Sunday, 13 July 2014

Child lapping like a dog in my Classroom

This little three-year-old boy attended the nursery I was managing and was seen by a nursery nurse to be kneeling on the floor and “lapping” like a dog from one of the children's toilets. In order to be able to witness, record and report this incident I needed to witness this for myself. I asked the staff to let me know when they saw this happening again and to come and get me straight away. A little later on the little boy was seen to be "lapping" from the toilet again. I hurried to the children's bathrooms and to my horror saw with my very eyes this dear little boy with his head down the toilet drinking the water.

I stooped beside him and asked "what are you doing" he replied “having a drink”. When I asked him why he was drinking from the toilet he replied: “this is what we do at home”. I was actually dumbstruck, sad and speechless. I told him he could always ask for a drink from a member of staff in the nursery and that at nursery he didn't need to drink from the toilet ever again. From now on this little mite was reassured that it was safe to ask for a drink when at the nursery. 

After much discussion and meetings with mum and a variety of agencies, it materialised that this little boy's mother was a single parent, cocaine user and alcoholic and at home she strapped this little boy and his brother into high chairs in a spare room during the into day in order that she could sleep off her substance abuse habit. At night she tied both boys down in their cots so they did not disturb her social life and she could happily partake in her cocaine and alcohol habits.

we learnt she refused them drinks so that she did not have to change their nappies. The eldest boy who attended my nursery was so thirsty each day but was terrified to ask for a drink for fear of being reprimanded and that is why he drank from the toilet secretly in order to quench his thirst. At home, they had to sneak drinks and could often only get water by drinking from the toilet.

A written referral was made to social care and the assessment and intervention team was informed and a child protection procedure began. with a Team Around the Child meeting (TAC) called as a matter of urgency. The children were put on a multiagency Child Protection Plan which involved the nursery manager, health visitor, children's centre manager, general practitioner, police and social worker. Regular Child in Need (CIN) meetings was called and sadly for their health, wellbeing and safety, these two little boys were taken into long-term foster care and eventually adopted away from the area. 

Their mother was offered long-term mental health, substance abuse and parenting support.

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