Layabout niece

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My 16 year old niece was thrown out of home and came to stay with us. We have bought new clothes and essential items, bought a new bed and adjusted our living arrangements to fit her in and sorted out a suitable college course and travel there and back.
Recently niece was excluded from college and is now classed as NEET. She could start an apprenticeship or join the Princes Trust course which doesn't start until February 2016.
An apprenticeship is difficult as it has to be for a minimum of a year and so niece wouldn't be able to start a new college course next year which she needs to attend uni for the career route she has chosen.
The exclusion now means that child benefit and tax credits will probably stop and we will have to support niece without and financial assistance. This in itself isn't an issue really as we took her in not knowing if we would get any tax credits due to our income. However just having niece lolling about the house is really starting to irritate me. I have given lots of tasks to do but these usually involve me having to do another three jobs to clear up after her. I am just not comfortable in my own house and am pretty much annoyed all the time, particularly as niece has not shown any remorse for her actions.
Social services are visiting soon as they were involved prior to her staying with us and I feel like telling them she needs to go back as I am starting to begrudge paying for an ungrateful teenager which impacts on the rest of the household. Niece has said she is feeling depressed but I feel this is an excuse to behave badly and she is playing on it as social workers lap it up when she opens up about her feelings.
I don't know if niece is even welcome back home (parents did ask for her back initially but she didn't want to go back and social services felt it was better she was in our care) and I don't know what the options are from here on in and all I can see is a big, fat mess of a situation. I am getting pressure from hubby and grandparents to send her back home but I'm fairly sure Social Services will try to persuade me to let her stay. I'm not anticipating a merry christmas :(
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  • BigAunty
    BigAunty Posts: 8,310 Forumite
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    Though you feel she's feigning depression and enjoys being dramatic, have you considered a visit with a GP with a view to arranging counselling or arranging this privately directly with a counsellor? Are there any support groups locally? Have you looked into internet sites dedicated to the young with MH/emotional issues?

    She doesn't sound very happy at the very least - kicked out of home and college.

    Will the college accept her back - is there an appeal process?

    Are there options for her to undertake voluntary work in the local area to boost her CV and confidence, get her out of the house?

    Have you managed to have an adult chat with her about how she should behave in the house or does she sabotage these kinds of discussions?

    Does she even have any friends in the area?
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,205 Forumite
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    That does sound very difficult.

    Have you been able to talk to your niece at a time when you are not either tryingto get her to do anything, or annoyed that you are having to clear up after her? It might help if you can try to make it more of a discussion, i.e. asking her what she wants / plans to do, asking her what she proposes to do to help around the house, and how she would like to share tasks.

    Obviously we don't know your niece, but it is also very possible that she *is* depressed - has she seen her GP?

    could Social Services set her up with a mentor so she has an adult wo isn't part of the family who can suipport and advise her?

    from a financial point of view, ask Social Seriveces about foster care allowances. You may be entitled to some finacial support or caring for your niece, which might help in practical ways and also to help you to feel less frustrated about her.

    Are there any options for her to continue with her college course at a diferent place?
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • missbiggles1
    missbiggles1 Posts: 17,481 Forumite
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    I'm for a tough love approach. Tell her she has to shape up or you'll have to ask her to leave and take this approach with Social Services as well.
    Are you liaising with her parents with this as well as with Social Services?

    If she doesn't agree to abide by your rules then SS should be able to find her a place in a hostel or Foyer (if there's one local to you) but you may need to insist or they'll just leave her where she is as she's safe with you.
  • Person_one
    Person_one Posts: 28,884 Forumite
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    I have given lots of tasks to do but these usually involve me having to do another three jobs to clear up after her.

    So she is doing the jobs you give her, just not very well?

    Its hard to comment without knowing the reasons why her relationship with her family has broken down. Appreciate it may not be appropriate to go into that of course.

