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I think my nephew is being abused (long)

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
I would call CPS if you don't think you can talk/get through to his dad. His needs will be met if he's in foster care, and he won't be smacked around anymore. Poor kid, he seems really sweet from what you've posted. He told you he's getting hit because he trusts you and he's asking for some kind of help.
post #2 of 47
How sad for your nephew and your brother- and you! I'm so sorry!

Sounds like your brother and nephew would benefit from some respite care or an occasional in-home health aide. Does your brother have a social worker or a contact at his ds's school who works with his disability? They may have resources at their disposal to help them.

I wish I could tell you more. If you know the name of the school your nephew goes to, perhaps you can anonymously report this information to the disability co-ordinator at the school, and he/she could look into it. It's hard to do something from so far away.


Good luck! I hope more ideas come your way!
post #3 of 47
you could help end up his suffering by doing the right thing even if it would hurt.
post #4 of 47
It sounds like his dad is overwhelmed and cracking under pressure. Hopefully when you call CPS they'll offer counseling and respite care to help him out.
post #5 of 47
I would talk to the brother first.

As the mother of a child who has Autism and one who has ADHD, in addition to emotional issues, it is damn hard to deal with on some days. You cannot go out like "regular" families do. My son has meltdowns and is very loud. It can be very lonely.

I don't drink or hit my children, but sometimes, I am touched-out, and do not want to hear "MAAAAAAMAAAA" again. I am not proud of myself for this, but sometimes I have not been the nicest to my kids either. No raging fits or anything, but exasperated when they drop things, or make yet ANOTHER mess for me to clean up.

Recently, I found a place that does respite care for one Saturday afternoon a month, for parents of children who have disabilities and they will allow siblings to come too, for a small fee. Checked it out and it is a great program. I also have decided to join the YMCA, so I get out and get healthy again, so I have the stamina and am happier all around.

Your brother needs help, but maybe CPS is not the way to do it. Perhaps there are support groups in his area for parents of disabled children. It sucks to go it alone, or at least FEEL like you are alone. Maybe he would be willing to check things out in his area.
post #6 of 47
I'm sorry but you have a 10yo child reporting he is being hit by his primary caretaker? And he's disabled and requires regular OT/PT/Intervention? And you're worried he won't get his needs met if in foster care??

Please call. What a hellish life for that poor kiddo. He's asking for help. If this is what his family life is like in FRONT of you, I can only imagine what horror lies behind those closed doors.

Please. Call.
post #7 of 47
This made my stomach turn and tears come to my eyes multiple times. Please call CPS. Your nephew trusts you, it's the very least you can do for him.
post #8 of 47
I agree, I was abused as a child and never told anyone. If he is telling you, it is SO much worse than you think. It takes a TON for kids to rat out their parents. Maybe you could offer to take him instead of foster care? He is so defenseless, please help him!
post #9 of 47
[QUOTE=dinahx;14208849]If he is telling you, it is SO much worse than you think. It takes a TON for kids to rat out their parents. Maybe you could offer to take him instead of foster care? [QUOTE]

I agree. If he is telling you, you need to interviene (and not just by recommending a book- for him to bring this us in a quiet moment, he has probably been planning it to tell you because he trusts you to do something).
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahlea View Post
I would call CPS if you don't think you can talk/get through to his dad. His needs will be met if he's in foster care, and he won't be smacked around anymore. Poor kid, he seems really sweet from what you've posted. He told you he's getting hit because he trusts you and he's asking for some kind of help.
:

Don't ignore this poor boy.
post #11 of 47
If you believe a child, any child let alone your precious nephew, is being abused you should report. A report does not automatically result in a child being removed and put in foster care (and foster care does not automatically mean a child's needs won't be met). This sounds like a situation in which intervention could help a great deal.
post #12 of 47
oh man what a hard place to be for you.

however my first response would NOT be CPS.

with CPS you have no guarantees. either your nephew might be housed in a better place or a social worker might be assigned to his case and they would work with bro for respite care. or else he might 'jump straignt into the fire from the frying pan'. there is no way of knowing.

what i would do is give your bro a chance. see if he is willing to be proactive. not sure how you would find out what kidn of changes are happening.

plus there is another child involved too. wonder if your bro is proved to be abusive what does that do to his relationship with his gf and 'step son'.

my friend is a special needs teacher. what you describe is not so shocking or unusual for her. your bro needs help.

