I live in VA and I have a great concern for my neice and nephew. See they hate living with their parents and want to live with me. My niece more than my nephew is being mistreated, I have seen this myself. And my sister-in-law drinks alot and cuts on herself and my niece has to stay up to take care of her while my brother stays on the computer constantly. They are made to do everything around the house and hardly get to play as children should.It is to the point my neice gets sick at school and when at my house begs for me to take her away from them and becomes sick and hurts with her stomach severely. How can I help her she is almost 12 years old. Can I take her or is it possible for her to file to be considered an adult? She can't take it any more and is scared because her parents want to move away from here and we won't get to make sure they are taken care of. They hardly ever have enough food in the house and my sister-in-law will call me asking me to keep them as much as possible. And lately has done everything to put my niece down to everyone. Please help!!! Also I forgot to mention my sister-in-law is mentally ill and has been for about four years due to a anerism (I know I spelt that wrong) she had to have a emergency operation on the brain due to it and hasn't been fully functional since. And my brother doesn't work but I do give him credit because thats why he is moving he is trying to get a job. Also when she gets sick at school I am the one that has to drive 20 miles to go get her because the mother won't and just recently made the comment that unless she is puking her guts out she can't be checked out again. The child's grades are starting to show she is under severe stress. I raised these children since I was 16 because the mother was abusive to her, two years ago is when she decided she don't like me because her children love me and want to be with me instead of her and put them in a school 20 miles away from me and 15 miles away from her. The child had starting stealing things from other children at school and the mother said it's ashame it wasn't 20's we could have used them. She said that when they move that they would come and stay with me during the summer thats fine, it's what going on between then and I know she will try to keep them away because she hates me, she always has, she had a problem with stealing and forgery. She (the mother) would steal my things and forge my name on my check I got while I was in school and drawing disability from my dad. Anyway my niece works for me babysitting my 6 year old and 8 year old while I do work around the house, I don't think she is old enough to babysit with out me around and she also helps outs around the house. She wants out now but I know I can't do it that fast and she is scared of telling anyone because she don't want to have to face her parents with this, because she knows if this isn't won she will never see me again and also because of how hard she will be whipped for it. She has to fix her own food most of the time and allot of times my sister-in-law calls and says they don't have food will you keep the kids so they can eat and then calls that night drunk. If she can't feed them how can she buy the alcohol? Please I need to know what to do, if I call DSS and they don't see anything physical my niece will get in major trouble and has been whipped before to the point it left welts on her legs. So I am torn. Any advice will work even if it's to but out. Please this is urgent.