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Help! Advice needed!

I know this is off topic but it is something that does keep me up at night. I am not a mother (yet) but I act almost as one to my boyfriend's younger brother Luke who is 9 years old. I love Luke and have so many concerns as to his health, safety and hygiene and really don't have any idea of where to turn.

Luke lives with my boyfriend's father, who is supposedly suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, however this is questionable as he shows no symptoms nor does he receive any on-going medical treatment. I have nothing against him personally, but I do have concerns as he spends most of the day asleep, neglecting things like housework, proper nutrition (Luke does get meals but they are questionable as well as access to a jar of sweets at all times), and Luke's general health and hygiene. Luke is frequently off school with severe food poisoning or chest infections.

Now the house itself is VERY dirty, it hasn't been cleaned in 8 years and the dust is so thick and in short the place stinks. Which means that poor Luke (who is never encouraged to bathe, not that bathing in that dirty bath would really make that much of a difference) stinks and is subject to bullying because of this.

The house is so bad that I went there last Christmas and spent the entirety of January in hospital recovering from a serious pneumonia which aggravated my asthma severely. We found that the bacteria came from that house (by means of testing) and when confronted with this, my boyfriend got the answer of ""I don't do house work."" and ""I don't believe in bleach"".

Now we have informed the council of this today and they are conducting an investigation themselves, but is there anything myself and my partner can do in the meantime to try and help Luke and prevent him from becoming as ill as I did.



7 Replies

Difficult one but I would contact social services.

This is a child protection issue (Child Guarding)

This sounds like neglect (Physical)

Have you asked your boyfriend about it? Does he have the same concerns as you?

If so please contact social services for advice.

Be aware though that it could get very complicated!



Also the nspcc are a good point of first contact and you can speak to them anonymously initially if you just need advice. The number is 0808 800 5000 and is open 25/7.


Hi Kate,

My boyfriend, Steve supports me on this and shares my concerns, but because his dad beat him down psychologically he never really grew up or knew about getting help. Its so awkward because the family are so tight knit and his grandmother protects his dad so much. I am going to get on to Social Services, I guess I just needed to know I was making the right decision and not splitting up the family for no reason.


ps.. and thanks ellawheezer for the number x


I would agree with Kate, this is a child protection issue. Contacting social services doesn't necessarily involve splitting up the family, but they should be able to put a plan in place to ensure that he has a cleaner home and proper food etc. It's a hard thing to do to take the step of notifying, but You would not be able to live with yourself if he came to serious harm.

Best of luck


Sounds like the guy does have signs of depression from wot u describe. Low self esteem. Lack of interest in his surroundings and lack of interaction with others. Think contacting social work regarding support for the guy and Luke is required. Social work ethos's to keep the family together when able. With imput from home help or befriending schemes maybe things will improve. Have u tried encouraging luke to bath more maybe spend some time at ur's if possible .... Hope things improve for the whole family ....


Would you be willing to give luke a home?; as, if neglect is an issue with Social services then he may well be taken into foster care. Tricky one.


if you don't feel you can contact social services even without giving your name try the school, nurse as they can refer and sometimes they can address other issues as well. if you don't know who the school nurse is the school should be able to tell you and where they are based and what day they are in school,


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