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Child Neglect ?????? Moral Delima

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  • Child Neglect ?????? Moral Delima

    I have this cousin that lives in Kansas. He has two kids, four and two years old. They live in this old movie theatre that he bought and converted part of it into living space. It is a pretty cool building with alot of history, but it is also falling apart around him. He/wife are not the greatest house keepers there are. The place smells horrible, there is stuff piled every where. You literally have to step over the clothes and the dishes to move through the rooms. There are also holes in the floor that go all the way to the basement (plywood layed over them, not nailed down). The part of the building that they live in is a [email protected]#$ Hole!!!
    The kids are healthly and well fed, but they are lacking on the hygene part a little. He pretty much just puts the kids in a room and lets them just play all day by themselves. I know he loves his kids but he seems to be lacking in the desire to take care of them. When some one in the family goes over to get the kids to take them somewhere, they do not want to go back. Most of the kids' upbringing is from other parts of the family.
    It has been said on numerous occasions that if the Child Walefare Office found out, that they would take the kids away from them, which is the last thing I want to happen.
    The big question on my mind is what to do about it.
    You see in about a month I will be working for the local SO. Should I try to talk to him as a cousin or wait and talk to him as a police officer?
    Another problem with all of this is my family knows what is happening with the building and the way the kids are being taken care of and they know i'm about to become a cop. Some of them told me I should just walk away from it and dont worry about it.

    What would you call this, neglect, abuse, endangerment??

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    "SO OTHERS MAY LIVE"
    You have to go out, but you don't have to come back!!

    Coming to a CRACK HOUSE NEAR YOU!!!!!

  • #2
    First you need to ask yourself, is this really neglect (as defined by the law), or do you simply disagree philosophically with how this guy raises his kids? Do the parents beat their kids? Are the kids denied treatment when they are sick? Are they denied food? Are they denied clothing? Are they denied shelter from the elements? Are they denied the necessities of life? Are they living in a building that the city would condemn as a safety hazard? Just because someone is not a good housekeeper, or can't afford a house as nice as yours, or kids' clothes don't get washed too often doesn't automatically signal neglect.

    Based solely on your description, I don't see any child neglect here. Were you to become personally involved at this point, it would appear that your are simply trying to impose your personal philosophy on your cousin's family under the color of official right. That's a bad thing to do as a civilian and especially bad as a deputy.

    If you truly believe there is child neglect, report it to social services, the agency of primary jurisdiction. Then step back, let them handle it and abide by their decision.
    Last edited by L-1; 09-20-2005, 10:23 PM.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      The building is border line on the condeming.
      I dont think Im judging him on how I live or how much money I make,(he actually makes alot more than me).
      I'm worried about the kids' wellbeing. How do you define necessities of life?
      As I wrote earlier, He will leave the kids in a room all by themselves. Which is usually at the other end of the building. I've seen on several different occasions that the two year old was sitting in a dirty diper for at least a couple of hours.
      He'll play on the computer for hours on end and not check on them. I know this for fact. I've been at his "house" before for a couple of hours when i'll ask if the kids are with their mom, and he'll tell me thier in the other room. At which time i'll go check on them.

      As defined by Webster's, they are living in squalor.

      I just dont know if I should do somthing or nothing?
      Last edited by quallze; 09-20-2005, 11:36 PM.

      "SO OTHERS MAY LIVE"
      You have to go out, but you don't have to come back!!

      Coming to a CRACK HOUSE NEAR YOU!!!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by quallze
        I just dont know if I should do somthing or nothing?
        Based solely on what you've described, I really don't see neglect within the meaning of the law. In any case, trying to intervene as a deputy (or as an about to be deputy) in a disputed family matter is a recipe for disaster. If you are truly concerned, notify social services as they are the primary agency of jurisdiction rether than the sheriff's department. Then, let them handle it and abide by their decision.
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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        • #5
          If you're that concerned notify Social Services. From what you describe L-1 may be 100% correct according to Ca. law. Here in Az. it would probably be investigated but I doubt anything would be done if the kids aren't lacking anything. But you're in Kansas & subj to their definition of abuse & neglect. Only someone from there could give you a definitive answer

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          • #6
            Moral dilema

            Regarding your dilema, I'll tell you what not to do. Do not use the power of your soon to be office to coerce your relatives into providing the children with the atmosphere you feel is proper. If you're concerned, the action I would recommend, officer or civilian, is to notify the Child Protective Agency serving the area. From this perspective, it's impossible to really say whether or not abuse, or neglect, in the legal sense is taking place. From what you describe, the atmosphere is less than ideal. Whether or not action is warranted should be determined by the proper authority, and that isn't you or I.

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            • #7
              Thank you for your advice. I think I'll do a little more research before I say/do anything if at all. I can see the points that you guys have made. I think I might be jumping the gun a little. Thats why I wanted your advice on what to do.
              Again Thank You.

              "SO OTHERS MAY LIVE"
              You have to go out, but you don't have to come back!!

              Coming to a CRACK HOUSE NEAR YOU!!!!!

              Comment

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