What can I do if my daughter’s best friend is 15 and lives in an abusive environment?

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What can I do if my daughter’s best friend is 15 and lives in an abusive environment?

Her father has custody of her presently. He is an alcoholic, does not pay his bills(the gas is off currently) and does not provide adequately for her. She cannot be with her mother as her mother’s husband is serving time in jail for on-going child molestation involving this girl. Her whole family are abusers in some way. She wants to live here with me and my family. I would love to have her but I don’t know what I have to do. Is there anything I can do and what steps can I take? Even it’s just temporary custody. The girl is here in my home right now and does not want to go back home. What can I do?

Asked on October 3, 2012 under Family Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

David Axinn / David M Axinn

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the father will cooperate, it may be possible to make some temporary arrangement that gives you some legal authority. You should consult with an attorney about this.

If there is no cooperation, then your legal rights are pretty limited - you would have to return her. (My answer might be different if she had lived with you for some period of tim). You can call children and youth services, or childline to report the situation, but you should know that their definition of abuse is a lot more limited than the way most people use the word.


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