Posted by: ddd | 2009/08/04

teenage daughter

My sister in law leaves her 2 children home alone unattended.... she lives far away from us..She sometimes go to work at 4 in the morning and leaves the 2 kids still sleeping in their beds...she is a single mother..the oldest then has to get up at six make breakfast for the two of them and then they go to school.... the oldest is 12 years old.... if someone reports her to the welfare  what are the complications? She doesn' t know that we know about this...the oldest just told us about it....

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Our expert says:
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If it were to be reported to social welfare they would investigate. From there they would state what would need to change, for example, having a childminder when she is not there. If from their assessment they felt the children were at risk the worst case scenario would be removal, but all efforts would be made to not do that and find solutions.

Having suitable child care is vital and will resolve this problem.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Lena | 2009/08/10

Dear ddd
I am a social worker, although your sister-in-law could be constituted as being neglectful, as social workers we consider the circumstances the children are living under as well. Perhaps she has asked or could ask a neighbour to keep an eye on her kids coz they maybe responsible enough to care for each other. the other option would be to explain the repercussions of her actions to her and offer to get the family to help finance a full time caregiver until she is capable of paying the caregiver on her own or until the children are old enough. The reality is that there are many Child headed homes in SA, and if you weigh the options, keeping a family, happy together over-rides most other options. My concern would be the oldest child and if this responsibility is becoming a burden on her, then someone needs to speak to her urgently. Her needs are more important!!!

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