Dangers of Au Pair Care
I have been writing about the hidden costs of Au Pair, as well as the dangers of leaving your child with a stranger that may have not been properly screened by the international hiring agency or the American agencies. It appears to be standard policy with many Au Pair agencies to NOT inform new families of any problems the Au Pair had with a previous family, which could lead to a dangerous situation and in essence hold the Au Pair care agency liable for any damage done.
If you read through the nearly 100 families that have commented to my previous blog The High Cost of Au Pair Care, you will see that the system isn't working very well and could use a reform.
I think one of the main problems is that families pay the Au Pair agency all 12 months of the Au Pair fees up front, instead of monthly when they pay the Au Pair. The agency fees are roughly equivalent to what the Au Pair receives. If it was a pay as-you-go-model then it would create an incentive for the agencies to better manage the Au Pair/family relationships and prevent a lot of the problems that are occuring and we read in the posts.
However, this hasn't happened yet.
I felt that a post by Monica Briens to my previous blog should be highlighted
Monica Briens is calling for more governmental reguation, which might solve the problem another way. If you are interested in participating please contact Monica directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep this post updated with any of your comments so that the public can stay aware of the progress.
My goal is to help the Au Pair system THRIVE and allow Au Pairs, Families and children to build loving relationships. Perhaps this blog will help figure out a way for that to happen. As it is now, the Au Pair system appears to be flawed. However, with a little help, we can work together to fix it so everyone benefits.
I just found this blog now, and would like to ask if anyone would be interested in commenting on a piece we are putting together around some of the systemic issues across au pair programs. Some of the issues are serious.
Specifically, this is a piece on a number of federal government regulators and how they lack the manpower, authority, and management required to govern the entities they are charged with overseeing. The State Department and the cultural exchange program is my beat. With the election year, politicians have addressed the program issues regarding illegal immigration for which the au pair program has been identified as a path for illegal immigration.
Additionally, other systemic program issues have been raised such as child welfare issues, negative impacts to U.S. diplomacy and false advertising practices locally and abroad. Questionable profit driving methods that compromise child safety have also been raised. Many charge this a money making program, quite in contrast to the cultural exchange program for which the agency's receive a privledged status of from Congress.
There is talk on the hill regarding changing program status and this is the motivation for the coverage.
If you would like to comment in any way, or have any information you'd like to share, please email me at: