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Thanks for your advice. I rang her earlier and we had a great talk. And she's admitted she's not coping and I'm going over each day this week to help her sort it
OP, the way you are talking, it sounds like you are really worried. Only you know if it's a DOC's issue. Are the kids in jeopardy? If so, trust your instincts and do what is right by the kids.
I would report it. Going off at her might make her back away, it is better to keep an eye on the situation than to have no view of it.
From a child protection stand point they would generally visit unannounced and safety plan. The kids go to a family member and the parents are given a certain amount of time to clean the house. Some depts will also pay for a skip bin. Once the house is clean the kids move back in and a non government organisation will normally work with the family and the government dept goes away.
Child protection works on immediacy and once that immediate risk is minimised it's ongoing casework that the non government and non statutory services can help with. Neglect is cumulative and so the assistance needs to be ongoing.
You're doing your friend a favour by reporting. If she accepts the help the department can offer her then the matter can be dealt with and the risk of children's court proceedings are decreased significantly.
Motherly grill her as you're helping her clean! Sounds like she is depressed and feels a bit hopeless so has given up. If she doesn't improve book her a doctor's appointment and attend with her then tell her doc what she's like. That with start a conversation where she will be asked if she thinks she's coping and if she needs help. She might be angry for a bit but you're just trying to help and not get her kids taken off her (let her know that, if she does get mad).
I have spoken about this issue before and have a thread on it. My friend is still living in unbelievable filth. It definitely is a mental health issue. I struggle to clean my house when i have a horrible anxiety attack (my "attacks" are more like week long episodes where I am basically paralysed and cannot sleep or eat/function properly.) I think some of these suggestions on this forum are excellent. Help her help herself. Also, boot the male in the house in the arse and tell him to get HIS act together. It isnt the 1950's and the state of her house is NOT souly her fault. He should be equally ashamed and guilted into helping.
I noticed one of my daughters kindy friends had been away for a while after her mum had twins. I didn't have her number but had been to her house for a play date, I just turned up one morning to take her daughter to kindy. The house was trashed, not like you described but like a mum who had just had twins and was not getting any help. I took her daughter to school went back and spent the day cleaning her house, I didn't make a big deal out of it I just started cleaning.
I wold talk to her. She's obviously struggling with something. Don't judge, help. Bring your #1 sitter over to mind her kids. Have a talk and help her get her house in order. It may take a few trips. I got very overwhelmed by housework. My husband wasn't helping and my kids were following his example. The more i fell behind, the harder it got to get anything at all done. I became quite depressed. It went from being a little too much work to an insurmountable amount of filth. Then it just became more overwhelming and harder to get started again.