Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

need advice about my sister

raingirl
April 7th, 2005, 01:02 PM
I'm having an internal debate.

My sister is 23 and has a 15 month old son (my nephew). He has a lot of problems, including seizures and some brain damage. He doesn't walk, sit crawl or speak yet. I fear a lot for his future, and I suspect he has autism.

My sister is living with a semi-abusive boyfriend who doesn't help at all. I know she wants to leave, but he threatens to take their son from her. He already lost custody of his first kid. I think he might win though because he has a job and my sister does not.

My sister also has some severe mental and emotional problems. She has a severe social anxiety fear and cannot do anything on her own. she was mugged a few years back, and her wallet was stolen. Since then she has not replaced any of her ID. As such, she is not able to get any social assisstance (which she REALLY needs). the only item she has is her birth certificate and health card. She has no bank acount, no job experience at all, didn't finish highschool, nothing. My other sister is paying for their phone at their house right now, because her boyfriend couldn't get approved for one, and they couldn't give my sister one without ID.

She has the proper forms to get her SIN card and the forms to get her son a birth certificate and health card, but she doesn't know how to fill them out. She gets frusterated when anyone offers to help and freaks out. My mother even gave her the cash to get the items, but she spent it.

I am in a position where I don't think she is a fit parent at this time, and consider on a daily basis whether to report her to someone..but wouldn't know who. She needs help, serious FORCED help (involuntary counselling and life skills training).

By the way, she already hates me, so there is nothing I could do directly to help. I have tried MANY times to help, and all that ends up happening is I feel bad, she screams at me, and it's all hopeless again.

Any ideas?

happycats
April 7th, 2005, 01:15 PM
What a sad sad situation, It must be so hard for you to decide what to do.
But the child's well being MUST come first, so if you feel your nephew is in emotional or physical danger, you have to report it to the CAS. There job is not just protecting children but getting the child help as well as making sure the parents get the help they need to keep their children living with them. If they feel your sister has problems, I am sure they will make her get help (or lose her child) .

I don't envy you, this must be so very difficult, but good luck, and I hope your sister and nephew get the help they need. :grouphug:

twinmommy
April 7th, 2005, 01:15 PM
Wow. Poor you. I feel for you because you sound like you so desperately want to help. ((((hugs)))))

If you are trying to report her as an unfit mother, good luck. It is very difficult to prove, even in the case of substance abuse.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't, just that it's unlikely that the courts would do something about it, and you have to ask yourself what you really want to have happen here. Will the child be better off as a ward of state? They might order your sister get the help she needs,(not a bad thing) and still leave him in her care.

Are you in hte MTL area?

as an afterthought the symptoms you mention do not resemble autism, (just trying to make you feel a little better...)

Rita
April 7th, 2005, 01:21 PM
Such a sad situation :sad: I agree with Happycats ... the child's wellbeing must be a top priority. Children's Aid would be a good place to go ... also any type of Family Services in your area. If her boyfriend is abusing her then maybe some sort of a women's shelter might be able to help her out.
It must be very difficult for you to see what's going on in your sister's life ... it's very good of you to want to try to help out even though you say that your sister hates you :sorry:
Good luck to you and to your sister :grouphug:

raingirl
April 7th, 2005, 01:24 PM
I didn't think of CAS. I am actually in Ontario.

The reason I was thinking autism is that he doesn't communicate at all, he has some obsessive behaviours like sucking his hand, he doesn't play with things, he just seems like a vegetable sometimes. He also has severe allergies and epilepsy which are common with autism. His spine is also distorted a little, and he has a hump on one side. I just feel so bad for him, and I know that there are many services out there that could help him if my sister would get off her butt, get her SIN number, apply for social assisstance, and then get the help. She can't even apply for disability from the government for him because she doesn't have his birth certificate. I asked her about it and she said "they never sent it to me" and I said "did you fill out an application" she said "No". She actually thought they would just send it to her after he was born! He requires medications she can't afford therefore she just doesn't get them (which is bad for epilepsy I know).

I don't want to be mean and rat her out...but if I do, I want it to anonymous though.

Luvmypit
April 7th, 2005, 01:31 PM
Raingirl im so sorry that you have to deal with this especially feeling so helpless. Sometimes when someone as you say hates you they really don't. It sounds as though she is depressed. if she developed alot of these things after or shortly after being mugged that could be she developed post tramautic stress disorder that by the sounds of it could be reason for her anxiety. If left unattended it does and will get worse till she never leaves her house again. She needs counseling first and foremost.

