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What is the right thing to do? - Carers UK Forum

What is the right thing to do?

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Hey all! I'm not sure whether this is the right place to ask this, but I'm here. I live with my husband in Ontario, Canada, and it's been only four months, that we shifted to the new place. I live alone with my husband and we do not have any kids yet. We have this kid in our neighborhood who is 5 year old and he comes over to play with me and our dog. The weird thing is he never likes to go back home and nor does his parents come over to pick him up. He tells me that he is the only child and I thought probably that's the reason he loves staying at my place. Probably he feels lonely at home. But last week when he came over, there was a big bruise on his arm. On asking, he first said that he injured himself while playing, but later he said that, his dad got angry with him and hit him. On inquiring with the other neighbors, we came to know that, there are regular disputes at his home and both his parents do not care for the child. They both are most of the time immersed in alcohol and their home is a mess. I'm very much worried about this child. The most worst part is, even though everyone around here knows whats going on, no one is neither worried about the child nor is ready to file a complaint. But I don't think staying quite is a solution for anything. The child is totally unsafe with his own parents and I think I should be doing something about it. My husband's been thinking of talking to some lawyers out here on the child support and protection. Do you think it's the right thing to do? Do you think it's any kind of unwanted interference on other's matter or anything? Do you think there's any chance the child would be safe after this?

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Hi Henrita
This is a UK forum so we only know about UK law and systems etc. I'd suggest you find local website or help line. Surely theres a Canadian equivalent of Childline?
Good luck
Hi Henrita,
This is what you should do:
http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/En ... index.aspx

Melly1
Just to say - whether or not it's the law to report possible child abuse, please, please do so! It's always always always better to err on the side of caution - you may save this child's life, and certainly you may be the gateway to a happier life for him.

In the UK we have the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) which is not a government body, but a charity, and that means that one can talk to them and get their recommendation....I'm sure there must be something similar in Ontario.

When it comes to children, one cannot be too cautious. If 'all is well' and the lad is fine, then good - but let the experts/police/child care professionals check it out.

Please do this! It's not 'unwarranted interference' - it's keeping a child safe who may be in danger, scared, and deeply unhappy. He deserves your concern.....please let the authorities know, or the Canadian NSPCC/Childline
Hiya
I do agree that if you suspect the child is in danger then you should do something about it, It's very odd that this chid is allowed to play in a stranger's house when the parents don't know you.
BUT if the parents are the kind of people you suspect they are, then proceed with an eye to yourself too. What if they accuse YOU of hitting the child? What if they start targeting YOU and your home?
I would most certainly get some proper advice from whatever child protection scheme or legal advice is available there. Maybe an anonymous report? You don't actually have any evidence other than hearsay, just your, probably correct, instinct. That won't be enough. Your neighbours are probably wary of these people. They might have good reason to be. You feel that something is wrong. Can you prove it? Beyond doubt?
If these people are really 'bad', then putting yourselves into the firing line may not help the little boy at all. It might make things worse. You have to find out the right way to proceed. A way that is safe for him and you. In the meantime perhaps take some photos of bruises, but with care. he might tell his dad what you are doing, and that will alert him to the fact that you are taking an interest.
Have you met his Mom? What is she like? Does Dad hit her too?
This is a basket of snakes you are planning to put your hand in. Plunge in and you might get bitten. I'm not saying don't. I'm saying be careful.
Elaine