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To Sam

Parents refuse to get jobs, take me to doctor check-ups etc

Hi, so I'm 14 and living in an emotionally abusive household and I'm wondering if it's considered neglect or possibly illegal for my parents to refuse to get jobs? Neither of them had a job for years, and therefore we are kinda poor and don't have a lot of food. Right now I'm pretty much starving.. most of the food requires other ingredients or non-microwave cooking that which my parents refuse to make because their lazy and won't do the dishes. And I'm not allowed to really touch the dishes or use the non-microwave things. I am underweight, I do not have much meat on me and I don't don't even have to breathe in for you to see the rib cage bones outlined on my stomach. Also in result of my overall skinniness I get dizzy and cold sweats often, I often can't last long in the shower without nearly blacking out.

Furthermore, I really can't remember the last time I've been to a doctor checkup. I think once, maybe around 4th grade when the school didn't allow us to go until we got a certain shot, but that's it really. Don't think I've been to the dentist in a year either. Our pets also don't get any vet checkups, which actually resulted in the death in 2.

Both of my grandmas are angry that I don't get any doctor checkups, my dad always says it just cost too much but my grandmas disagree.

Am I being neglected?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Neglect is when a young person isn’t getting the important things they need at home. This might mean that parents and carers aren’t giving their children enough food, education, or keeping them safe and healthy. Neglect is wrong but there’s help and support available.

Not having much money or your parents not having jobs isn’t neglect. But if this means you’re not getting enough food to stay healthy, that’s neglect. Not being allowed to get medical help you need means that your health is being neglected.

Not having enough food to eat can make you ill and can be bad for your health in the long term. Dizziness and fainting can be dangerous and you should see a doctor who can look into the causes and decide if you need treatment.

It’s important to have your vaccinations at the right time and some of these might be done at school. If you’re not sure whether they’re up to date you can ask to speak to your school nurse or call your doctors surgery to check.

You have the right to medical treatment, including seeing a doctor and regular dental check-ups. Seeing a doctor is free for everyone and prescriptions and treatment are free until you’re aged 16 or aged 18 if you’re in full time education.

You can go to the A&E of your local hospital for urgent medical help or call 999 in an emergency. If you’re not sure what to do you can call the free NHS 111 number for advice and help.

If you’re being neglected you can talk to Social Services, sometimes called Children’s Social care, in your area. They’ll look at what help and support your family needs. You can ask your teacher or speak to a Childline counsellor to help you if you don’t know how to contact them and take that first step.

I hope this advice helps.

Take care,


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