What would help is making a plan first to get her better. If she could get counselling then go into a work program to help her develope skills would not only help her image in front of a court but will give her some self confidence back. What you could try is making such a plan with fellow family members and then sitting down with her whether she likes it or not and letting her know her options. Let her know that you are concerned for the safety of the child and must do whats in the best interest but love her dearly also and let her know that this is her last chance for help.

Put all the things you are willing to help her with and other family members too. Have your mom offer the help in getting her papers again. Someone to bring her to counselling. Someone to help in costs. Ect. ect. She may feel like its no use and thats what it sounds like but you have to show her the way and that she does have support. BUT that this is all you can do that she has to do for herself and her kid and that if she does not agree to your help then you must report her to authorities or CAS. Somewhat of an intervention.

I dont know Im not a doctor. But i think doing a family confrontation and showing her there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that she is worth it to you guys to put the effort in. not that you havent its just that to her she sees it as you guys are judging her. Don't judge, don't scold. Just facts and a life plan. Find the counselling and the work skills courses before you do all this. That way there is not much room for her to say how, or that she can't. You have to make it hard for her to say no.

GWPsRock
April 7th, 2005, 01:32 PM
I would call CAS - you can do it anonymously, and, with what you tell them, they can decide if they should have someone check it out. It's a really horrible feeling as you are doing it (I have had to do it), but, if that child gets the help it needs, you will feel 100 times better.

I find it interesting that you have posted this on a pets forum (I understand that this is your online community, which is why you posted it here)...the reason I find it interesting is that if you had given similar information about an animal, I am fairly certain that the immediate answer would have been....report the case of to the SPCA....

good luck....

happycats
April 7th, 2005, 01:36 PM
The CAS does take anonomyous calls.
And I am sure they will make sure your nephew gets the treatment he needs. And help your sister to get on her feet.
Failing to get your child a health card is denying him health care and medication, and that's neglect. your nephew really needs help, and you have to do whats best for him! Does your sister even get Child Tax Benefit for him?
If not that's another thing she is denying him.
This situation is not fair to this child, nor is it fair to your sister, it sounds like they both desperately need help, the sooner the better.

CAS is not a bad thing, they help children as well as the children's family. thier ultimate goal is to keep family's together.

twinmommy
April 7th, 2005, 01:36 PM
Your sister sounds like she is in depression, lacking interest to do these important things.

Lack of pointing at objects.
Lack of "pretend play".(a block is a phone let's say)
Lack of gaze shifting. Gaze should shift to where you are looking.

If he exibits ANY of these three things by age 18 months( i know you said he's 23 months), you could pretty much rule out autism, which btw is becoming the latest "catch-all" phrase. But obviously should consult a pediatrician.

Luvmypit
April 7th, 2005, 01:39 PM
I would call CAS - you can do it anonymously, and, with the reason I find it interesting is that if you had given similar information about an animal, I am fairly certain that the immediate answer would have been....report the case of to the SPCA....

good luck....
yes you may be right but human relationships are much more complicated. If the child is in immediate danger yes call. Im just saying that you should try to get to the heart of the problem. Its also not that easy to tell someone to call the authrities on their loved one when their could be other options that would be much more beneficial.

Shamrock
April 7th, 2005, 01:46 PM
A very difficult situation you are in, so heartwrenching to witness.
I agree with the others - the child's welfare must take precedence. If you believe your nephew is not receiving the proper care, a call to Social Services or Childrens Aid is the best course of action to start things moving.

Your sister certainly sounds like she needs major assistance with daily living skills, but unless proved a danger to herself or others..she cannot be forced into receiving help unless ordered by the courts. Even then, there is often little follow-up.

Does she have any contact with a local mental health group? Could your mother or other sister encourage her to follow up with counselling? You dont say if she is on any meds ... does she have a family dr who could help?
The important issues that she is neglecting indicate her mental health issues will really need addressing before things can improve.
Good luck with this, I hope there can be some headway made into a better direction for this young family.

happycats
April 7th, 2005, 01:46 PM
yes you may be right but human relationships are much more complicated. If the child is in immediate danger yes call. Im just saying that you should try to get to the heart of the problem. Its also not that easy to tell someone to call the authrities on their loved one when their could be other options that would be much more beneficial.

Yes family and relationships are important, but IMO this child is MORE important then anything else, as he is an innocent in all this, and is defensless, and if he is being denied, health care and medication and possible treatment of his condition, I'm sorry but that is abuse, and definitely needs to be reported.

Also Raingirl already stated her sister hates her and will not listen to anything she says.

Luvmypit
April 7th, 2005, 01:50 PM
Right now I am in contact with Catholic childrens aid because my stepdaughter told a teacher that her mom when she took her the last time was drinking and driving, smoking weed in front and while driving, smacking her about the face... ect ect. She never told us just the school.

This was Feb. 13th. They still have not contacted her mother or went over to check even though the mother has a three old also that lives with her.
Thank the lord SD lives with us.
So just remember these places take time to do investigations and often take forever. In the mean time trying to get mom help would be beneficial to both child and mother.

Luvmypit
April 7th, 2005, 01:57 PM
I said that if the child is in immediate danger then yes call. Im just trying to give her something else to work with. All I have heard is call CAS. Its not the end all , its not going to single handley solve all her problems. whether her sister likes her or not there obviously is more to this issue that needs to be addressed.

Cactus Flower
April 7th, 2005, 01:58 PM
I do believe the health of that child has to come first, as he can't take care of himself. Unmedicated epilepsy is very serious and can be extremely damaging.
But LuvMyPit, that was a very well thought-out response, and surely Raingirl must appreciate a variety of options being presented to her.

Raingirl, I know that your sister is family, and that makes this so very difficult for you. But your nephew is family, too, and if he could talk, I think he'd say "Please help me", don't you agree?

The bottom line is, you have to lie down with your own conscience at the end of the day. Which will make you feel worse, reporting your sister, or turning the other cheek to your nephew's medical needs?

If the agency you report to knows that the family is involved, supportive and willing to help/assist in any way, I have to believe that they will be less inclined to just yank that baby out of the household.
This isn't about punishing your sister (she is sick, too), but getting her son help, and of course her help as well in the long run.

raingirl
April 7th, 2005, 02:01 PM
Luvmypit, thanks for the suggestions. SHe has been like this her whole life, so it wasn't the mugging. I also have social anxiety disorder and a dysthymic disorder. My mom is also manic depressive and obsessive compulsive. We all have some genetic hereditary mental problems. We have a rather sorted family history that I won't go into. My older sister (the one paying for the phone) and myself are the only *somewhat* normal people in my family. My mother needs counselling, my sister need counselling, and they know this, but won't go. My sister was on prozac for years for depression, but as soon as they made her see a counsellor so she could get more meds, she opted to stop meds instead of seeing a counsellor. (and on a little side note-she blames me for all her problems because she said I was such a goody girl that all the attention went to me and she was ignored. She has a typical middle child syndrome. I was the one who did well in school, got good grades, did the cooking, did the cleaning, liked to read and was good at video games. My sister has a learning disability as well and was always jelous...I tried to help her with home work and stuff but she refused because she saw it as a way of me exerting power over her by being smarter than her. She didn't like the thought of me being smarter...but I was older so obviously I would know more advanced math than she did!).

so...I wish your idea would work, but getting the family involved wouldn't help. We don't exactly like each other in the *family* sense...in fact, if I could get away with it, I wouldn't even invite my own family to my wedding they annoy me so much. I'm just trying to help the best way I can without getting directly involved (for my own mental wellbeing). Besides, she lives in east york, my parents live in pickering, and I live in Brampton. My parents help when they can..but it's not often. My sister needs to learn to rely on herself for things, because my mother always did things for her which contributed to the problem. My sister is so afraid of doing things herself she still calls my mom and asks her to make doctors appointments for her, as she doesn't know how to do it herself!

I put in an email to the CAS with general info about the situation to see what advice they could offer. If they want her info to look into it, I will provide it...except I don't know where she lives right now.. I better find that out.

Twinmommy, why aren't those signs of autism? (just curious).

He's actually 15 months old. He actually is so under developed at that age that he doesn't even have the co-ordination to point yet, he can't play at all...and he doesn't even make eye contact ever. He can't even hold his head up yet.

Luvmypit
April 7th, 2005, 02:03 PM
And yes her sister wont listen to anythings he says so I guess she shouldnt try. I mean honestly I think I made some good suggestions that may help in my orginal post. That is why I said assemble a family unit. I didnt say raingirl does this all herself.
I have been to intervention for a drug addict won't get into any details. Do you think when she walked in the door she said thank god you guys are here. when she left she had a new lease on life.
just saying there are other options.

