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Question
Posted by: Just me | 2010-02-03

Nephew (10) does not want to live anymore

Hi

I am really concerned about my 10yr old nephew and do not know what else I can try to help him.

He has had a difficult life since birth, and has for the past 2-3 years, on a regular basis asked me why God made him, or said that he would be better off dead. He and his 2 half-sisters were taken from their mother by child welfare due to the abusive (emotional and sexual - they were not molested, but saw alot) situation they were in. They were 12, 8 and he was 7 at the time.

They were placed with the girls' paternal grandparents for 6 months, and then went to the girls' father. They are still with him. They have very little as a family, as the father remarried and there is a stepsister and another halfsister to all the girls - altogether 5 kids aged 15, 15, 11, 10, 2.

This little boy is battling in school - he failed last year, and I suspect that the stepmother does not want him there and makes it known to him. I've spoken to the father on many occassions and contacted child welfare to try and get him with me - he has told me that he wants to live with me.

I saw the kids over the weekend again, and I'm really worried that he would get to a point where he can not handle it anymore, and that he' ll harm one of the girls or himself.

I have the means, time and support to take care of him, but don't know how I can get him under my roof. They are in a different province to me, so I can't get to see them as often as I'd like to.

Other than talking to his parents and child welfare what can I do? We have already suffered one suicide in our family, and I don't think we would manage the loss of this little boy. Please help?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

What a sad tale ! It is inconceivable, or should be, that Child Welfare / the welfare authorities would even hesitate to place this sad little boy with you - what an ideal solution all round.

And you raise an extremely important point - people prefer to ignore the fact that children can indeed become severely depressed and suicidal, and that such comments MUST be taken seriously.

As Maria says, I am sure that any lawyer concerned with child welfare matters would be able to interveme helpfully here.

And meanwhile, is there some way to arrange for the boy to see a child psychiatrist for assessment and potential treatment ?

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

12
Our users say:
Posted by: Linn | 2010-02-10

I am sure the prayers of everyone who has read your story are with you in your endeavours to get this little boy into your home. the Angels be with you.

Reply to Linn
Posted by: Hurt | 2010-02-05

My prayers are with you..You will get him and please be a good mother to him, give him love and support..Sometimes we as parent are to be blame, bringing kids to this world when we know we cant look after them..Im real pained by this post.

Reply to Hurt
Posted by: Just me | 2010-02-05

Hi

Thanks for all the advice. Child welfare contacted us yesterday and wants to meet with me. Please pray that they now place him with me. I already have everything in place to get him help but my hands are tied as I need to be his guardian to get the help.

Reply to Just me
Posted by: David | 2010-02-04

I suffered heavy depression from a very young age in my childhood, and let me tell you, the best thing you can do is get him on anti-depressants and to professional care fast. I only got help in adulthood - biggest mistake I ever made.

Reply to David
Posted by: ASHWIN NEHAL | 2010-02-04

THIS CHILD NEEDS ALL THE HELP LOVE AND SUPPORT
ONE CAN GIVE.IT SEEMS THAT U ARE THE PERFECT PERSON FOR THAT.SPEAK TO A LAWYER AND THE BEST OF LUCK.

Reply to ASHWIN NEHAL
Posted by: Happiness | 2010-02-03

Please pull all the stops and get him to stay with you. If he remains there for longer the pshycological damage becomes irreversible. My cousin was 15 when I got him to stay with us, he struggled with school until he decided to quit. He is very slow. He has seen too much does not know how to express it verbally

Reply to Happiness
Posted by: Admin | 2010-02-03

Thank you for writing in to Health24 - we have posted your question on the Family Law Expert forum - see towards the bottom of the Experts menu.

Reply to Admin
Posted by: Maria | 2010-02-03

Just me, your nephew is lucky to have you.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Maria | 2010-02-03

Do I understand correctly that the father that the boy is living with is not his biological father? Who is currently his legal guardian? If you can afford it then it would be worth your while to speak to a lawyer who specialised in family law. In Cape Town I can recommend Amanda Catto and Grand Wiid.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Me | 2010-02-03

Have you spoken to the father. Make a serious proposal to the father that you are prepared to take the boy. I am sure they might be happy to give him to you. Tell them that you will take him to visit often. Maybe also talk to a legal expert. Good luck.

Reply to Me
Posted by: Woman | 2010-02-03

Hi there,

My son (also 10), was diagnosed with pediatric dysthymia (look up the symptoms on the net)last year. Kids get depression too (Undiagnosed, it can lead to suicide. Please take him to a pediatric psychiatrist as soon as possible! It' s real, and it' s serious. With treatment, you' ll see a change within a month.

Good luck!

Reply to Woman
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-02-03

What a sad tale ! It is inconceivable, or should be, that Child Welfare / the welfare authorities would even hesitate to place this sad little boy with you - what an ideal solution all round.

And you raise an extremely important point - people prefer to ignore the fact that children can indeed become severely depressed and suicidal, and that such comments MUST be taken seriously.

As Maria says, I am sure that any lawyer concerned with child welfare matters would be able to interveme helpfully here.

And meanwhile, is there some way to arrange for the boy to see a child psychiatrist for assessment and potential treatment ?

Reply to cybershrink

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