show no recognition for their child, or act like they are a burdon. Every child should have love and care and a stable home. Yes you need to call, it is neglect. But be prepared to answer some tough questions when calling and face some harsh words from the mother. But keep your mind on those little babies. They need a better home!

Ashley - posted on 06/29/2010

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Ok i think u need to call i understand that she will no its u but in the long run who cares u said u were moving anyway right but really if something happens to one off though's kids which im surprised hasent yet then your going to feel like shit. Also the ministry is there to help there not going to grab the kids and run there going to come and make sure the kids are safe thats there job im note really shure why people are so paranoid about calling thats why there there to investigate note u. Not to say u couldent do it its just so meny kids live in horrible circumstances because no one wanted to call. Anyway they will work with the family if the kids are not being abused and mabey get her to take some parenting classes sounds like she could realy use them. Any way good luck and i really hope thoughs kids keep safe

Anita - posted on 06/29/2010

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Hi Maggie. I want to make the call but I don't want to cause any trouble. She will know it's me who has rung. I don't think it's the parents biting them, it would be the 2 older children biting each other, as a result of the mother not paying any attention to them whatsoever. But this would still be child neglect wojuldn't it? I just want her to wake up to herself and the police calling around after her daughter was found on the main road didn't help, so I am not sure if anything else would knock any sense in her??

Maggie - posted on 06/29/2010

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if they have bruises and bite marks on them then you need to get involved. There's something serious going on! Who knows what could happen if you don't get involved? Those poor children...what a rotten woman. CALL CALL CALL!!

Anita - posted on 06/29/2010

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HI Amber, thanks for your reply, but did you read my last message (or second last mesasge...) as there is a lot more going on...

Amber - posted on 06/29/2010

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I personally would not call for the main reason being naked all the time. I have a two year old son who will NOT for any reason keep his clothes on. Even in the winter months. We can be getting ready to leave our home and he will still strip down. Also as soon as we get home he is back down to his pull up. It's a kid thing I guess!

Anita - posted on 06/29/2010

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I know parenting is hard work, I had my two 10 months apart and their are times that I just want to give up. But as a mother I can't afford to, not for a second. I don't get help at all. My parents I see only a few times a year because they live so far away and the inlawas I don't see ever as they live overseas so it's just me and my babies 24hours a day. BUT I still have to soldeier on. So I don't see this as an excuse to just be a lazy parent which is what I am witnessing next door.

Anita - posted on 06/29/2010

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Dana... yeah I agree they are the kind of children that won't leave their clothes on, but mine are like that too, but it's my job as a mother to make sure they aren't cold. If I just let them do what they want they would end up with severly sick.
Cyndel... I know, I have been comtemplating this for about 8 months now. They are our next door neighbours and I know the mother pretty well. I see them EVERY day and witness a LOT of abuse. I have tried talking to her about things but she just doesn't get it. There is a lot of abuse going on in that house but I have never called child services before and don't really want to but like I said she just doesn't get it. I would love to take the kids off her to help her out but I am flat out myself with a 12 month old and 22 month old.
Shayna.... .. Yes I do agree that children love to be naked. But not when it's minus 2 degree celcius (& that's inside the house!). My kids get naked over summer but there is no way I would let them outdoors naked in the freezing cold. I saw their skin purple the other day from being so cold. Bite marks all over them. Bruises over them. We have told them so many times about making sure the kids are clothes wehn they come over and it's only taken 8 months to sink in lol. But they still run around naked as soon as they get home. Summer is ok. but not winter. The nappies are on them all day. It was about 11 am one morning and I was talking to her over the fence and the 2 year old still had her nappy on from the night before and the mum just says 'she's a freak'. That is what she says when I ask her about if they are cold, she just says 'they are freaks'.
Gawd I don't want to get involved but I see them everyday and it just breaks my heart. The kids were naked the other day playing in the maggot infested garbage bins! They don't go out, they don't see other children except for mine.We are theier only neighbours.
The other day the mum was over here talking to me and she left all 3 children at home (including the 6 month old... the other two are aged 4 and 2), and next minute there was a bloodcurtling scream and she took off, only to come back 10 minutes later to tell me that the baby rollled off the bed and has a huge lump on his head.
About 3 months ago, I was trying to get ready to go out and because we live on an Island we have to catch the ferry so I was racing around frantically trying to get 2 babies and myself ready so we wouldn't be late for the ferry, then next minute the 2 older ones from next door come over (naked). so I just had to close the door and told them they could play on the verandah. I asked them if their mum knew they were over here and they said yes. I told them that we were going out and to go home but they refused, and I had about 15 minutes before they ferry left. So last I knew they were playing on the verandah, the little girl said she was going home and the little boy stayed. But about 5 minuters later my partner came home and told me that the little girl was up the street standing on the main road! My partner called out to the mum to tell her and she just stood at the front gate and said 'come on Bubba come back'. She apparently thought I was looking after them! I mean c'mon give me a friggin break! Anyways we missed the ferry.
And other times I will be talking to her and she just talks to the kids like dirt. and swears at them ALL the time. If they are into something they shouldn't be she just shakes her head and says 'I give up'. No wonder they run amok. She doesn't think she has a problem though. Her mum lives just up the road adn I think helps her once a week (which is more help than what I get!). But I don't think it's about not getting enough help, it's just them. Like I said I am not going to get involved but it is really heartbreaking.

Shayna - posted on 06/29/2010

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Yeah, I'm not really sure unless I knew a little more about this situations. My child LOVES being naked, so I let him around our home. Even in the winter months he loves to be naked, and I'm from Canada so I know what cold is! I don't agree with them being naked at your house though, I think that is just not in any way acceptable, and I would not allow my son to do that. I agree you should get to know the parents better, and their situation before calling child services. You have to be really sure about this before starting war with your neighbors, TRUST me it is not something you want, unless of course it is for the sake of the kids well being.

Cyndel - posted on 06/29/2010

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Personally I disagree with calling child serves unless there is strong physical or emotional abuse. I've seen to many cases where the child serves focus on families with no abuse and ignore severe cases.
Try to get to know them a little, enough to truly find out whats going on, if it is serious or not. It could be a number of situations many of which don't need child services, and others that would. I would try to find out more about whats going on in the house before calling child services.

[deleted account]

Maybe they're the kind of kids who just won't leave their clothes on. I had a conversation with another mom just yesterday, who told me her two year old loves stripping off and running around in the nud even when it's cold. She also said that she feels like she looks like a neglectful mom when someone comes to her house and sees her little girl with no or very little clothes on, but she refuses to stay dressed.
Do you have a local nurse you can talk to in confidence without mentioning names or being too obvious who it is about? A health professional might be able to shed more light on it.

Anita - posted on 06/28/2010

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No, they only have a small oil heater like we do. We have exactly the same house and our house is FREEZING (we are moving soon thank goodness).



Their 2 year old came over one day and I felt her arms and they were stone cold so I put a jumper and pants on her (they come around here naked) and then when she went home the clothes were off again

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