CPS is always there. see if you try directly reaching your bro. if it doesnt work call CPS.
post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
wonder if your bro is proved to be abusive what does that do to his relationship with his gf and 'step son'.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, so if so please let me know? But I'm not comprehending what on earth it matters what reporting abuse does to the dad's relationship with his gf? Who cares? A child has reported being hit, the person receiving the report witnessed verbal abuse and at risk behaviors by the abuser around and towards the child.

I have a disabled child who required years of intervention and therapies. I know how hard it can be. I also know how many times I've been reminded that these kids are at the HIGHEST risk of abuse by their caretakers. Not just parents, but therapists, teachers, everyone. Disabled children need MORE protection. Disabled children in a fluctuating home life with a stepparent are at an even higher risk level. The OP lives on the other side of the country. She doesn't know what contacting the abuser about this revelation will do to the child's safety in regards to his dad's potential retaliation. Add alcohol to the mix and this is just not ok on any level. Calling the dad directly is, to me, the bigger unknown. He could terminate all contact, he could abuse the child more severely for 'telling', etc. He's the unknown. Not the authorities.

What would it do to her relationship with the CHILD if she DOESN'T REPORT THIS. He told for a reason. For godssake...call CPS. Don't let this end up another news story that could have been prevented.

Anecdotally, when I was a kid people were concerned I was being physically abused. I was. The counselor from school used to take me out of class to play games and at some point I told him something, I'm not sure what (I was young). I remember him coming to the house and trying to talk to my dad. My dad called me in the room and asked me over and over if he had ever hurt me. Of course I said no. After he left my dad was SO ANGRY I got the beating of my life. It worked. I never told a soul again.

Please. Call.
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by dinahx View Post
If he is telling you, it is SO much worse than you think. It takes a TON for kids to rat out their parents. Maybe you could offer to take him instead of foster care? He is so defenseless, please help him!
I agree. Your nephew was reaching out to you, begging for help.

Also, if your brother treats him that way in front of others, I hate to think what he's like when no-one's watching.

I would call CPS.

post #15 of 47
I would call CPS. If you lived closer and could offer help or resources and check up on your nephew, then maybe I'd go that way. But since you have no way of doing that, I'd call CPS.
post #16 of 47
Could you maybe get your brother to agree to give custody to you and pay child support? A long shot I know but just a thought.

I understand how you feel about trying to improve the situation and not knowing the best way to go about it. If your dn is taken by cps you won't have contact w/him and it could be a worse situation. On the other hand, the abuse at home is awful, and could escalate. It's def a situation that needs immediate intervention.

I don't know what the best thing to do is. Keep us updated.
post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theoretica View Post
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, so if so please let me know? But I'm not comprehending what on earth it matters what reporting abuse does to the dad's relationship with his gf? Who cares? A child has reported being hit, the person receiving the report witnessed verbal abuse and at risk behaviors by the abuser around and towards the child.

I have a disabled child who required years of intervention and therapies. I know how hard it can be. I also know how many times I've been reminded that these kids are at the HIGHEST risk of abuse by their caretakers. Not just parents, but therapists, teachers, everyone. Disabled children need MORE protection. Disabled children in a fluctuating home life with a stepparent are at an even higher risk level. The OP lives on the other side of the country. She doesn't know what contacting the abuser about this revelation will do to the child's safety in regards to his dad's potential retaliation. Add alcohol to the mix and this is just not ok on any level. Calling the dad directly is, to me, the bigger unknown. He could terminate all contact, he could abuse the child more severely for 'telling', etc. He's the unknown. Not the authorities.

What would it do to her relationship with the CHILD if she DOESN'T REPORT THIS. He told for a reason. For godssake...call CPS. Don't let this end up another news story that could have been prevented.

Anecdotally, when I was a kid people were concerned I was being physically abused. I was. The counselor from school used to take me out of class to play games and at some point I told him something, I'm not sure what (I was young). I remember him coming to the house and trying to talk to my dad. My dad called me in the room and asked me over and over if he had ever hurt me. Of course I said no. After he left my dad was SO ANGRY I got the beating of my life. It worked. I never told a soul again.

Please. Call.
i know, i know theoretica. what i was intending to do by bringing up the gf's child is - the far reaching potential of bro's life being screwed up.

