How to Report Suspicions?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by PonyGirl, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    LONG Story, but I need some advice about how to approach reporting possible abuse? My sister in law is telling me her fears for her grand-daughter. sister in law & brother in law have raised this child for the first 6 years of her life. Now lil'girl is finally living with her dad (thier son) and his new wife.

    Thru phone conversations with son & grand-daughter, they are becoming quite alarmed at her treatment. Being made to wear diapers, and now talk of testing to see if she's retarded? Last night things had escalated to where son told sister in law & brother in law "You'll never be allowed to see grand daughter again!!"

    sister in law is too frightened of the backlash if she were to report this herself, so I said I would look into possibly making a report myself. sister in law of course wants their names kept out of it.

    Are anonymous reports taken seriously? Is there a protocol to follow? We're talking Emotional Abuse, and afraid there's Physical abuse, too.

    Thanks for any insight.

  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Yes, anonymous reports are taken seriously but there is not an immediate response to such calls unless there is a sense of real danger involved. A number of people have made anonymous reports
    of suspected abuse on GFGmom and each time a representative has shown up at the house. Of course she wasn't yelling at the kids
    when company came. Her house has always been dirty and each time
    the DCF workers have "understood" that working mothers sometimes
    can't keep a "clean" house. Give me a break.

    by the way, I have NEVER called on her although she probably does think
    I did. I did, however, talk to the counselor at the school on a
    confidential basis and shared my concerns about difficult child. I also did
    talk to the Pediatrician confidentially to have someone paying attention. That gave me some sense of safety for him.

    One thing I have lived through was GFGmom and her SO keeping difficult child
    away from us AND telling him NOT to share anything about what went on in their house. Afterwards it was terribly painful to
    learn of the emotional abuse he was subject to from SO.

    Each situation is different but whether you call DCF anonymously
    or not...I would encourage the grandmother to stifle any negative
    input with the parents. She will have a much better chance of maintaining contact if she is seen as supportive.

    It is ugly. I'm sorry your friend has to travel that road. DDD
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911

    We went through our psychiatrist and by LAW he had to report it to our version of protective services for children (DSS). You can report without being named. There is also a 1-800 number for child abuse in the front of EVERY phone book. You can call them and see what they advise.

    So sorry - hope it is just suspicions - but the diaper thing is odd - could it be that she is wetting the bed because she is afraid?

    In any event it may warrant having someone investigate. No harm - no foul.
  4. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    Thank you my friends! DDD, I was thinking I would call her school and talk to the counselor there. I did advice sister in law to stifle negative comments, but too late. Her son had already pulled the plug by the time I talked to sister in law.

    Yes, the diaper thing is strange. This is a whole new living arrangement for grand daughter, and she's I'm sure having some adjustment issues. It just sounds like she is not well-liked at home, how awful is that.

    I have seen with my own eyes that her own father has never bonded with her. We all thought his new wife was a god-send. Turned out we were all very, terrible wrong.

    Of course this is all one-sided information I am getting. sister in law does not want me to call son (my nephew). She's afraid I'll only stir the pot. Who? :highvoltage: Me? :smirk:

    So, that's my plan. I'm going to call the school counselor. And I am NOT going to get in my car and drive 100 miles to nephew's house and rip him a new one.... :grrr:

    Please keep good thoughts for Sara.

  5. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Pony, I am so sorry.

    Many prayers for Sara, and I'm behind you...
  6. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Prayers being said for Sara. I hope and pray that the school counselor can get something done.
  7. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Ponygirl, even if the little girl is not being abused, error on the side of caution seems like a good thing. I give you credit for involving yourself and contacting the school. Having others watching for signs is a good thing.
    Even if the parents never speak to the family again, they are on notice and you are doing a good thing.
  8. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Trust me. Anonymous reports are taken VERY seriously. I am on the receiving end of it. If any are aware, we were battling the school for difficult child 3 and I was advised by the Family Advocate to write a letter spelling out all of the horrible things that the school was doing to her AND our family.

    Long story short: the principal was advised of the complaint and ACS (Child Services) was at our door the next evening. Apparently, our 5 year old was trying to bargain her way out of all of the days infractions and told the para that "my dad will spank me with a shoe". They called the police, the police asked if they thought we were abusing her, they said "no", so they told them that there was nothing they could do. Funny how everything difficult child 3 was a "huge lie" when it made them look bad. We have been living with this (as well as all of the suspensions, phone calls, harrassment, etc. from the school) for the last few months.

    Yes. They take anonymous complaints seriously.

  9. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    Thanks everyone for your support! husband does NOT want me to get involved, so having all here tell me I'm doing a good thing is very helpful. (husband is just 'being a guy', it's not that he doesn't care about Sara.)

    So, after mulling for a day yesterday, and doing some research on Sara's school on the internet, I'm going to call the counselor today.

    Thanks again, everyone! :warrior:

  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    If the counselor "blows you off" on the phone, it may be because
    she has to be cautious about confidentiality issues. A face to face visit often leads to free exchange. DDD
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    One last thought to share...I promise it will be the "last", LOL!

    If the Dad and his SO have just taken over the parenting roles it
    is more than remotely possible that they are Tired, Frustrated,
    Horney, Broke etc. etc. At some point if communications can be
    remain open, they may WELCOME the opportunity to take a break and
    send Sara to visit you.

    The two major factors to remember are (1) selfish needs and (2)
    money. If you phrase things so that it is sympathetic to how
    hard their life may be and how big an adjustment it must be for
    them (don't mention Sara's adjustment because that doesn't fly)
    to have to parent 24/7 etc. etc. you will probably get Sara
    sooner than you would believe. If they are receiving food stamps
    etc. etc. because they have Sara.....eventually they will be ready to give up the kid so long as they get to keep the money and save face.

    It's a psychological game of chess with the child as the prize.
    I know it well. I've played it for decades. I'm not so sure that I "have won" but the children have been the winners. DDD