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The kids aren't alright

I need some advice on what to do when you know something is wrong with the way a child is treated but it's not reportable to FACS and the child isn't well known to you. 

 

In the last few months I've come across two children who concerned me. One Ive completely lost contact with and the other I see only very occasionally. I'm not going to say anything else about them as even on an anonymous forum I'm not willing to violate their privacy. 

 

But basically things have concerned me about both children and the way they're being treated, BUT...it's not reportable or actionable and I'm not in a position to talk to their parents. I know it's not reportable because I'm a mandatory reporter and I know the system quite well, plus I used the keep them safe mandatory reporter guide for both situations. It's less abuse as such and more things like ableism, talking down to the child, or like, the child is awake all night, the child seems developmentally off, they cry a lot, there's very little stability for them, kind of thing. One of the kids I've seen one thing that I think IS reportable and I'm making a report, but like, even then, it's a comparatively 'small' thing...this kid's probably not going to get investigated for months. If at all, with the system as fucked as it is. 

 

What do you do in these situations? There's nothing you can do, and you know that these kids aren't in actual danger as such, but something's off. Do you really just...leave them there? Ignore it?

 

Re: The kids aren't alright

Hey @DruidChild, I can hear the dilemma you are in. It's a really tricky one.

 

You may or may not like this answer, but the fact of the matter is you are actually doing all the right things now. If a box has been checked for mandatory reporting and you're following through then awesome, if the other doesn't constitute a report, you're also doing all you can for now - keeping a vigilant eye out as to the immediate risk of the child.

 

It sucks heaps, can be really frustrating, one last thing I would suggest is have you considered chatting to DHHS and explaining you're taking a preventative approach and need some suggestions? Perhaps there's a program that parents can be referred to. I definitely get where you're coming from, I know some kids that are in the trenches myself. I let them know I am there and keep a close eye on the situation, just like you - you're doing so well. Heart

 

how are you feeling right now?

Re: The kids aren't alright

@DruidChild

 

It's good to see you looking out for them and noticing such slight events, but as Bree as said, I think it's very difficult to action anything at the moment. 

 

Do you think you could involve someone like a social worker to 'keep an eye' on them, or just overlook the children in case things escalate? 

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Re: The kids aren't alright

Thanks heaps for the reply @Bree-RO. I guess I can see that I'm doing all I can, but it's so hard. I just want to pick up these kids and teach them how to feel safe and proud of themselves. It's not fair that people get to mistreat them, they don't deserve that. 

 

One of the kids was outside in their pram today. I tried to interact with them and play with a ball. Their gaze is so flat. I've never seen them laugh or smile. It breaks my heart. 

 

What's the DHHS? Calling them could be an option, just for advice. I'm really not in any position to talk to anyone's parents honestly though. 

 

Thank you❤

Re: The kids aren't alright

Thanks @Mayaa99, I really appreciate hearing your input ❤ I guess the report is what would get a social worker to keep an eye out, so hopefully that will happen soon. 

Re: The kids aren't alright

@DruidChild

 

I hope so, Im so sorry that there isn't more that you can do for now. Sending hugs to both you and these children 🙏

Re: The kids aren't alright

Heya @DruidChild. How are you doing today?

Re: The kids aren't alright

Hey @DruidChild do you have a trusted supervisor or experienced person at your work who you could debrief with about this and potentially get advise about your options? I know it's super hard when you feel like you're not doing enough to help but maybe discussing it with an experienced person in the industry might help put you at ease?

Re: The kids aren't alright

@DruidChild hey there, how are you doing today? It seems to be an incredibly frustrating situation for you and these children, and just from your posts, I can feel how much you want to protect them and make sure they are taken care of. @Autumn23 has a great suggestion of reaching out to an experienced person if possible to talk to, and overall, I think you're doing a wonderful job of interacting with them and looking out for them however you can <3 

Re: The kids aren't alright

Thanks so much everyone @roseisnotaplant @Mayaa99 @sweet_baking @Autumn23 

 

I don't actually work in the field so I don't have a supervisor or anyone, but there is a woman who I used to volunteer with who might be happy for me to contact her and ask for advice. Thanks for the support and suggestions. 

 

Right now I'm sending good thoughts and well wishes to all kids in situations like these.