I am in desperate need of advice and help. I have a friend who has pretty severe substance abuse and alcohol problems, both her and her husband. They also have 6 kids. Let's put it this way, things aren't right over there. I mean, you can imagine 8 people and a dog in a little apartment, meanwhile mommy and daddy hate each other and fight all the time, struggle with employment, and barely eek by. What I have witnessed is clearly child neglect, but not necessarily abuse. Since reporting this to the authorities is simply not an option, I am looking for things that I can do to help fix this family and protect their children.
The latest, most pressing issue, is the bug situation. For whatever reason, sanitation and hyigene are just not high on these people's priority list. That being the case, I have watched as the bug problem has grown increasingly worse over the last few months. When I say "bugs", I counted 5 species of insects one day, two of which were cockroaches and head lice. They've since gotten rid of the lice, but the roaches are worse than ever. My concern is that under no circumstances should cockroaches be crawling on these children's bodies while they are sleeping. Since I have no way of knowing if they are, as I don't stay there, the only way I will be able to find out is to ask the oldest boy (13) if he has experienced this, or if he knows if his siblings have either. I feel bad for asking, because he'll be embarrassed, ashamed, and might even lie about it to protect his parents.
So I guess my questions are: Should I ask him? Am I right in pursuing this, and not just ignoring this issue--bugs crawling on sleeping children? I will also add that had I not previously bought these children beds to sleep in, they would still be sleeping on the floor and furniture.