Luvmypit
April 7th, 2005, 02:07 PM
Im sorry raingirl. I wish you had atleast the support of family more then I swear it would help. Ive seen it in more severe situations. I really hope you get through this . If anything at least call CAS. You shouldnt feel ashamed as you are only doing whats best. And if she already hates ya then what are you going to lose.

Princesss04
April 7th, 2005, 02:23 PM
Raingirl I am sorry to hear that you are going through this. You have such a big heart and we can all tell that. I wish I new what to say that would fix this or I could go in and fix it for you but I can not. Just wanted you to know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Bearsmom
April 7th, 2005, 02:24 PM
Ayish, this is a tough one. However, here's some thoughts. Where was the child born? Contact the hospital and get them to send the record of birth (the birth has to be registered first prior to getting a birth certificate). Once that's in hand, you can fill out the paperwork for her, just get her to sign it. It can be done by mail. Go online for all the necessary paperwork. Health cards are obtained the same way, but she needs the BC first. Untreated seizures are extremely dangerous. What does she do when he has one?

Sounds like she was nowhere near ready to have this child if she thinks the child is just going to heal himself. At fifteen months, his behaviour should be much different. Is the child being abused? (by this I mean neglect?). You want to force her? Call the police. They are required to act when suspected abuse/neglect is occurring. CAS isn't that helpful, plus they're so overloaded, it may take awhile to get back to you.

Priority one is finding out if the child has had any vaccinations. Did she get ANY of those done? Then, get the child to a doctor. If she thinks this is going to just go away, she's dreaming. Don't worry about the father. He's not guaranteed custody just because he has a job, the courts are going to look at who is looking AFTER the child the best. Custody issue is the smallest concern here. Check for further advice from Cyberkitten, she's a wealth of knowledge.

raingirl
April 7th, 2005, 02:52 PM
thanks bearsmom..

do you think I can request the record of birth, or does she have to. She lost the original (I know that much). I was on the website for birth certificates, and downloaded the PDF form earlier. Getting her signature might be hard though...might leave that up to my mom. If I can get the rest, I would gladly fill it out for her.

I think with the health cards you need pictures now, so wouldn't she have to go to an office with him? I know that she hasn't done it for herself is because she is afraid to...my parents don't have the time to take her and neither do I, and her BF won't either. Plus, I know she would have problems taking my nephew with her. I don't think she even has a proper car seat for him. She didn't know what a seizure was until he had one in the doctors office once. She thought he was just hiccuping or something. It went on for several months before being diagnosed. He has seizures daily, almost several times a day. He does take meds for them, but she runs out frequently and often forgets to give them. She just watches him when he has a seizure. In January, when we had our christmas dinner, she said he had one for more than 5 minutes that day, and she did nothing! I would have thought for one that long, that a trip to emergency would have been warranted. Don't repeated seizures cause brain damage?

I was on the website for CAS and read their info and definitions of "abuse" and I do beleive that it fits in the neglect catagory. Can you report anonymously to the police as well??

he did get vaccinations, because when he was born, my mom was off work after having carpal tunnel surgery so she helped a lot in the first 6 months. My sister has to pay for doctors appointments because of her lack of health card, so she doesn't go often, but she does go sometimes.

I knew when she said she was pregnant that things were going wrong. The father is a school mate of mine who was in my class in grade 7. At that time he was charged with sexual harrassment after he started grabbing all the girls boobs and butts. Out teacher was female and saw what was happening, and had a female police officer come and talk to us about it, and then he was charged and sent to a special school. He came from a bad home as well...his mother was a prostitute as he told it...but who knows if he was telling the truth or not. We used to call him Beetle Juice, because he had greesy yellow hair and green teeth just like in the movie.

She didn't know she was pregnant until she was 5 months, because she was afraid to go to the doctor. She also did drugs and drank and smoked all before she found out. She thought she wasn't getting her period because she changed the brand of birth control pills. SHe didn't know that when you change pills, they aren't effective for 3 months!! (which she would have known if she read the package info).

twinmommy
April 7th, 2005, 03:00 PM
Seizures can happen for wide range of things..but not autism.

