The Rematch / Transition Process makes everyone tense.
Au Pairs want to find a better situation but worry that host families will assume that rematch was their fault.
Host Families want to find an in-country au pair who’ll fit better with their family, but want to avoid taking on some other family’s “reject”.
Agencies want to keep host families happy and to keep Au Pairs placed — as long as there’s no problem beyond a “bad fit” between the family and Au Pair.
In an ideal world, rematch would be easy and swift because the reasons why an Au Pair “went into rematch” would be clear, correct, and verifiable by prospective Host Parents.
Okay, stop laughing.
We know what it’s a fantasy to imagine that we could telephone the Host Family from which an Au Pair is departing and get the whole and accurate truth about the Au Pair and why the match didn’t work. We know it’s a fantasy that any party can be completely unbiased, forthcoming, and honest when relationships go awry.
But still — I’ve argued in the past that Host Parents considering a rematch Au pair should always try to talk with the soon-to-be-former Host Parents.
Even if the soon-to-be-former Host Parents only tell one side of the story, and especially if you can take it all with a grain of salt, you will more often than not get information that will help you choose (or pass on) any particular rematch Au Pair.
We’ve discovered, though, that not every Au Pair Agency makes it possible for Host Families to talk to the soon-to-be-former Host Parents of the Rematch Au Pair.
We understand that in certain situations, the Host Family’s perspective will be unreliable– what host family would say “It was entirely our fault that the match didn’t work”?
But in most situations, wouldn’t we expect that the soon-to-be-former Host Parents would at least give us fairly decent perspective? So why not give us the chance to talk to most soon-to-be-former Host Parents?
As one Host Mom writes:
I am hoping AuPairMom will do a column about rematch and how imperative it is to speak to the prior host family when you’re considering a Rematch Au Pair.
I belong to a few private host parent groups on Facebook. We have found terrible discrepancies between the true story (that we’ve heard from the Host Parent in the group) and the Rematch documents that the Agencies posted in the Au Pair’s file. (Former/ outgoing Host Families aren’t able to see these documents…. but we’ve shared the min the groups.)
We have found that the agencies and au pairs claim that host families don’t want to be contacted about the departing Au Pair and asked to offer their references or perspectives. But outgoing Host Familes DO want to be contacted by prospective Host Parents.
In our group, we have found serious issues that have led to rematches. But these issues haven’t prevented the Au Pairs from finding another family, because the other families never hear the whole story. For example, we’ve seen Au pairs rematched for leaving children alone, hitting children, and bulimia, to name a few. The next host family never contacted previous host family.
Please do a column about rematch and how important it is to contact the prior host family.
My most awesome Au pairs were from rematch- but references MUST be checked despite what the au pair companies tell you!
Which Agencies (generally) permit a potential Host Parent to contact the soon-to-be-former Host Parent?
It would help to know whether your Agency has a blanket policy of “no contact” or not. Can we crowdsource this information? If you know for sure whether your Agency allows soon-to-be-former Host Parents to be contacted by prospective Host Parents:
Here’s a link to a Google Spreadsheet that anyone can edit to add information about the policies of specific agencies– with regard to talking to the host families of Au Pairs in Rematch.
Thanks so much for contributing to the shared resource. Other comments? Add them below.
Image: Fruit by Ginny on Flickr