(Reposting from its previous place in another thread:)
Writes Host Mom X,
I need some urgent advice on an uncomfortable situation, with a new au pair and her Host Dad:
One of our au pair’s besties recently ended her year, and our au pair has taken that host family’s new au pair under her wing. We had heard some interesting stories about this family from our au pair and her bestie, including some instances of rule-breaking (e.g. having the au pair do overnights while the parents traveled). We knew the situation wasn’t always ideal for a few other reasons – but the bestie au pair stuck out the year.
The new au pair (I’ll call her M) came to us tonight with a serious problem: her host dad touched her inappropriately (apparently this is the second time this has happened) – sounds like leg and behind touching. She she of course is in a bit of a tailspin, feels very uncomfortable going back to the house AND the host mom will be traveling out of town tomorrow, leaving her alone in the house with the host dad for a couple of days.
Our au pair asked us to speak with New Au Pair M too, because she was very worried and wanted to bring in another perspective. (Apparently bestie au pair says this never happened to her. New Au Pair M is the family’s second au pair, and they apparently went through many babysitters/nannies before entering the au pair program.)
I’m hoping for help with:
(1) gut check on what New Au Pair M should do:
HD and I and our AP all advised that she should not stay in the house (we’re happy to have her stay with us), should immediately get the LCC involved and document it (in case she is accused of lying later on). We sympathized that rematch was tough (and she also has a vacation planned in two weeks that will get upended if she rematches), and with the personal conflict she is feeling (she is asking herself normal questions of someone put in this terrible kind of situation, like “am I overreacting?”.
New Au Pair M also feels she is a strong woman and should stand up to the HD herself and tell him what’s what; she feels bad about the host mom and also generally because otherwise she felt the family was kind to her and a good fit). We said “if you were our daughter, we’d want you out of there, period,” but also that I understood that if I were in her position it would not be so black and white to me – i.e. I can understand all of the conflicting things she is feeling.
What would you all adviseNew Au Pair M to do? (Both host parent and AP perspectives very welcome.)
(2) au pair policy knowledge:
Is it the policy of the agencies that if an au pair comes to the LCC with complaints of inappropriate sexual advances by a host parent, that the agency must immediately remove the AP from the home, even if the AP is not requesting that? We cautioned the AP that we were not sure, but that she should be prepared for that consequence of talking to the LCC – but that we felt that she should immediately raise this with the LCC no matter the consequence.
New Au Pair M was thinking maybe she should just wait and see, and only do something if this happens again. We and our AP – as you might imagine – did not think she should treat this as a “wait and see” situation. Especially since it seems it already HAS happened before.
Any immediate gut reactions and advice, especially knowledge of agency policy and what typically happens in these situations or personal experience would be helpful
New Au Pair M is staying with us tonight and planning to talk to the LCC with our AP tomorrow (we said we’d talk to LCC as well if needed, or help her call the central office if necessary, since our LCC is not the greatest and isn’t always responsive – though I’d hope at least in this kind of situation she’d take action).
Thank you all —