But let's refrain from the diagnosis, I just wanted to make you feel better, but now that you've posted further, I think we can forget that for a while... :sad:

I would call the police, even if it's not anonymous. You may cause a ***** storm in your family, but I agree your nephew deserves help, and can't talk to help himself.

Faulty adminstering of meds, or not at all is neglect, and abuse.

If you help him, she might be forced to get help too.

Bearsmom
April 7th, 2005, 03:45 PM
do you think I can request the record of birth, or does she have to.
*Call the hospital and request it, they may ask that she do it, I'm not sure.

I think with the health cards you need pictures now, so wouldn't she have to go to an office with him?
*No, because infants change so much, they don't require pictures.

I don't think she even has a proper car seat for him.
*Then she can be charged if she's ever driving with him and he's not in a proper seat, and she gets in an accident. I wish I would have known about a month ago, I just got rid of two of them!


He does take meds for them, but she runs out frequently and often forgets to give them.
*Then she needs to have someone HARSHLY explain to her exactly what will happen if she doesn't give the meds!

Don't repeated seizures cause brain damage?
*They can, and an ambulance should be called every time he has one.

Can you report anonymously to the police as well??
*Yes, but if they eventually need you to testify, they will need your name. Never mind your sister hating you, think of it as your nephew thanking you!

He did get vaccinations. ***EXCELLENT.

I knew when she said she was pregnant that things were going wrong. The father is a school mate of mine who was in my class in grade 7. At that time he was charged with sexual harrassment after he started grabbing all the girls boobs and butts. Out teacher was female and saw what was happening, and had a female police officer come and talk to us about it, and then he was charged and sent to a special school. He came from a bad home as well...his mother was a prostitute as he told it...but who knows if he was telling the truth or not. We used to call him Beetle Juice, because he had greesy yellow hair and green teeth just like in the movie.
*Gee, he sounds like a real winner. What is she doing with him?

She didn't know she was pregnant until she was 5 months.
*I was seventeen weeks before I knew (I was also 34 when I found out, though), however, I'm employed, and own my own home.

She needs to realize that as soon as she became a mom, she needed to stop thinking about herself.

chico2
April 7th, 2005, 03:59 PM
Raingirl,I am sorry for the terrible situation you are in :sad: but I am even more sorry for the little child.
I have a son who is epileptic,had he not recieved treatment from the time he was 1yrs old,I am sure by now(at 39)he would be totally disabled.Every seizure causes a little braindamage,medication is vital and your sister witholding medical treatment is in my opinion child-abuse.
Were this my grandchild,he would be in my custody.
Your sister being mentally unstable,needs help and I do not think she's capable of looking after a child,much less a disabled child.
My son had severe seizures and they can even kill a little child,especially one with other medical problems,as this baby has.

I don't know where you should turn for help,I don't have great faith in CAS,maybe your family doctor could assist you,this little boy needs help,before it's too late.

happycats
April 7th, 2005, 04:02 PM
And yes her sister wont listen to anythings he says so I guess she shouldnt try. I mean honestly I think I made some good suggestions that may help in my orginal post. That is why I said assemble a family unit. I didnt say raingirl does this all herself.
I have been to intervention for a drug addict won't get into any details. Do you think when she walked in the door she said thank god you guys are here. when she left she had a new lease on life.
just saying there are other options.

Please don't take offence, your suggestions were great, But all I see is a helpless child, in dire need of medical assistance.

badger
April 7th, 2005, 04:17 PM
I agree, happycats, the child can't wait for the mother to get it together; even with intervention, it will be a long process. I'd just call the CAS, make an appointment and lay it all out for them. They aren't interested in depriving children of their parents, however neglectful, but she'll probably have to agree to some kind of supervision.

Lizzie
April 7th, 2005, 04:18 PM
As far as the time delay that may occur with CAS, I would assume that in your situation the importance of making a house call will rise. Just like anything else, the healthy people will be pushed down in the line....which can, like now, make sense.

With an ill, underdeveloped and potentially abused child (if this father is abusive to the mother why would he not abuse the child), CAS is likely to jump a lot faster. The case is especially important because, if given proper medical attention, the child could possibly lead a normal lie. At this rate, that's not going to happen.

Like everyone else said, if you have to report and have it known that it was you, you may as well go ahead and do it. The life of an innocent child is at stake here---one that you are obviously very concerned about.

