What can I do???????????

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Auntie B
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:04 am

What can I do???????????

Post by Auntie B » Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:54 am

Sorry this is long but please bear with me,
My concerns are for my 14 year old nephew.
His mum died 10 years ago when he was 4yrs old, my brother has never gotten over this and as a result took solace in the bottle, although he controls this well, he does have a problem.
My brother controls his son with a rod of iron expecting him to jump when he says, makes him go to bed at 8pm & generally do as he is told without question. Invariably this has caused conflict to the extreme as my nephew is of the age to start answering back & sticking up for himself, which has even resulted in scuffles & the Police being called.
My sister & I have tried several times to talk to my brother & try & get him help & support but he refuses, because he doesn’t see that he has, or is the problem.
He is emotionally abusing his son, calls him names, says the most wicked & hurtful things to him, & blames him everything that goes wrong including failed relationships etc. etc
My Nephew fortunately has a wonderful “stepmother” who has been in his life for the past 10 years, living with my brother for the first 5-6 years.
My brother now despises her & has tried every way possible for my nephew not to see & have contact with her. My nephew loves her as a mum & needs her as she is a calm stabilizing influence on him. Whenever my nephew fights with his dad, he leaves the house & goes to stay with his stepmother till things calm down. When his dad insists he goes back, he does & it all kicks off again, usually over the most stupid things, this has been the cycle for the past 5 months.
Last month I contacted Children’s services to try & get some advice & support, its early days but this course of action has infuriated my brother which has resulted in a torrent of abusive, vile texts to myself, sister & my nephew’s stepmother.
Currently my nephew is living with his stepmother, without any financial support from my brother, who seems to have washed his hands of his responsibility & blames us all for being “interfering Bitches that have ruined his life”
The Police say there is nothing they can do as its not a “Domestic “

My request is for any help & advice as to what we can do to move forward:-

i- his stepmother doesn’t have any parental responsibility,
ii-my brother won’t talk, or cooperate in anyway
iii- what financial support can his stepmother get, if any?
iv-can we force my brother to get help
v-what do we do if my Nephew doesn’t want to go home & my brother insists

My Nephew is doing fantastically well at school he has constantly hit all his targets has 100% attendance & is predicted to do well in his exams (a lot down to his stepmother)
He is a lovely boy & although not totally blameless for the situation he is still a child who need love & guidance, something he doesn't get from my brother.

I am so worried the situation will have an adverse effect on him & his behaviour & schooling will suffer at the most important time in his life. His Stepmother loves him dearly & will do anything for him.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly welcomed

Auntie B

Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:15 pm

Re: What can I do???????????

Post by DGJ » Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:32 pm

Wow you sound like a very strong woman and my hat goes off to you.. You certainly are putting your nephews needs first if only all children had someone like you to back them up.
Let's see if I can help a little,
I would start by getting the child's stepmum and you as support to talk to the local authority about your situation they might want to talk to the boy to get his vision and his wishes and feelings.
They might not be willing to help due to the boy being safe with hus stepmother if this is the case she should seek to go and see a solicitor for advice as she probably need some sort of court order for him to protect if father demands return.
Also if the father asks him to return home he doesn't have to.. He could call the police if she or child refused but they would speak to the child when they get to the stepmothers and doubt they will return him with the situation (I ran away from home 14 years of age and police came but left me where I was because I didn't want to go home)
As for financial the stepmum can claim child tax and child benefit.
Hope I've helped private message me if you want

Auntie B
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:04 am

Re: What can I do???????????

Post by Auntie B » Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:24 am

Thank you for your replies, much appreciated. I will look further into financial support for his stepmother, and if things don't improve maybe look to legal advice.
My Nephew has been offered a free holiday to the Isle of Man but my brother is refusing to allow him to go, he's so controlling & all it's doing is driving a bigger wedge between them. So very sad.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 647
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: What can I do???????????

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:12 pm

Dear Auntie B

Welcome to the Family and Friends Discussion Board.

My name is Suzie and I am an Adviser at Family Rights Group. It is really great that you have taken such an interest in your nephew’s welfare.

Your nephew’s stepmother has clearly helped to give him the support and stability that he needs and should be commended for this.

If she needs support from Children Services the way to ask would be to ask for him to be assessed as a child in need. If he is deemed to be a child in need then she could get financial support under s.17 of the Children Act 1989. This is a discretionary payment. As suggested on other posts, your sister-in-law can apply for your nephew’s child benefit to be paid to her as he is actually living with her. I have included our advice sheet about family support .here

The other thing she might wish to consider if she wishes to care for him long term is whether to apply for a court order so he can reside permanently with her. She could apply for either a Child Arrangement Order or Special Guardianship Order. A Child Arrangement Order is quicker process but she could apply for the Special Guardianship Order as well. As these applications would fall under private law I suggest that you contact Coram Children’s Legal Centre on 0300 330 5480 as they advise on these matter. Having a court order would mean that she shares parental responsibility for your nephew and can make day to day decisions for his care.

We do have advice sheets about Child Arrangement Orders and Special Guardianship Order and how to apply for these. copies of the advice sheets for further information. Although these are from the point of view of Children Services involvement, the application process is the same.

It is unfortunate, that your brother will not accept that he has a problem with alcohol so he can get appropriate help. You say he never got over the death of his son’s mother and this is the reason he drinks. Do you know if he ever had any bereavement counselling, this might help him even though he lost her a long time ago. Maybe fear of losing his son is what makes him so hard on him but it is having the opposite effect.

Perhaps you could try to speak to your brother about getting counselling and this could include his son as well to see if they can repair their relationship.

Please do contact Coram Children’s Legal Centre as they will be able to advise you and your sister-law about the way forward.
I hope you find this information helpful.

Best wishes,


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