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Struggling with 15 daughter who is couch surfing

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Struggling with 15 daughter who is couch surfing


Struggling with 15 daughter who is couch surfing

Hi am am new and struggling. Last week my daughter who was doing well at school had a job didn’t come home. She said she was and didn’t for 4 days. She has a new friend and her friends family has kids coming and going at all hours. My daughter has mild autism and working memory. She was away from home for a week. When I finally got her home compromised and said she could stay at her friends 3 night a week even though I don’t like the idea- didn’t stay at the address didn’t inform me. My daughter said she doesn’t have to come home and she doesn’t have to get a job because her friends family has informed her that she can do what she likes. Police are involved child protection but nothing is being done, I don’t know what to do and who to turn to. She isn’t turning up to school all the time. School has been informed- this is so out of character. Called head space daughter is refusing to engage with any supports- I’m worried sick daughter asked why I called the police this am to do a welfare check- she has no insight to what she is doing. I’m a solo parent I have to keep taking time off work will not be long before we are homeless if I can’t make rent. No services or police are helping. Don’t know where to turn.

Re: Struggling with 15 daughter who is couch surfing

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Hi there @Cjmum 

Thank you for opening up about this situation with your daughter. After reading your post, I can feel the shock, confusion and worry you're going through right now, and I'm so sorry this is happening. 

You've taken such a proactive approach, and it sounds like you've contacted all the right people, but I want to acknowledge how frustrating it is when you're not receiving the response you'd hoped for in this situation. There's a lot on your shoulders right now, and I'm curious to know if you have a support network around you? Friends, family or your daughters father? 

I'm not sure if this will be helpful for you, but I wanted to share the link to our free one-on-one parenting support service. You can sign up for sessions here which might be worth looking into. Let us know what you think of that! 

I hope chatting with the parents support service is helpful, but please feel free to continue sharing your concerns here. We are here to listen and help in any way we can. 

Active scribe

Re: Struggling with 15 daughter who is couch surfing

In reply to....Struggling with 15 yo daughter who is couch surfing....

From what you have written about the new friend's family and household, it's understandable to feel very concerned about your daughter staying there. Your daughter is a very intelligent girl who has achieved so much at school. Yet her mild autism and memory issues can unfortunately lead to your daughter being very vulnerable.

As brilliant a mind your daughter may have, she may experience difficulty making new friends and could be feeling at times, a little lonely.

Your daughter has met a new friend and this companionship is a new experience, a new adventure.

Being enlightened by this family's attitude to life, your daughter may feel empowered by the 'coolness' of their so-called 'do what you want' attitude......

The police are involved. However. There is the issue with regards to what the law is, it's powers and the true reality of how it can be enforced.

Putting it another way - from a real perspective - little can be done to force your daughter to come home.

Then there's the usual problem of limited time and resources for the police to keep getting involved, however unfair that may seem and only creating more worry for you.

The same again applies to any form of family/child protection services. These agencies are time and resource limited and when they get involved, there's perhaps only so much they can do or advise due to specific guidelines.

Unfortunately. Guidelines and training don't cover a full understanding of what both your daughter and - just as importantly - you are really going through.

Your daughter has chosen not to engage and seek advice from anyone such as a counsellor or support worker. Therefore again, a situation in which you are on your own.

Maybe the friend's family just don't care about how their household behave. Perhaps it's 'take us how you find us' and not care what others think.

On the other hand, underneath all the rebellious bravado, could be parents who are genuinely struggling to raise their uncontrolled family and feel the need to put up a tough front. Who knows....

However. One thing is for certain. You are very worried about your daughter being at the house with this family.

Your daughter and her new friend get along together. When away from her family home, your daughter's new friend could gain a positive influence from your daughter.

Of course, it goes without saying that the more you argue with your daughter over this, the more she will want to rebel.

One option could be to invite your daughter's new friend over to your home more regularly if possible. If your daughter's friend spends some time over at your place, a more positive influence may result. Spending time in each other's company, perhaps even wanting to go to school together could provide encouragement.

Trying this could be a way of keeping your daughter on side, yet at the same time be with her friend - and both (especially your daughter) not spending all their time in the company of the friend's family.

It's trying to steer your daughter in the direction of positive influences such as spending more time at school and being encouraged to try new activities together with her friend.

It does seem that the core problem lies not so much with your daughter's new friend, but the household and family environment where the friend lives.

Hopefully. There may be a possibility that if your both your daughter and her friend spend time together doing more positive things, the power of influence from the friends family may not be so strong.

Again. It is a difficult situation because - after all - it's the friend's family and nothing will change the way they are because that's how they want to live.

However. What is very important for you, is that you have your own parenting values and how you want to live your life and only want to protect your daughter.

It's just so unfortunate that you desperately want to reach out and seek help, yet there are either barriers, excuses, reasons, non-communication and - quite frankly - nobody who really understands your's or your daughter's situation.

Hopefully. If this new friend can be encouraged to spend time with your daughter and at least some time in your company, there may be a chance this friendship could benefit both.




Casual scribe

Re: Struggling with 15 daughter who is couch surfing

Hi CJMum

I’m just checking in with you to see how you and your daughter are right now?

I had a very similar situation about 18months ago with my 15yr old daughter. Our saga continues but she is now home, recognises there are issues that need to be addressed and is studying/working again.

Please reach out if you need.