Just to address the comment that someone made about the child living a life as a ward of the state---perhaps this is not as bad as it sounds. Dogs that live in foster care certainly are given the best possible care. This goes the same way for Foster Parents. I've known foster parents before, and i believe there are some on this site who can attest to my opnion that they will likely be more able to care for this child than his own mother.

Unlike when humans have children, foster parents are screened before children move in. Parents are not!! (not that this would ever happen because we live in a democracy and have rights..but you get what im saying!)

Lizzie
April 7th, 2005, 04:23 PM
Ok so i did some looking around. Apparently the CAS has exclusive rights and duties to protect children from harm.

Also, as an Ontarian, Raingirl is required to report if she suspects any of the following (which she does):



The child has suffered physical harm, inflicted by the person having charge of the child or caused by or resulting from that person's,

failure to adequately care for, provide for, supervise or protect the child, or

pattern of neglect in caring for, providing for, supervising or protecting the child.

There is a risk that the child is likely to suffer physical harm inflicted by the person having charge of the child or caused by or resulting from that person's,

failure to adequately care for, provide for, supervise or protect the child, or

pattern of neglect in caring for, providing for, supervising or protecting the child.

The child has been sexually molested or sexually exploited, by the person having charge of the child or by another person where the person having charge of the child knows or should know of the possibility of sexual molestation or sexual exploitation and fails to protect the child.

There is a risk that the child is likely to be sexually molested or sexually exploited as described in paragraph 3.

The child requires medical treatment to cure, prevent or alleviate physical harm or suffering and the child's parent or the person having charge of the child does not provide, or refuses or is unavailable or unable to consent to, the treatment.

The child has suffered emotional harm, demonstrated by serious,

anxiety,

depression,

withdrawal,

self-destructive or aggressive behaviour, or

delayed development,

and there are reasonable grounds to believe that the emotional harm suffered by the child results from the actions, failure to act or pattern of neglect on the part of the child's parent or the person having charge of the child.

The child has suffered emotional harm of the kind described in subparagraph i, ii, iii, iv or v of paragraph 6 and the child's parent or the person having charge of the child does not provide, or refuses or is unavailable or unable to consent to, services or treatment to remedy or alleviate the harm.

There is a risk that the child is likely to suffer emotional harm of the kind described in subparagraph i, ii, iii, iv or v of paragraph 6 resulting from the actions, failure to act or pattern of neglect on the part of the child's parent or the person having charge of the child.

There is a risk that the child is likely to suffer emotional harm of the kind described in subparagraph i, ii, iii, iv or v of paragraph 6 and that the child's parent or the person having charge of the child does not provide, or refuses or is unavailable or unable to consent to, services or treatment to prevent the harm.

The child suffers from a mental, emotional or developmental condition that, if not remedied, could seriously impair the child's development and the child's parent or the person having charge of the child does not provide, or refuses or is unavailable or unable to consent to, treatment to remedy or alleviate the condition.

The child has been abandoned, the child's parent has died or is unavailable to exercise his or her custodial rights over the child and has not made adequate provision for the child's care and custody, or the child is in a residential placement and the parent refuses or is unable or unwilling to resume the child's care and custody.

The child is less than 12 years old and has killed or seriously injured another person or caused serious damage to another person's property, services or treatment are necessary to prevent a recurrence and the child's parent or the person having charge of the child does not provide, or refuses or is unavailable or unable to consent to, those services or treatment.

The child is less than 12 years old and has on more than one occasion injured another person or caused loss or damage to another person's property, with the encouragement of the person having charge of the child or because of that person's failure or inability to supervise the child adequately.

Lizzie
April 7th, 2005, 04:25 PM
Protection from liability CFSA s. 72(7)
If a civil action is brought against a person who made a report, that person will be protected unless he or she acted maliciously or without reasonable grounds for his or her suspicion.

What will the children's aid society do?
Children's aid society workers have the responsibility and the authority to investigate allegations and to provide services to protect children.

A children's aid society worker may, as part of the investigation and plan to protect the child, involve the police and other community agencies.

CyberKitten
April 7th, 2005, 06:52 PM
I hesitate to give advice here since I am asked this at work and I consider it unprofessional to do so online without knowing everything. (A doctor or social worker where you are (Ont?) will also take your sister's account into consideration.

