Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Living conditions at home

Hi im 16yrs old and im really struggling staying at home. For me my home conditions are not the best, and i it reflects upon my health, im underweight and ive been prescribed these health shakes but i cant make it due to my kitchen conditions the ceiling is breaking the sink is clogged dishes everywhere and alot of clutter everywhere i really struggle taking care of my health its really difficult for me im constantly feeling upset in my house my dad is not really hygienic and spits his tobacco everywhere on the kitchen floor in the bathroom there are no doors anywhere in my house and i never get any privacy the bathroom door has been broken for nearly 2 years now and i never get any privacy. Me and my dad dont really get on he says horrible stuff to me and my mum. My mum is a really hardworking lady and people treat her like crap including my older brother and dad and its really upsetting. I dont eat my food until really late like midnight or after and often its not full meals. There are piles of clothes everywhere in my house my house is not a good environment and i am always feeling upset over it. Im often home alone and my older brother has problems with people and they tend to come over to house and argue and its worrying. the bathroom sink is clogged and has been for months its really annoying and difficult taking care of my health again.

Ask Sam


H there

When your basic needs aren’t being met you might be experiencing neglect. Your parent or carer should provide what you need for your health and wellbeing. If that’s not happening it’s important to tell someone so that things can change at home.

Parents and carers have a responsibility to make sure you're safe, that you have food, can get medical help when you need it and that your home's clean and safe. Neglect can happen to anyone and it can affect your physical and mental health.

Sometimes parents need help to look after children and young people, like when they have a physical or mental health problem which makes it hard to for them to care for someone else. They may have a problem with drugs or alcohol and need help so that they can look after you better. Talking to someone you trust can help you to get support social services.

Social services can help families that are struggling for different reasons and find the best support for your family. They can help you contact other services like your local food bank for emergency food or your housing office if there are problems with where you live. They try to keep families together where it’s safe to. If someone you live with has a long term health condition or a disability your social worker or benefits office will tell you about any benefits that can help with extra costs or changes to your home.

It’s your parent’s duty to provide food, clothing or shelter for you, to make sure that you're safe, have an education and are given proper health care until you’re an adult. At 16 it's legal for you to live away from home and you could ask friends or family if you're able to stay with them for a few days or more long term. You could also find out more about your housing options by talking to Shelter, your housing office or your social worker.

It can be difficult to know what to do, especially when you’re not sure what will happen next of you tell someone what it's like at home. Remember, you can talk to a Childline counsellor and they'll help you look at your options and contact a service for you if you want them to.

I hope this advice has helped. Thanks for your letter.

Take care,


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