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I have a 17-year-old niece who continues to run away from my brother’s house, and he does not do anything about it. It bothers me that he knows she is doing this on a regular basis and he seems not to care. He is a single dad who works hard to support his three children. I help him as much as I can with them when he is at work, but the issue is that this particular niece is so out of control and he does not do anything to make her stop. There have been times when she leaves the house for weeks at a time and we do not know anything from her until she decides to come back. I am very concerned that something is going to happen to this girl and he will get in trouble for neglecting her. She is still a kid but surely does not behave like one. What should I do with this issue?
The Concerned Aunt
I think is time for someone to get involved in this situation. I agree with you; if something happens to this girl, you brother will be the one responsible for it. Working hard to support his children is one thing, neglecting them because he is working hard is a completely different thing and right now, he is neglecting this girl. The fact that she can disappear from her house for weeks at a time and he has done nothing to make that behavior to stop tells me that he doesn’t not care and if that is the case, someone needs to make him understand that he is wrong by not caring. He is looking for big troubles. Before things get worse, I will suggest you to have a serious chat with him and explain him your concerns. He needs to understand that these kids are his responsibility and this girl is still his responsibility. If after talking to him, he continues neglecting his children, then I guess it will be time for you to involve social services in the issue. This girl cannot be running around like an adult without someone watching over her. It is not safe for her.
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