Your sister and her son both need help. I would not diagnose those symptoms as autism so quickly - he could have so many illnesses but it sounds as tho he needs a referral to a neurologist asap. If he is seen in an ER, they are obligated by law to report your sister and her bf to the authorities. (if they see outright abuse. Neglect is much more nebulous and hard to prove. 0 Also, the Ontario social system - with some exceptions - because it relies on Children's Aid Societies (a model of the 1900's really) - is outdated, slow to react and probably the worst in the country to deal with - especially if you want abuse proescuted. The CAS's do not all work together and it is very frustrating (Other provinces have one community or social services system so they are centralized).

Could you get your sister into mental health treatment? Is she a danger to herself? Has she ever been "in the system"? Does she have a family doctor? Does her child have a pediatrician?

The fastest way for you to get help is for you or your mom to seek custody. Have a lawyer who is a specialist in family law demand custody on your/ yr mom(?)'s behalf. Cite the reason as neglect and child endangerment. The social services/medical route will be much slower unless the child shows up in the ER with obvious trauma. (esp in that province). Social services will always try to keep the family together and a doctor needs to prove a PATTERN of abuse over time.

Good luck!! I am so sorry to hear of this situation.

raingirl
April 8th, 2005, 09:46 AM
Just so everyone knows, there is no physical abuse that I know of. It's only neglect and emotional/mental abuse (which won't show up in the ER).

Lizzie, you put it in words that I couldn't.

The case is especially important because, if given proper medical attention, the child could possibly lead a normal lie. At this rate, that's not going to happen.

I read that stuff on the CAS website as well, and I agree that there is some neglect going on.

Cyber, my sister has always been a danger to herself. She has tried to commit suicide before (in her teens). She and my mother are very alike. Both have been hospitalised for mental health issues before. At least my mom got treatment, my sister stopped. I don't know if my sister sees the same doc as she used to, or whether he is seeing my nephew as well. It would be a long distance to travel though if she/he is, because she lives in East York now, without a car, afraid to take the bus, and the doctor is on the scarborough/pickering border (about 30 drive...longer by bus). I also know that my mother is not interested in taking custody, and neither am I. I can barely function in my life right now after getting screwed with my new job, and my mother is just as unstable as my sister, and doesn't see the need for help that I see. My mom is convinced that my sister is doing ok...she's living in a dream land though.

Thanks everyone for the advice so far. I don't have my sister's address or anything right now to give to CAS or police, so until I can get that, it will be on hold. Once I get that...I will have to decide who to report to. I'm not so confident in help from the police after having delt with them with my other sister after she attacked me many years ago....they couldn't really help at all, charges and punishment wise. They suggested we kick her out, which we did, and it worked though. She is a better person now because she was given tough love. I may try the CAS route and see where it goes.

happycats
April 8th, 2005, 10:10 AM
I know neglect may not show up in ER, but if you do contact the CAS they will do a home visit, and will be able to tell from the condition of the home and child if there is something amiss.
I know someone who just recently had CAS called on them (issues of neglect and substance abuse by the parent)and these children were older 10 and 14. and CAS was at the home within 2 days of the call! The CAS worker interviewed the children, looked through the house (kitchen childrens bedrooms and bathroom) he also ordered drug testing for the mother, and went through all her finances (income and expenses), to make sure she was getting as much as possible,and using it towards the childrens needs. And also made sure the children were up to date on shots. and contacted the childrens school and teachers.
So I know they do do a thourough investigation.
The decision to intervene, will not just depend on what you tell them, but based on a CAS investigation.

IMO if you feel your nephew would be better off (emotionally and physically, ) and get all the medical help he is entitled to and has a right to. then you know you have to call. I am sure your sister will get the help she needs as well, and will be given the tools (money, health care, social worker, and the courage to get rid of an abusive boyfriend) to properly care for herself and her child. Only positive can come of this.

CyberKitten
April 8th, 2005, 10:13 PM
It seems - since at this point it is neglect rather than outright abuse (tho both are equally bad imho and it is frustrating to have to wait until something happens to act in a hospital, sigh!! Been there, done that tho I hate that expression)/

Good luck with CAS. Make sure to keep in touch with them - and not just call them once to make an accusation. They need to know other family members are concerned. Also, you may want to find out if your sister has a family doc, is she is still seeing her psychiatrist or other health care professional, if not, why not - that will all help when talking to CAS workers (who are WAY overworked). A hospital social worker could assist you too - if you somehow managed to take the child to a hospital. (I wished you lived near me - I'd refer you to the proper sources and folow it up!!)

Good luck!!!!