Originally Posted by ArtLady1981
Based upon where I live, after ascertaining that the child was young and no coat...I would have dialed 911 and let the police handle the 2nd part. I would have waited on the sidewalk until the police arrived.
Let the Dad explain himself to the cops.
The cops may or may not turn the case over to Social Services who are trained to handle family crisis or just bad parenting. The family may have a record with Social Services. You may not be the first Good Samaritan to report the Dad or parents.
And if nothing is wrong with the whole situation, simply being a thing that can happen to anyone...then the Dad is still "on notice" regarding his child.
And, let me not get shot by a nutty, maybe drugged-out, or drunk, irate Dad.
I understand you did say that your reply was based on where you live but it still raised my hackles a bit. I'm not attacking your answer in any way but responding because of two things that happened to me.
First, when my son was about 4 or so, he managed to get locked outside of the house in his pjs on a pretty cold morning. It was a long time ago so I don't remember the details but I think he thought his dad was out in our studio and went out to see him. The door locked behind him and we didn't hear him calling to us because we were in upstairs and in another part of the house. We finally did hear him and let him inside. He was cold but none the worse for wear.
Not a family crisis or even bad parenting. Just what sometimes happens when you have a little kid around.
The second thing that happened was when someone (I'm pretty sure it was my dd's nursery school teacher) decided that she was going to teach me a lesson for a disagreement we had. She made an anonymous call to social services and accused me of abusing my dd (she was maybe 3 1/2 at the time.) It was a malicious act but one that will follow me for the rest of my life.
You see, once you have an active file with Social Services, even if there is no basis to the case and it goes inactive, it can get brought up at any time. Say my dd manages to break an arm and I have to go to the ER. There is the possibility that the ER doc will check me out and my file will come up. Despite the fact that there was no evidence of abuse, they will know that someone accused me once of having abused my dd and it will be an issue despite the fact that the case was closed.
I started writing this post before I got a chance to read Renee's story but my experience was similar to hers in that we also had to endure months of hell after Social Services got involved.
So intervening on the behalf of the child was the right thing to do for sure. I also think you did the right thing in handling it yourself and not calling the authorities to step in. It would have been a different story if you had seen obvious signs that there was something amiss.