It really hurts to hear your experience. it really does. how can any injustice like that ever exist. how can that happen? my heart just cant accept things like this happening.

i have a friend who's children were taken away by CPS (loooooooong story) including her year old special needs kid. OMG she had to fight! fight! to get esp. her dd back from the abusive, money grabbing foster parent. in CA. now i admit all stories are not like this, and definitely good people are there, but what guarantees are there where the child might go.

and OPs concern with the present state of CA's services and her nephew falling thru the cracks are v. v. v. valid ones.

i think the path she has taken is a great one. research. plus confront the brother. they all need help. not just her nephew. if the brother is cold and heartless then of course CPS is there. however - imho - unless the child is facing fatal situation and it doesnt seem like that to me, that his life is at danger (emotions yes, life no) - a little time to try other options might be the wiser way to go.

i have a completely disabled nephew with cerebral palsy too. he requires 24 hours care and can do nothing except spoon some food in his mouth. i have seen the trememdous stress it puts on each and every member of the family. AND i have seen just how much a little help goes a LONG way.
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guestmama View Post
Thanks for the replies so far. My worry with CPS is that CA is strapped for cash and social services are always the first thing to be cut, and I imagine this is especially true of LA. I don't want my nephew falling through the cracks. I've heard way too many horror stories about kids in foster care. If special needs kids are more likely to encounter abuse by their own parents, I can't imagine what the statistics are like for those in foster care. I know there's no guarantee that he'll be taken away, but the possibility is more than I'm comfortable with. I could take him in if I had financial assistance, but I don't think the state or the county or whoever decides would send him across the country to stay with me.
I know that in some circumstances, they will send a child across the country to be with family if there are no other family members closer who are willing or able to take in the child. I'm not sure how foster care stipends work when it's a kin placement or when that placement is in another state, but I think he would be elligible at the least for government health insurance. I would imagine they would place him locally, though, if they thought the separation would be short and if your brother was complying with whatever counseling recommendations they made, etc.

If you don't want to go the CPS route, you might consider offering to have DN stay with you for awhile to give your brother a break and see how that goes over. Offer it as a "you seemed really stressed out with DN, maybe you need a break" type thing.
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theoretica View Post
I'm sorry but you have a 10yo child reporting he is being hit by his primary caretaker? And he's disabled and requires regular OT/PT/Intervention? And you're worried he won't get his needs met if in foster care??

Please call. What a hellish life for that poor kiddo. He's asking for help. If this is what his family life is like in FRONT of you, I can only imagine what horror lies behind those closed doors.

Please. Call.
This, indeed.
He is begging you for help, you need to help him. Please call right now.

CPS can give them respite care and therapy, help they need. The kid needs most of all. They are not out to take kids away, they are there to help the family.
post #20 of 47
If you're going to talk to your brother first I recommend a few things:

1. Open with being very sympathetic to how hard it is to raise a special needs child. Think of anything positive you saw your brother do well while on his visit (anything!) and mention it.

2. After opening with a positive it's often easier for the person you're talking to to hear that you have real concerns. Let him know that while you know your brother is doing his best, you saw him do several things that in the end are having the opposite effect he means them to.

Ask your brother if he realizes that by humiliating and embarrassing his son he is making it more likely his son will NOT be able to do the things he thinks he should do. By humiliating him about dropping a game, he makes it more likely his son will be jittery, fearful and clumsy in the future instead of understanding his son's disability and encouraging him, which will make it more likely his son will do basic things well.

I'm not trying to turn you into a social worker, but if you are really trying to see if your brother can see how damaging his behavior is and hopefully change it, there are things I've seen that can make a big difference in how willing a parent is to even try to listen/learn.

Last thing I'd like to say is, if you think your brother is not going to change or listen, I agree with everyone who says you should call CPS (you probably have enough to call them now). But you should also know that most CPS agencies WANT extended family to be in touch and offer options for care of a child. It is VERY possible that Calif CPS would consider sending your nephew to you on the east coast, if you were the only family member willing to take him. That is always a better option to foster care, even though he wouldn't get to see his dad often that way.

I'm glad that no matter what you're giong to do something. By the way, if you're giong to talk to your brother, please don't do it in a letter. Please either call him or visit him and do it in real time. It needs to be a conversation t be effective on this topic, and like I said he probably needs to hear your sympathy first.

Best of luck with whatever you do, and I really hope your nephew ends up in a home that is supportive and encouraging, whether that is your brother's home, yours or foster care.

One last thing - when you talk to your sis who's an atty in Calif, ask her what financial subsidies Calif CPS offers extended family to care for a child, and also whether if you take your nephew, Calif subsidies apply or whether you need ot find out what your own state CPS offers.

Hope that all makes sense, I was kinda all over the map... Good luck!
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