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Posted by: GRANNY | 2008/05/21

WORRIED ABOUT TODDLER

Good day CyberShrink. I have a 2,5 yr old grandchild (my sons daughter) and am quite concerned for her well-being. My son and girlfirend split up a year ago( drugs etc involved) she went to live with her mother in a real ramshackle house (not very clean) all they do is lie in bed smoking all day. Anyway, I provide quite substantially for the child in the line of clothing and sending groceries every week. We have her every weekend and she enjoys being with us. It's quite depressing to take her home. She suffers a lot with her chest and I'm sure it's because she has to live in that smoke environment. Her other granny has her ex husband living with them and he keeps sending me messages that he is concerned for the baby's wellbeing as she is shouted at by her mother and then she either wets herself or vomits. Her mother has allegedly made a comment "this child is f.........d up when she comes back from those people" meaning us. We help her in more ways than one, she is always borrowing money and I'm not certain if it is for drugs, she also has a boyfriend who doesn't seem to work. I don't want to label anyone as I've had problems with my son but he does come out of a decent home. I feel so depressed because all I want is what is best for baby. Do you think I'm being too obsessed with the child, after all she is not mine and do you think I should approach a Social Worker to investigate the goings on in that house. Her other granny is not much of a mother, just lies in bed on her phone chatting to young guys, she has another daughter at home 9 yrs old and is always being shouted at and smakcked by my g/childs mother.<br>I would appreciate some advise - I'm at the end of my tether.<br><br>Thank you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hi Granny,
It does sound as though you have very reasonable grounds for feeling concerned about the wellbeing of this child, and by having her with you some of the time, you are clearly part of the child's caregving system, and have a proper interest in her. DO contact the child welfare authorities who can check on the precise situation at her home where she spends most of her time. And as almost mad and David say, you could potentially apply to a court to be given custody of the child, becoming her primary caregiver, with the mother having visitation rights if that were thought appropriate. David sounds experienced and knowledgeable, so re-read his comments carefully

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Our users say:
Posted by: GRANNY | 2008/05/22

Thanks to everyone for your advice and concerns. I'm not too certain about my son getting custody as he does not earn much and was on drugs but been clean for 4 months now. He loves his little daughter but who knows if he will or wont relapse. Not certain what the mum is up to as she has become extremely thin and is always borrowing money, and I know that they did drugs together. A little girl can't live with a father in any case. Who would Social Services be - is it Child Welfare?
I also need the person living in their house to approach the authorities because he is the one relaying messages to me and if he is so concerned then he must not hide behind me. It's a very stressfull situation.

Reply to GRANNY
Posted by: Maria | 2008/05/21

I agree with Ness, it's not as easy as it sounds. However as a loving grandmother you cannot just leave it, please let child services know.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Ness | 2008/05/21

Sorry but I completely disagree. There was a case just the other day where the son had died and the grandparents were asking for custody and they were told that as grandparents they have NO legal right to the child. And all is did was make sure that the mother wanted nothing more to do with them.

I would seriously just suggest that you approach child services. But I can tell you that it is very hard to take a child from its mother, even if the environment is as you say. You son has a better chance of applying for custody, perhaps if you talk to him.

Reply to Ness
Posted by: David | 2008/05/21

You can sue for custody of this child, keep all your documentation and all the receipts for the things you pay for her, it will show that the mother cannot support her, take photo's of the childs environment, keep all sms's, everything to do with your grandchild, once you have all of this, go to a lawyer and start proceedings, usually when a lawyers letter is delivered the person will back down and sign over custody and in your case it will be a walk in the park.

Reply to David
Posted by: almost mad | 2008/05/21

i think you should contact social services, or talk to a social worker or lawyer to see what you can do. maybe get a lawyer to get custody of the baby. and dont feel guilty, you saving her life.

Reply to almost mad

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