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Family beg for help from social services after brother and sister lose both parents in just 4 months


A South London family have been begging social services to help after their niece and nephew lost both parents within four months of each other.

In April earlier this year, a boy, 8, and girl, 12, found out the father had committed suicide. Their names have been withheld.

Their mother, Tara, 48, had a “breakdown” suffering from the loss and “started drinking alcohol to cope,” according to her niece Courtney.

Tara died on August 26.

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The children’s mother, Tara, who died on August 26

The children were left parentless and are now being cared for by their aunt, Courtney’s mother, who is living in Welling, Bexley.

She said she is in a battle with social services, as she has to care for the children, as well as her own nine-year-old daughter and her son, 26, who had a motorbike accident and suffered brain damage.

Courtney, 23, said: “My mother tried to get help but social services aren’t funding or doing anything. The only thing they did offer was to transport them to school and on a few occasions they just never showed up which was extremely distressing for them.”

The transport service has just notified the mother that they will not be showing up next week either.

The only other option is foster care but the family have decided they don’t want to do that.

Courtney said: “They are so comfortable living with my mother, even though it’s only a three bed, and the thought of them going into foster care is awful.

“But it’s taking its toll on my mother, the stress of everything recently meant she had to get a blood transfusion. She needs help.

“We’re so angry at social services. There has been no funding and they can’t even keep up with transport so the kids haven’t been able to go to school.”

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Courtney has set up a fundraiser in an attempt to relieve her mother of some of the financial burden she is currently facing.

Talking about Tara, Courtney said: “I was really close with her. She was my best friend.”

A spokesperson from Bexley Council told My London: “We are aware of the children, who are currently receiving support from Croydon Council.

“Croydon have asked to transfer service responsibility to Bexley and in line with established practice we are waiting for information from them so we can consider their request.”

When requesting comment from Croydon Council, they told My London “to approach Bexley Council [instead] because the family live in that area”.

Courtney believes the children’s welfare is being “brushed to one side” while the councils are unable to “sort themselves out”.

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