Readers, I must admit that these stories of being screwed by both agency & au pair get me upset. Thank goodness these stories are more rare than the terrific au pair and the perfectly fine au pairs we have little reason to need advice about. We all know that most au pairs, and most agency relationships, are not this bad. Keep this in perspective as we jump in to another bad situation.
Our posts about DeflatedHostMom and the “Match Behind Your Back” dynamic prompted another host mom to add her story. It combines both deceptive agency practices and tensions with one host parent
Here’s the situation:
I am concerned how to handle this. I had an au pair who arrived in my home on March 21st. From the start, the au pair did not hit it off with my husband.
Four days later at our local coordinator meeting, she informed the local coordinator that she had a fear of my husband. She also told me later that day. I tried to assure her we had hosted au pairs prior to her and they are all fine. She (to me and the coordinator) seemed willing to hang in there for sixty days to give it a try.
Now, at the time my husband was not residing in the home, however I told the au pair that he could come back at anytime. He was staying with his brother due to his job being relocated two hours away from our home. He was in and out quite a bit and we all did activities together.
Well, last Thursday out of the blue, I was told her rematch was approved when I never even knew it was being considered. The following Friday evening, the au pair informs me that she is leaving the next day to stay with friends in Nebraska who would allow her to stay there until she could rematch. Luckily, her family has the money to fly her across the states, because she told me they are secret millionaires.
The coordinator also told me about emails my husband had sent the au pair which she felt put her in the middle of our arguments. I pulled his emails from the cell phone website and saw some that discussed when he would be taking the kids to the park, but nothing as the au pair characterized. I asked the au pair about these emails (on text message) and she told me that my husband did not text her anything and she apologized for causing problems in my family.
I was very upset at the au pair for trying to make our family look bad, so that she could be approved for an emergency exit.
I was annoyed at the agency for not even allowing me to address her issues. I would not have been upset over a rematch, she was a bit of a princess and I really did not want to live with that for a year. I was upset at her leaving so abruptly.
I had just come from four weeks of having no childcare when my last au pair was sent back home due to her anger issues. I just feel thrown under a bus by an agency that I have patronized for three years.
Anyway, I spoke to the au pair agencies directors/coordinators and told them I felt this girl was deceptive, immature, selfish and a liar. I sent the text where she denied my husband had sent any emails to her as proof of her lies. One of the directors I spoke with actually said maybe the au pair said that because she did not want to hurt my feelings. They are going out of their way to defend this girl so that she can rematch. My husband was livid when I told him that as if he has to defend himself again.
What I need help with is I happened to read her new profile. It’s usually kept hidden from the past host family, but I was able to see it. Her reason for rematch stated that she was uncomfortable with personal changes wthin our household. Then it goes on to say,
“AP’s Hosts indicate she is caring, responsible, intelligent and consistent and that she bonds easily with young children.”
Neither me or my husband said anything like that! I said
“She was deceptve, immature, selfish and a liar”.
I just rematched with someone myself, based in part on the description of her I got from the agency. To think that the agency will make up blatant falsehoods like that is incredible! I do not think this is right and I want to report them or something. Any suggestions?
Readers, we have two challenges–
1. Let’s help DCmetro with her current issue, and
2. Let’s think about what host parents can do (individually and together) to influence the agencies’ practices.