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To Sam


Dear Sam.
i am 13 years old and currently live with my grandad. My parent have divorced and my 1 sister lives with my dad my mother is in prison. My dad smokes canabis and I have  concerns on my sisters welfare. I leagaly live with my grandad he has a resedence order and I am happyer than ever but my sister, she lives only up the road from me and actually comes to my house every morning befor my dad goes to work and then after .she is only 8 and sometimes my dad leaves her on her own he clames benefits when he works and allways borrows money of my grandad he is a alcoholic and can't afford his addiction . My sister has been brought up in the Wong way and is not a nice person . I guess I just want some advice or something to happen.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

It’s not okay for your dad to leave your eight year old sister on her own to look after herself, even if it’s only occasionally. This sounds like it would be classed as neglect. You also mention that your dad is an alcoholic and I am concerned to hear that he may be taking care of your sister while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. It sounds like things for your sister are difficult and it’s good that you and your granddad are able to keep an eye on her.

You say that you want something to happen. It might help to think a bit more about what you mean by this. It could be that you are thinking about your sister moving in with you and your granddad, or perhaps there might be another family member that could help. Perhaps this is something you could talk to your granddad about.

It would be okay for you or your granddad to contact social services, explain how things are for your sister and ask them to help you. Social services are people who work for the government to make sure families have the things they need. I cannot tell you what they would say or do but it's important that other people know about what is going on for your sister. That way she can get the care she needs. You can get social services involved by speaking to someone at your school. You can also phone them yourself directly. If you contact ChildLine and speak to a counsellor, they should be able to find the number for you or contact social services for you.  

Another option would be for someone, to speak to the NSPCC Child Protection Helpline on 0808 800 5000 about your sister. Your granddad might be able to do this. The NSPCC will also be able to explain what can be done to help you.

If you would like to talk things through more with someone, you could talk to someone you trust at school or talk to a counsellor at ChildLine.

Take care,

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