Who steps in to help the child?

First, let me stress that I am not what you refer to as a troll; I am not posting this merely to get “hits”. I have a genuine Q here, and want your thoughts & opinions. Sorry about the length of the post, and if it is in the wrong forum.
Here goes.

There is a couple I know, I call them acquaintances, for I don’t know them that well. I only met them 4 years ago when we moved to this area. My husband has known the guy since the two of them were in the third grade, though, and has employed the guy, off and on, for about 4 years. (Off and on because the guy periodically decides he has bettter things to do than work for a living, but then realizes he can’t buy drugs without money, so he comes begging back.)

This couple have a 27 month old boy, who is really bright, but already mad at the world.
The thing that is really bothering me is that both of the parents are crack heads, and now the mother’s sister, who is also a crackhead and an admitted prostitute, has moved in with them. (As the guy said, mainly for the fact that she brings crack every day, and it saves him money)

Now, first, let me say that I have no problem with the pot smokers and shroom advocates of the world. These drugs are not addictive for the most part, and they don’t make the user sell all of his or her possessions and those of everyone close to him/her to get more. Crack, coke, and meth seem to ruin the lives of most of those that they touch, from what I have observed. Not that this matters, but I personally am drug free, with the exception of the occasional beer and the even more occasional cup of coffee. (My husband, too.)

I just don’t think that the little guy is getting a fair start at life, wandering around the house alone because all of the adults are all high. He doesn’t even have a TV to keep him company, for it is in the pawn shop. He expresses his anger and frustration by slamming his head into things, (including others’ heads or faces) scratching his own face, arms, legs, whatever, and showing alarming aggression to animals and other children, among other displays. (many of which result in the drawing of blood.)

I know, I know, MYOB. But do you think it Does take a village? The peole at CPS (Child Protective Svcs) said (when called regarding a “hypothetical situation” of the same circumstances,) “It would not seem as though the child is being abused. If there are no obvious signs of abuse, there is nothing we can do.” WTF?! Is neglect no longer a form of abuse? Is drug abuse not abuse?

The boy’s Grandma (on the Dad’s side) used to try to get involved, but now she won’t because “it don’t do no good; they don’t listen to me.”

I wonder if the teeming millions have any sage advice for me. What would you do? I am not trying to be judgmental, just trying to be an advocate for the child. I fear for him, and for those who will be affected by his behavior for the rest of his life.


Drop a dime. If the police were called, the child would probably be put into protective custody anyway, until a relative or someone responsible takes over. DCFS, at least in the Chicago area, makes huge mistakes when it comes to determining who’s endangered and who isn’t. They’re understaffed, underpaid, and overworked, and it’s very easy to fall through the cracks. It’s good of you to be concerned for the little guy. His behavior doesn’t sound like that of a happy, well-adjusted kid. I say go for it.

I agree with GirlFace. If you know there is dope in the house call the cops. Call the mayors office, call any and all Child Protection Agencys in your area. Make friends with some local cops, and mention this childs situation to them, A LOT.

Look, this child can not defend himself, and with his anger, there may be more going on than you know about.

I am glad you care enough to try to help this child (oh yes, inform the officials you contact that if they do nothing, and something bad happens to that child, you will take the whole story to the local press, inluding how you begged them to help this child ).

Maybe this should be in MPSIMS, you would most likely get more answers there.

Bless you for your big heart

Hard call. I see similar problems in my neighborhood. My own experience is about like yours; calling in “the authorities” doesn’t seem to get anywhere. Yes, I know, they are overworked, underpaid and understaffed. But WHAT is a person to do? I keep calling. I keep sending letters. I talk to these kids and share what I can with them.

Personally, I don’t think the drug in question is really the issue. Alcohol is a major problem in most of these families. Meth is another biggie. But even if there are no drugs involved at all, some kids are just with people who can’t handle the demands and responsibilities of having a child. It’s sad but that’s the way it is.

Again, keep calling. Eventually, hopefully, before it’s too late, someone will listen.


This probably doesn’t really belong in the Pit; as was commented earlier it might get more responses from people in a position to know if it were moved to MPSIMS, not that this is mundane and pointless at all.

What city are you in? Just in case anybody on this board has a contact that that could help.

You say you called the Children’s Services Department, or whatever it’s called there. Did you do that only once? If so, try again, and be persistant. Call up the local police department and see what they can do. Is there a local church you attend or are familiar with, that you could speak to the clergy? Clergy often have all kinds of contacts at social service agencies, and lots more credibility with overworked staff than anonymous tips do.

Do they ever leave this kid alone, that you know of? That’s neglect. Is he fed, washed, provided medical care? Does he show any signs of having been hit? (I am not talking about the swat on the bottom; I’m talking about leaving bruises.) If so, you can report that. I don’t know about other states, but in California there is a law which shields someone who makes a report of suspected child abuse in good faith, with some reasonable basis for doing so. Unexplained or extensive bruising, unless you saw the kid tumble off the porch, can be such a basis, especially at this age. (By the time they get much older boys tend to be covered in everyday bruises – I know, I have three!)

Keep talking, keep making phone calls and asking questions until you get some answers. Please keep us informed, and thank you for caring enough to get involved.


Can anyone tutor me in how to move this to the MPSISMS forum, or is this something a moderator does? (There! I’ve gone and marked myself as a know-nothing newbie!)

Melin, I don’t know for sure if the boy is left alone per se, but they lock themselves in their room to either sleep or do their stuff, and leave him running around the house unsupervised. I know this because we went over there, and here he was, standing on the back of the couch in nothing but a diaper, pounding on the picture window. (He did appear to be having fun, but that’s beside the point.) We knocked and knocked and got no answer, then we used the cell phone to call their #, and got the machine. I left an acidic message, and then called the Grandma. (This was the day I should’ve called the cops.)

I live in the Puget Sound area; I used to live right near these people, but we just bought a house and moved farther away from the center of things. We are in Auburn now.

I don’t know if he is physically abused, but I do know that he is often left in the same diaper from morning to night. Even a poopy diaper. (“he just wastes them”)

I have called CPS 3 times, and on the second try, it was treated like a joke, like, “lady, why are you wasting my time with this? Don’t you know there are real problems in the world?”
The other times it was like, “we’d like to help but…” I agree that those in this type of job are overworked, underpaid and unappreciated.

I have considered calling the police, and i guess that’s why I posted. That’s the point it has come to, if I am to do anything to try and help this kid. (Feeling like I need a little validation? or just a little kick in the butt.) Talking to the parents is like talking to a bowl of spaghettios. The 4 functioning brain cells between them are
on other topics.

Thank you all, for putting in your time, and hey, if someone can advise about relocating the thread, I’d sure appreciate it.

Smeggy, send an email to this forum’s goddess – er, moderator – Lynn Bodoni and ask her to move the thread. She’ll be happy to do it for you.


It sounds like a very sad case. I don’t know if the cops can search the place just on a tip, (in fact, I hope not!), but maybe they can check on the welfare of the child, and if he looks neglected, they may be able to get through the bullshit red tape quicker. Next time you call family services, ask for a supervisor and tell them what you’ve told us, as far as the bad attitude the workers have toward you. Poor kid.

Melin, you are the coolest! I just saw your post in the Puget Sound Dopers thread. Now why didn’t I think of that?

Actually, (just so you know I’m not ignoring the post in the Puget thread), I have only recently moved here this year, and haven’t the slightest idea about any laws or regulations, or even whom to call.

Magnificent to behold - Greatly to be praised.

I’m moving this thread to MPSIMS, in response to the OP and others.

For the Straight Dope