When Host Families hear about Au Pairs in trouble, we often try to help.
Host Families sometimes get some early, insider information about Au Pair – Host Family relationships that are deteriorating. When the Au Pair in question looks like s/he’s getting a raw deal, it can be tempting to offer to step in and help.
You might want to counsel the Au Pair (or other Host Family), contact the LCC, offer the Rematching Au Pair a place to stay, or even — as in the case below — offer to take on the Rematching Au Pair as a second caregiver for your own family.
The impulse to try to help is laudable. We need each other to care, to offer assistance, and to help us find a respite when things fall apart.
So why is it, as in this case below, that the Au Pair Agency isn’t willing to work with the interested Host Family so that they can save this Rematching Au Pair from an uncertain fate in the random rematch pool?
I wonder if the Agency knows something that the Host Family doesn’t.
Maybe the Rematching Au Pair’s situation isn’t as dire as she’s told the Family.
What do you think?
We are a host family, and we currently have a wonderful au pair from X. She is wonderful, and so are her friends.
Recently, one of her friends arrived here from X, and is with a family in a nearby state.
Our Au Pair has been giving us tidbits of information about her Au Pair friend, and the not so welcoming family she is with.
Yesterday morning, she told us that the family threw her friend out of the house quite late at night, among other things that have been happening, we are pretty horrified. They rationed her food, didn’t pay her the full amount, on her days off, she is not allowed any of the family’s food. Constantly cursing and screaming at her etc. It paints a fairly grim picture.
I reached out to my liaison woman, to offer her the girl to come and stay with us until she finds a new family. As our Au Pair had previously told us the woman in her area are really good friends with this family.
In fact, the night the family threw her out, she called the liaison woman, who said she would have to find alternate accommodation that night, and could stay with her the following day. The Au Pair explained that she had no money and no where to go. Eventually, she called another Au Pair, that she had met a few weeks prior, and went and stayed with her for the evening.
This is where it gets slightly weird. The Agency and the Liaison haven’t given me any answers. It’s like I’m being stonewalled: the Au Pair hasn’t come to us, and wants to come and stay, but it’s being made awkward, not outright forbidden though.
We did say that we would hire her as a second Au Pair yesterday evening, and get rid of our secondary daycare altogether. Considering that the two au pairs are friends already, it would possibly be an advantage for everyone.
I cannot get someone to speak to me on the phone– I’ve only gotten simple text messages. This morning being “AP is not infant qualified. Would you still like the information regarding a 2nd au pair?”
(We have a 6 month old, and a toddler.)
It’s as if the Agency wants her to go away.
We don’t know a lot of people who have Au Pair, are we overthinking this? It all seems very shady, and absolutely awful for this young woman in a foreign country for the last ten weeks.
Image: Hole in the Heart, by Elton Harding on Flickr