    Maybe you could contact the social worker and ask if the meeting can be brought forward as you are struggling a bit? Take all the support offered and ask for more!
  • Oakie
    Oakie Posts: 88 Forumite
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    Could she get a xmas temp job? It would be a change of scene and a chance to earn some money,may give her a new view of life.
  • VfM4meplse
    VfM4meplse Posts: 34,269 Forumite
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    However just having niece lolling about the house is really starting to irritate me.
    My niece lolls around the house all the time, and I don't mind a bit. But then she is just a few months old :rotfl:

    Perhaps you would like to remember that yours is just 16 years old and just a child, is unlikely to understand the big wide world and the financial and social consequences of her actions. A bit of understanding and co-operation between the two of you could lead to a very rewarding relationship. It is you that is the adult with the life experience who will be able to lead her there, not the other way round.

    If her presence is really annoying you though, don't feel you have to be a martyr. Instead draw a line under the help you have given to date and let SS sort it out. See things from your niece's perspective: no-one likes being somewhere they are made to feel unwanted and a nuisance!
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy :D...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...I love chaz-ing!
  • lindens
    lindens Posts: 2,870 Forumite
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    Its unclear whether she is willing attempting the jobs you give her and just can't do them very well, or just isn't really bothering.
    I think you need t o assume whatever job you are giving her - she wont know how to do it, so you will have to show her. If after a few attempts this doesn't work, try and find out why. Are there other jobs she would rather do? At that point I think tough love comes into it as she needs to pull her weight.
    Also try the GP in case she is depressed
    You're not your * could have not of * Debt not dept *
  • BigAunty
    BigAunty Posts: 8,310 Forumite
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    However just having niece lolling about the house is really starting to irritate me. I have given lots of tasks to do but these usually involve me having to do another three jobs to clear up after her.

    Ah, I missed that bit.There could be two reasons for this.General lack of manual dexterity and low housekeeping skills. Passive aggression - this is where a person does a task badly in the hope that they don't get allocated any more (read about it in Wikipedia, very interesting concept).

    I saw this type of behaviour from some lodgers I used to have in the past. I found them to be generally extremely poor at the most basic and obvious elements of cleaning and tidying, very lazy.

    I never understood if this was because they had newly left home and just didn't have a clue when it came to basic household skills.

    Or because they thought as they paid for their digs, they shouldn't have to do anything.

    So my repeated experience of lodgers was that they just would just step out of the bath or step away from the kitchen without a backward glance. My time with them was characterised by things like over-flowing bins, skid-marks in the loo, hairs in the bath, crockery that was half washed up and put back in the cupboards all greasy.

    I do think there was an element of total ignorance about very basic cleaning/tidying or the cost of energy. For example, they would use metal utensils with pans that had non stick surfaces which would scratch them, put saucepans containing food in the fridge, ring me up on holiday to say a lightbulb had blown, use the washing machine/dish washer/tumble drier with just a few items in it. I just don't think they had a clue about how messy or wasteful they were.
  • missbiggles1
    missbiggles1 Posts: 17,481 Forumite
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    VfM4meplse wrote: »
    My niece lolls around the house all the time, and I don't mind a bit. But then she is just a few months old :rotfl:

    Perhaps you would like to remember that yours is just 16 years old and just a child, is unlikely to understand the big wide world and the financial and social consequences of her actions. A bit of understanding and co-operation between the two of you could lead to a very rewarding relationship. It is you that is the adult with the life experience who will be able to lead her there, not the other way round.

    If her presence is really annoying you though, don't feel you have to be a martyr. Instead draw a line under the help you have given to date and let SS sort it out. See things from your niece's perspective: no-one likes being somewhere they are made to feel unwanted and a nuisance!

    She's 16 - not 6!
  • pogofish
    pogofish Posts: 10,852 Forumite
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    She's sixteen - that's old enough to be beginning to make her own way in the world and however much you care, it may prove better and be more supportive in the long run if you cut-back on the support that keeps enabling her.
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